Today’s submission comes from artist Juan Moreno. He has drawn this with ball point pens. I assumed it was colored pencil and graphite until I zoomed in and saw the light cross hatching, this is amazing!! You can view more of Juan’s work on his Instagram account. The accuracy, proportion and shading on this are amazing. I can’t believe the softness you got with a pen!! I also really like the color balance you achieved mixing that with the black and white portions. REALLY nicely done!!
Looking at a few things we can adjust to improve on this even more, first, the composition is pulling the viewer right off the page with both portraits at the same angle like this. If you were to adjust the angle of even one, it will make a huge difference in keeping the viewer’s eyes flowing inside the drawing instead of flowing off at that diagonal angle.
My next tip is on the shading. You’ve started the shadows and done a beautiful job in getting them in the right location, but they feel unfinished. If you can sharpen the edges just a bit in a few areas (like around some of the fingers, and the tip of the thumb) and spend a bit more time on the shading this will help you hit your goal of making it look even more realistic. Things like her thumbnail are completely missing. Nothing looks wrong at all to me, just unfinished.
For the Dia de los Muertos portion you said you made up a design. For this entire face, she needs more shading, especially the painted side. Everything looks pretty flat. Even if painted white, you would still have some shadows defining her cheekbones and such more.
My last tip is on her hair. If you want hair to look more realistic, try focusing on the clumps, highlights and shadows and not individual strands. If you draw out each hair individually it won’t look realistic no matter how many individual lines you draw in.
Your drawing skills are incredible and what you’re able to do with that pen is amazing!! I think the main thing you will need to adjust to hit that super realistic look you said you were going for is to just spend more time on each individual piece! You’re an amazing artist, keep it up!