Friday, September 9, 2011

A Pencil Portrait of Brad Pitt

Hello again!

Yes I made it back once more... v___v

This time, I'm trying to learn how to work with 'circulism', which, according to what I read online, is a technique of drawing tiny circles for the shading and blending it with a tortillion also in a circular movement. This is supposed to create realistic skin texture as human skin is not perfect.

Well, I certainly hope I got it right. Here's the result, starting with:

My usual tools, pencils 3B to 8B, kneadable eraser & tortillion.

The A3 size smooth art card. I should start looking for Bristol board...

Tissues for blending photographic tone.

My new mechanical pencil (4B). The last one went home to its maker.

The Mono zero eraser. I cut the tip to make it even sharper.

A black marker just for the background only.

A Gelly roll pen for drawing some fine white hair.

So, here's the rough sketch to position the figure on paper.

Then drawing the position of the eyes...

Proportion of the features almost done.

Followed by the hair & neck proportion...

Basic shading with a 3B pencil over the face.

Blending the basic shading with a tissue to get a smooth tone.

Using the 3B and 4B pencils, I drew small circles as shading for the face. As the number of circles increased, the tone got darker. It is a very slow progress and took a long time to do.

Then I shaded over the tiny circles with a tortillion, moving also in circular movement. It created a sort of uneven tone in the shading.

Working very closely with tissue to ease the uneven shading a little so it would not end up looking lumpy...

Half the face done with the shading now...

Basic shading almost finished. Working on the stubbles...


1. Darkening the features with 4B and 6B pencils

2. bringing out some fine lines with a mechanical pencil loaded with 4B lead

3. drawing some fine white lines with the Mono zero eraser and

4. highlighting certain parts with a kneadable eraser shaped to a sharp tip.

Half the face darkened in shading...

Now the whole face is darkened in shading but this will not stand the test of black when it comes on later in the background.

Working on the hair now...

For the hair, fine lines can be drawn with the fine tip eraser and darker lines were done with mechanical pencil.

That's the hair for the time being...

Working on the shirt now. It's very dark in color and took a long time to build up to that tone.

To save some pencils I colored the background black with a big black marker first, then shade over the ink with a 8B pencil.

The parts closer to the figure were left white and to be filled in entirely with 8B pencil, carefully outlining the figure.

For some loose strands of fine white hair I used a Gelly roll pen to draw the lines, then shade over them carefully with tissues to make them look natural. When they got too dark, I worked over them with a fine tipped kneadable eraser to restore some highlight again.

Just as I expected, the figure looked like a washed out fading ghost from last century when it got surrounded by black. Is this the right method to do a portrait in black? ....??????

Busy last bits of touching up began... Adding more black (8B) to strengthen the shading and highlighting more parts with Gelly roll.

So here it is at last...

I can't remember the last time I was actually happy with my drawing, it must have been a good feeling... I don't seem to get that kind of feeling anymore...

I just want to do even better these days. Hope I find my way soon...

AND this one took me about 32 hours to finish, spread across 3 months!!!

I was out of focus as I was constantly tired. I'm tired of being tired... got to go do something about this...

Thanks for looking!


  1. this is so awesome.. i attempted it with a good result for my feeble ability.. yours is just inspiring

  2. Amazing !! You are an amazing artist & so hard working. You inspired me today. I am a learner.I started drawing last year. I have made so many drawings. All are useless. Now i know the reason i lack patience which you are blessed with. Making one drawing in 3 months and that too so amazing!! Wao.