Anatomy of a drawing

Last year, I was asked to donate some artwork to auction off at a bowl-a-thon fundraiser that a friend of mine organizes, to raise money for an organization in Northampton, MA that provides services, assistance and resources for People with HIV and AIDS.

I was flattered to be asked to do another drawing this year for the same fundraiser.  We have gone to for the last three years, but I will miss it this year due to the blogger gathering in Delaware, which is the same weekend; however, I still wanted to show my support by donating an illustration for them to auction off. I thought it would be fun to show you my steps to creating a drawing.

Although I usually take my own photographs of my own friends/models to draw from, and or enlarge a smaller drawing a do from scratch,  time was limited so I decided to work with one of the umpteen images I have saved from the internet. I admit I do not know this model nor the photographer, else I would give credit where credit is due. And I do not profit from this so I hope the art mafia goes easy on me here. Having said that, here’s how it works:

 

STEP 1 sort through 10 or 20 or 10,000 images for an image to draw:

STEP 1 IMAGE

 

STEP 2:Crop it and print it out

STEP 2 PRINT

 

STEP 3: Pull out the overhead transparencies

STEP 3 OVERHEAD SHEETS

 

STEP 4: Trace a silhouette of the photo onto the transparency

STEP 4 OVERHEAD TRACE

 

STEP 5: Set up the overhead projector

STEP 5 OVERHEAD PROJECTOR

 

STEP 6: Lightly draw the silhouette onto the paper from the enlarged projection. (This is primarily to make sure my drawing stays proportionate.)

STEP 6 PENCIL TRACE

STEP 7: Begin the process of drawing in the picture from the photo, adding dimension and detail.

STEP 7 PENCIL IN

 

STEP 8: Finish the initial pencil drawing and rough shading

STEP 8 PENCIL COMPLETE

 

STEP 9: Add more shading and tone and smudge to blend the pencil strokes and lines

STEP 9 SHADE

STEP 10: Shade around the object

STEP 10 SMUDGE

STEP 11: Do a final comparison to the photo and tweak where necessary

STEP 11 FINAL COMPARISON

 

STEP 12: Attach to the mat and place in the frame

STEP 12 MAT AND FRAME

Voila! Piece is complete.  From start to finish, this was a 3 hour project for me.

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8 Responses to Anatomy of a drawing

  1. Mark in DE says:

    WOW – I am super-impressed with your work!! Your drawing should bring big bucks at the fundraiser, I’m sure.

  2. Raybeard says:

    Yes, very impressive indeed. There’s an undefinable ‘something extra’ about seeing an image produced by pencil – rather in the manner that erotic cartoons or comics have, for me, a mysterious added edge over photos or films reproduced directly from life.
    Btw: My late elder brother had a similar talent to yours – and sold a number of his drawings to some British show-business celebrities. I wonder if there’s any scope for you to get some useful additional income that way too i.e. selling rather than donating, though I realise it takes time to do and you’ve already got full-time work.

  3. I’m always curious to see how other artists do their thing. We all take different roads, but seem to get the the same destination in the end.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. Tony D says:

    beautiful work. and thanks for taking us through your “recipe” for drawing! i have an artist friend who works similarly, in that he has the model pose in front of a large canvas, and he projects light onto the model. he then traces the outline from the shadow on the canvas. he goes back after the outline is done and fills in with paint. his work is more abstract in the end, but beautiful.

    • Sassybear says:

      Thanks. I prefer to do completely original work, but, as I said, time was short. I actually am planning to bid on it and win it back to keep it for myself, LOL!

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