I could stare at this detail for hours! Amazing work! I don't understand how you can get mid-tones like that with a Bic Ballpoint. You inspire me and prove that I still have tons of room for improvement.
I'm sure you're busy, but if you have a second, please check out a couple of my charcoal portraits and tell me what I need to do to bring it to this level. Thanks man!
Hi Travis, you are already very good. I looked at most of your portraits you have in your gallery and they are already really very good, I am sure you are aware of that. Here is my tip of how to improve to the next level you might say. 1 different kinds of strength of pencils, they have a use, hard, soft etc. especially in shadowning and details in skin etc. 2. try to spend more time on detail and texture of skin,really take a good look at the thing you are drawing and really observe every detail. Make smoother borders at shadows. I know it takes more time and that can be painful but its worth it. The same goes for charcoal. there are different strengths, soft, hard etc, but best is pencils. for very dark areas you can use a STAEDLER LUMOGRAPH 8B. That is just as black as charcoal but a bit more waxy and still "pencil" works perfect for what I see you try to do. Skin I would do with pencils though.
if you want to go into ballpoint art, then you have to have time and patience. dont use pressure on the ballpoint, just lightly cross hedging layer after layer. if you get annoyed with how long it takes, drop that project for a while, paint or draw something else with something less detailed and get back to it later when you are ok again! if you loose patience and you make a mistake with ballpoint.... you are ... anyhow. good luck! cheers, Hieronymus
Thank you so much for looking at my gallery! A complement coming from someone as talented as you really means a lot! Typically, I just use 2B, 4B, and 6B charcoal pencils and a kneading eraser. My problem is that I don't really know what to use for the mid-tones. I find myself using whatever pencil I have in my hand until it needs sharpened and then I switch to the next one. Besides lack of knowledge on what pencil to use where, the other main problem I have is finding a high enough quality picture to see the smaller details. I feel like I can replicate just about anything but when it comes to imagining textures and details I tend to be quit intimidated.
Besides these things, I will take your suggestions into consideration on my next portrait and really test my patience. Perhaps I will try a couple graphite pieces before I move onto my next medium of choice, pastel!