OK so last week I covered one technique for creating skin tones, as promised this week I am looking at how to draw the Ewan's Beard. Firstly I have to say that I treat beards in the same way I draw hair regardless of where it is on the body
I have looked for short-cuts, magical solutions, inventive tools and spiritual guidance when it comes to drawing hair, and have only recently woke up to the fact that the only way to draw hair is by well drawing it! Yeah I know not much of a revelation but my eyes have been opened to the fact that you do in fact need to treat it as any other part of a portrait, it have lines, shades, tones and structure and as with a nose, ear or eye you need to treat each element in the same way.
I have produced a selection of step by step pictures to show how I am drawing 'Ewan's' Beard it only shows the right hand side, but is equally the same for his moustache etc.
Following on from the shading tutorial, you have to assume that there is no hair on a face, and draw the skin under the beard. I have found that the way to make a beard/hair look more realistic is to make it look as if it has layers the 1st layer is the skin. Start by drawing some circles outlining the area of the beard, varying the pencil softness to vary the tone you want.
Then blend in the circular pencil marks using a blending stump or tortillian, until you get a smooth(ish) covering you can add more graphite here to create darker tones if needed.
I then use my eraser to create light areas of the beard; in this case they take the form of long hairs, you will notice that I am working on the beard at the same time as the skin around the beard, trying to ensure that they flow into each other look at the reference and follow the direction of the hairs on the face.
I will then blend some of these erased lines to again add a layer of graphite and increase the tones across the face.
Using the pattern created by Steps 3 & 4, I will add some dark (8B) pencil, again to add a new layer, along with some dark 'background' or shadows to the hairs. You can also start to see the appearance of my Tombo eraser
Finally I will start to draw some hairs using my 4B pencil and my eraser I will draw individual hairs in varying length, and direction do not be too scared about how messy this will look, hair will look its most realistic when you see some stray strands. I am using the eraser a lot here to create both fair hair and 'clean' areas of the beard to create shape and form.
Using a sharp 8B pencil, I will start to outline some of those individual hairs, grouping them together and using the dark graphite to create sharp hair lines, and shadows. I will also continue to erase some areas to create as much tonal difference again this is to provide 'thickness' to the beard.
This is really just some finishing off; I will use my blender to soften some areas of the beard to accentuate the sharpness of other hairs. I may also add a couple of stray hairs using my 0.3mm 4B mechanical pencil.
You can use this same technique to draw short head hair or moustaches and the key is to add as many layers as possible to gain 'body' to the hair, but do not forget to draw the skin underneath first otherwise your hair, beard or moustache can look like it has been stuck onto the face, rather than grown from it
So it finished well no, not quite. The next step for me will be to stand back and see where I have gone wrong. I have a problem that I stare at a drawing so long sometimes I do not see obvious flaws or mistakes, and this is one technique that I use to try and improve the finished article.
I will print a copy of my 'finished' drawing; alongside a copy of the original reference (I also sometimes put them side by side in PowerPoint or similar). Then using marker pens I will mark out all of the areas that need improving are wrong or 'unfinished and make a list, as so
a- The lines on the fingers are too dark and pronounced they need to be lightened, and there needs to be more shadow under the finger/palm.
b- On the original reference this area is very dark (missed when drawing!)
c- Ewan's head creates much more shadow increase shading in this area
d- Remove the 'white' line from under the edge of the beard
e- Add more texture/shading to the top of his shirt
f- The ear is more 'out of focus' in the reference - needs to be faded
g- His hairline is further back on the ref. blend some light hairs and push the hairline to the right.
So I will spend the next couple of days improving my version of Ewan, and in next week's journal I will show you how I finish off my drawings, and prepare them for upload to DA this will be the final edition of the 'draw-along' series. All questions and feedback gratefully received.
If you missed any of the series you can find links below - or on my profile page;
Part 1 - Equipment - paul-shanghai.deviantart.com/j
Part 2 - References - paul-shanghai.deviantart.com/j
Part 3 - Preparation - paul-shanghai.deviantart.com/j
Part 4 - Shading - paul-shanghai.deviantart.com/j