It is important to remember the following points
before you start drawing a portrait.
1. As you start shading the portrait,
your hand tends to
get dirty with lead powder.This
has to be avoided, as it
might spoil your portrait.
You can do this by working downwards
from the top to the
bottom of the page whenever possible,
or better still,
you could make it a habit to place
a clean sheet of paper
under your hand while working.
2. Don't hurry or rush while you
draw the portrait.
It will result in an untidy picture.
Work patiently and complete the
portrait step -by-step.
You will need about 2-3 hours to
complete a portrait study.
Speed will come through practice.
3. Don't be disheartened if you
are not happy with the
shading in a certain part of the
portrait. Improve upon
it with the help of an eraser or
rub out that part
totally and start a new.
4. After you finish shading, compare
your portrait with the
original reference and make the
In a portrait study, it is important
that the portrait reflects
the personality of the subject.
Pay special attention to
this aspects and try to achieve
the 'look' of the original.
Dry media such as pencil or pastel are often
preferred due to time constraints, but a quickly done watercolor study
or even quickly modeled clay or soft wax can also be considered a 'sketch'
in the broader sense of the term. The use of a modern pencil however (i.e.:
a stick of graphite encased in a wooden holder) did not come into use until
modern times, the artists of the Renaissance made sketches using a silver
stylus on specially prepared paper (known as silverpoint), that is similar
to a modern pencil sketch.