This week’s submission comes from artist Ivan Mitra who has completed this portrait using colored pencil and glass marking pencils. The shading and dimension on this piece are wonderful! I love that you’ve mixed a really accurate drawing with a looser sketch style with the pencils.

In your submission, you said that your goal was to create a more realistic portrait. My first tip is to avoid so much yellow in the skin. I love that you hyped up your contrast from your reference photo, this creates more dimension. The big thing I would adjust is the colors used. Yellow is one you typically want to avoid when drawing people. It’s a color that is typically associated with illness. Now the exception to using yellow for me would be if you had obvious yellow lighting on the subject. In this case, the yellow would be cast strongly on the hair and clothing from the direction that the yellow light is hitting.

Look what a difference it makes when we pull the yellow out of the portrait!

My next tip is to just watch small things in your initial drawing. Most of this is very accurate, but there are a couple of areas off like the nostril on the right side of the piece and the ear. Really watch ears, this is an area for some reason we like to think “I know what an ear looks like” and we stop looking at the reference photo. Ears are quite a bit more intricate and need more attention to make them look realistic.

My last tip is on the hair. You’ve got the facial hair going in the right direction, but each pencil stroke is too long. It’s creating hair that looks long instead of the stubble it should be. Shorter pencil strokes will solve this.

This is a great portrait that you should be quite proud of!!