Anatomy of a Drawing


The goal of this page is to show you the different steps in the creation of a one of my drawings, the portrait of Anakin Skywalker/Hayden Christensen you can see in the gallery devoted to Star Wars. Everyone has their own method and mine might seem a little strange to you, but when you learn how to draw by yourself, you tend to see the practical side instead of the "academic" one. ;P

I hope what follows will interest you.

Click on the thumbnails to see the bigger images.


WIP Anakin Skywalker - Tools

Before starting the explanations, here is the list of the tools used to make the drawing:

- paper: Bristol (brand Canson), size 24x32 cm
- pencils: mechanical pencils (also called lead holders) 0,5 mm: 2B, B, HB, H, 2H and for the classical pencils: 6B, 4B, 3B, HB, H, 7H, 9H
- to erase: plastic rubber, Blu-Tack
- to blend: Kleenex, mechanical pencil 2mm

And a little explanation on what I call the "Kleenex blending"

Kleenex is a famous brand for paper hankie often used as a common name to designate it.

First, paper hankie has the advantage of being cheap and always within reach. ;) When the surface to blend is important (ex: clothes, parts of the face like forehead or cheeks), you can wrap a Kleenex around your finger and use it as a blending tool. It’s more problematic for little surfaces like lips or eyes. Here is what I do: I cut pieces of Kleenex (about 1x2cm). I fold down an edge of the longest side on 2mm and I do it again and again until the piece of hankie is entirely folded. Then I fold in two what I got before and I place it in the mechanical pencil 2mm. That way I have a very precise blending tool as easy to handle as a pencil and that I never have to clean, I just have to cut and fold another piece of hankie.

What is Blu-Tack? It’s a kind of paste usually used to hold posters on walls but it’s also a kind of magnet for graphite that does wonders when it comes to create lighting effects. I recommend you to visit Mike Sibley’s site (site in English) and especially his tutorial entitled "Blu-Tack as eraser", to see all you can do with it.