Jhoan Alfaro • Denis’ Blog, Portfolio and Resumé

Jhoan Alfaro

Pencil drawing

Made at Pensacola Christian College as the final project for Principles of Drawing (AR 111).

I chose this original image as my favourite to reproduce in the drawing.
I chose this original image as my favourite to reproduce in the drawing.

Finished: December 15, 2015
Medium: pencil on paper
Size: 10 in. × 13 in.

After seeing my drawing of Su Yeon Lee, Jhoan jokingly asked if I would make one of him. That was really not a problem, as I wished my final project to be a portrait, and as I had not yet selected a model. My only condition was to be able to photoshoot pictures myself: because of my previous experience in portraits, I knew that low-quality reference pictures with flat lighting are very difficult to reproduce, and do not give a good result.

In the original picture, Jhoan is sitting on a chair near my dorm desk so that the desk lamp could illuminate one side of his face. That way, the strong light on one side creates a shadow on the other side, strengthening the 3d effect: generally, artists prefer models with strong shadows because their depth sticks out more easily on paper.

Cropping the image and printing it in black and white gave me my final photo reference. That reference then had to be reproduced on paper using the correct technique – not by tracing, but by estimating proportions through comparison.

On this drawing, experience aiding, I put much effort, especially in the proportions and shading. The outcome was unexpected and happy, the drawing earning an A+ in the eyes of the teacher – the only A+ I ever got in Principles of Drawing, to boot.

Work begins with a blown-up draft on thin paper.
Work begins with a blown-up draft on thin paper.
After transfer from the transparent paper, shading from the photo reference begins.
After transfer from the transparent paper, shading from the photo reference begins.

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