In this portrait of Cathy, the artist drew the face in light tones to portray a soft freshness. At the same time he avoided any slavishly smooth lines that might make the drawing hard and mechanical-looking. Long, straightish hair lends itself to swinging pencil strokes more than short hair does and the artist couldn't resist erasing out highlights on the hair to enhance it further. The strands hanging on each side reflect almost equal amounts of light, but they are different shapes and sizes.
A smile isn't necessarily an open, laughing mouth—it can also be just a pleasant, happy expression. The dimples are a consequence of this expression and are difficult to show unless they're handled with care. Remember that lines can show age and character—these dimples aren't meant for that purpose.
1. You could start your sketch the conventional way with a direct, precise pencil outline. However, you may want to try the technique Douglas Graves used for this drawing. Do an actual size preliminary sketch on a tracing paper pad with a medium-soft 2B pencil. If you should get off to a bad start or it begins to go sour, tear that sheet off, slip it under the top sheet, and use it to begin another one, making contours where necessary. When you get a drawing that is satisfactory, blacken the back with a 4B pencil and trace the outline on your illustration board with a hard 5H or 8H pencil. You might see some of the artist's traced lines in the drawing above.
2. The artist stroked in some of the strands of hair with a 2B pencil, and he tried to give some semblance of form to the hair. He indicated a couple of dark areas next to the neck— these are the low key of the tonal scale in this drawing.
3. Here he worked on the hair developing its light and shadow pattern. He started indicating the facial tones, and kept the skin surface smooth and softened the edges; he also darkened some areas around the eyes. The portrait has not yet been sharpened or defined, but you can still see the likeness emerging. At this stage, if the drawing wasn't quite right in spots, the artist could have simply made his changes where necessary to bring out the forms correctly.
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