What's wrong ?

After Castillo posted his drawing I wasn't going to post, but this is the only way I can learn.
So what am I missing. I must have done 20 sketches of him. Can't figure out what I'm not seeing.
I'm telling myself he has a hard face to do, that's sad.

[Deleted User]


  • SummerSummer -
    edited October 2015
    @billj You have captured a likeness already. I'm not a drawing expert but the first thing I would do is take the original and turn it upside down. Then I'd count/recognize the number of different values of black that I see. Then I'd select the pencils and charcoal that would give me those values. I'd have a kneaded eraser on hand, some blending tools, some scratching devices for the beard and hair and/or a white drawing pencil, and drawing paper slightly textured and maybe toned grey or green. I'd get some working as well as a permanent spray fixative. And also have a sheet of plastic, paper or cloth to rest my drawing hand on while working so as not to smudge the finished parts.

    I'll add a few screen shots to this post. I'd show the shadows behind the ear and around the face and include the black collar because it will be more interesting. Hope you will try at least some of these things. I'm sure that you have most of these items already. Have fun. Wish I had time to do more drawing. Summer
  • The eyes look good to me, but the right corner of the mouth does not go as far to the right as it does in the photo.
  • The subject's right, not the viewer.
  • Billj

    Nice drawing. Great quick sketch.

    What's wrong?

    Lots of little things.

    Slow down. Concentrate more on value discrimination. Aim for at least five distinct tonal values in graphite. Establish a strong black and fill the shadow areas. Stop drawing from grungy photographs.

    Drop vertical lines from eye centers. LHS coincides with extent of mouth. RHS coincides with RHS chin. Correct the shape - curved outline to a fuller squarer chin.

    Iris' too big, OK for gals portraits though.
    Eyes are too far apart
    LHS eyebrow extends down to a line drawn b/w eye and ear top.

    Hair shape above LHS eyebrow should show deep recession.
    RHS hair shape above right ear needs attention, thicker, darker. Improves dimensionality.

    Head shape at top has lost the symmetry, skewed to left.

    Though you have faded into a vignette the neck is important. Now almost missing.

    RHS cheekline/jawline - angle and shape needs adjustment. Vertical down to the mouth alignment.

    Get the right shoulder in to provide a bit of visual balance. The black shirt is a good opportunity to separate the subject from the background and show overall depth.

    All of these little things are important for achieving likeness.


  • @billj, the problem as I see it is the values. But I also agree you need good reference material. Back to the values, make your self a good value chart of 10 values with 5 being a good gray. Do this in pencil and then in acrylic or oil. Then use a hole punch to make a small viewer and you will be able to match values better. With respect, Ron.
  • WOW !!! Thanks guys I'll have to make a check list. :p I'll get back to you when I'm done.
  • Bill - I highly recommend that you get this book: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Drawing-Realistic-Carrie-Stuart/dp/1581802161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1446223605&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+draw+realistic+faces
    The author has had amazing results with even non-artists such as people who do composite sketches for police departments, and its the first book that I ordered when I decided I wanted to get good at drawing. Used copies are less than 4 dollars. Once you get it, you have to really slow down, take the time to do it step by step, and be sure that you are drawing what you see, you're getting your values right, and you're not drawing what your brain tricks you into thinking you see. The difference in my drawing before and after this book was dramatic.
  • For making facial hair that needs to be grey, you can buy a tuff stuff eraser, use an exacto knife or razor blade and cut it to a fine edge. Then you can make grey hair very easily by lifting off the graphite with the eraser. Also, you can buy 4B mechanical pencil lead on line and that will get you a really dark value where you need it. If you use any softer lead it will be really messy. To lift off small amounts of graphite and to smooth it you can use a piece of chamois. This will really help to get smooth skin tones on women and children.
  • Oilpainter; thanks that's basically what I do. I also want to get an electric eraser , I seen one being used for fine detail, and it worked nicely .
  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    @billj I think that's a good idea to get an electric eraser. It reminds me of a quote about "The First rule of art. It's not how well you draw, it's how cool your drawing stuff is." Carrie Stuart Parks
  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    If you want to draw at a professional level in a week, I highly recommend the companion book to what Martin recommended above in this thread. The companion book focuses on faces only and it's entitled: Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces by Carrie Stuart Parks and is available in paperback. The book is very interesting on several levels so that you won't easily tire of it. She can teach you in a week on her class schedule at her facility but realistically, if you just spend an hour or so a day, it should take more like 10 days, in my opinion. I like to think of the techniques that she has to offer as adding something to your own natural talent and style of drawing--which is already very good.
  • Thanks Guys, your input is always appreciated .
  • @Kingston, are they still in print? I picked up a complete set of "Famous Artists" books, very neat!
  • I know that I'm not Kingston, but I just happen to know the answer. Yes. All of them. Amazon.com. I put them on my Wish List a few hours ago. :)
  • @Kingston You just saved me a lot of unnecessary expense. Thanks. I'll do that.
  • @Kingston I got em as well. Dude your the bomb
  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    @billj I've just updated my list of tools that can be found in most drawing studios.  If you want, I will post it here.  Thinking also of putting it in the Drawing category.  I find it hard to believe that anyone has all of them, but I think that it will make you laugh.  (Does not include tools for Silver-point drawing.)  The items are from my own experience, members of this forum, YouTube videos, and authors of the books I've read, and is still a work in progress.  Hope that you will offer some of your own ideas to add to this list.  Summer 
  • Isn't this a great forum?
  • @Kingston, I found a link a couple of yrs ago to download an Andrew Loomis book. How do I download on of the books on the link that you provided ? when I click on the book image it opens, what next ?

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