Sunday, 29 June 2014

Portraits by Manchester based artist Louis Smith

Below are a selection of portraits each drawn in 2hrs by Manchester based artist Louis Smith.

The way the pencil strokes follow the contours of the face creates incredibly three dimensional images.  The characters and expressions of the subjects shine through without the need for exaggeration.  They are just fantastic.

Day 12

heads from different angles.

Time: 1hr

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 10

Today I finished the shading on the face of this portrait.  I've decided to leave it there because the nose and mouth are not right as you can see from the comparisons below.  I'm quite pleased with the accuracy of the eyes though.

Time 1hr 20m

My drawing

Photo by Lionel Wendt

my drawing in high contrast - still looks like a face!

comparisons between my drawing and the original photo

comparisons of the eyes in the drawing and original photo

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day 9

I worked on this portrait for another hour this evening.  It's still no where near finished but I thought it would be best to continue with it tomorrow when I can look on it with fresh eyes.  The relative sizes of the features keep looking wrong to me but weirdly my measurements show they're correct.  Hopefully once all the shading's finished it will make sense.

(I managed to get a better photo this time with my mum's phone)

Time: 1hr 10min

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 8

Apologies again for the poor quality.  Living in a village the internet's terrible and I have no camera here which is annoying.  

I spent an hour starting this portrait at 6.30 this morning (it's from the photo book again, I'll post the original too).  It's taken ages because I have been careful to double check all my measurements.  I just had time to start adding in the darkest parts of the drawing.  I'll be working on it again tomorrow morning so watch this space!

Time: 1hr

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Day 7

Noses.  Noses are very challenging.

Sorry about the terrible quality.  I had to use my webcam and my brother's phone to take these then tried to rescue them a bit in Photoshop.

Time: 1hr plus much longer trying to take the photos :-/

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 6

Eyes today, drawing from the photography book I used yesterday.

Time: 2hrs approx

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Day 5

Face drawing practice... They're so hard! I think because we're so used to interpreting faces for their mood and emotions it's hard to look at them as their interlocking forms.

I've been using Proko's YouTube video about how to draw the eyes which is very helpful.  I've then practiced drawing some of the portraits from a photography year book 1936-7.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day 4

Today I drew a diagram of myself!  I was trying to memorise the proportions of the human body and then (realising I have a human body) started measuring my limbs, finding that my hand span is roughly equal to my cranium, the units of measurement I've been using.

The drawing below was the result. It's surprisingly really hard to stay accurate but the results are fascinating!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Day 3

I'm packing to move home so today I've drawn some of the stuff still lying around on my floor.  All the random shapes were making my eyes go funny. Plastic bags and scarves are crazy complicated!  And, if you're wondering, that weird spotty thing at the bottom left, it's my knee with the paper resting on it.

0.2mm black pen
Black crayon

I started just line drawing with the pen but added shading with the pencil because the lines weren't making much sense on their own.

Time: 1hr

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 2

More skeletons and heads now too.  I'm trying to memorise the proportions. It's mad that you can walk around in a human body your whole life and not really know how it's put together!

Learning source: Proko on YouTube

Time: 2hrs approx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Day 1

I've started out working on understanding human proportions.  The YouTube channel 'Proko' by Stan Prokopenko is absolute genius so I've been using his videos as a guide. Unlike most online drawing tutorials his are clear and very well illustrated with great animations and worked examples.

All his videos and extras can be found at

Time: 1hr30 approx

*clavicle not clavical