Recent Pencil Portraits

December 3, 2017

Here are a few new portraits I’ve sketched. They’re taken from some low resolution video that I shot at a cafe and library in town. I had also given myself a task to draw them without doing any proportional measuring. Just go by sight alone. Some weren’t too successful, but these turned out okay.

I had spent a little time earlier in the day walking through a local museum, and had noticed how all the portraits there looked so unengaging. They often were so stagnantly posed with a distant stare that looked to be just objects rather than people. It wasn’t a new revelation, but something clear hit me about it at that time, driving me to do some sketching that showed people with a bit more personality revealed. This is why I like to use video. It tends to capture more expressions than I might get with a single photo.



  1. These are great! I do struggle sometimes with proportion when I don’t do any measuring/grids, but you definitely seem to have it down

    • It’s a good skill to work on, especially if you want to sketch people outdoors without being noticed. I also try to get the outlined shapes placed correctly before I start any shading, and start those with very light lines. Being slightly off is acceptable as long as you like the end result.

      • I agree for sure. When I outline, unfortunately I go too dark sometimes. Certainly a good skill to work on – it looks like you’ve honed that skill well indeed

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