Progress on my Commissioned Portrait

I am now a total of 6 hours and 40 minutes into the commission portrait I am working on. I have been working on blocking in the different planes and shadows on the face. I start very lightly and gradually build my way into the darks. The pencils I am currently using range from a 2H to in Step 3 as high as a 2B toward the end.

My style of working is to work in about  two hour chunks. I continually step back and evaluate my progress and then at the two hour mark, I step away and give myself at least an hour break sometimes more. This gives me fresh eyes to start again.

Step 2
8x10 portrait - step 2

This images is at the 4 hours and 35 minutes mark. During this phase I starting to block in lights and darks primarily using my harder pencils 2H, H, HB and maybe a B and F.

Step 3
8x10 portrait - step 3

Here is the portrait at 6 hours and 40 minutes along side the reference photo I have been using. I am continuing to block in lights and darks and am starting to pull in some of the feature shapes. My plan is to create a strong light pattern coming from the upper left.

I am hoping that in my next round I will be able to finish this drawing. If all goes well and I don’t pick at it too much, it may be possible.

9 thoughts on “Progress on my Commissioned Portrait

  1. You are commendably organized and disciplined. I always mean to track my hours, even if I just track hours spent in my studio without breaking it down any further… I am largely unsuccessful with the effort.

    Can’t wait to see the next round.


  2. Oh, this is looking really nice! I’m afraid I don’t have the patience for doing this type of drawing! Maybe I could do it if I took breaks every 30 minutes or so…but it would be a stretch for me!


  3. Thank you everyone for stopping and your kind words by!

    Jenna, somewhere along the way I managed to inherit an organizing gene, I am constantly making lists to help my mind stay on track…now if only that organizing would make it’s way to my desk.

    Raena, I can get that way too. That’s why I do my drawings in two hour chunks. My sketchbooks really show how impatient I can be. My hand wants to go everywhere on the paper without me.


  4. This is really coming along nicely! I think your method of working for 2 hours and then taking a break is very helpful to, as you said, look at your work with fresh eyes.


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