Lots of fur! The trick with hair and fur, if you don’t want to drive yourself mad, is to set the general depth of shade with pencil marks perpendicular to the direction of the hairs. Throw in some random lines and then draw in enough of the fur to create the illusion of having drawn it all. The interplay of these cross-hatched lines gives the fur a sense of movement and vivacity. You can then pick out particular areas, even particular hairs, to draw in more detail. Don’t be afraid to lighten areas with an eraser so you can draw in a lighter piece of fur or hair. Some people say you should never rub anything out but that seems like making a rod for your own back. However, paper never shines as brilliantly once it’s had pencil on it, no matter how good your eraser is, so be careful not to touch areas you want to become your brightest highlights.
I wanted to do something a little bit different for this picture. I picked the subject because of the poses of the father and son. The son is really making a statement! I liked the Off Licence sign behind them, too, but I didn’t want it to detract from the main subject. Hence the line drawing as the background.
I finished a commission last week, of M and O. It was a lot fo fun to do. It’s currently travelling over the Atlantic to the USA. This is the first time I’ve posted an A3 drawing overseas and I’m a little nervous about it. There is so much that can go wrong with a large and delicate pencil drawing in the course of such a long journey.
No matter how much I play around with light and post-processing, I’m never happy with how photos of my drawings come out.
I’m now working on a new double portrait. If you’d like to follow this drawing’s progress you can do so on Instagram (@penspaperpencils), where I post pictures of work in progress to my story.