“Ethan” – A New Portrait Drawing Video on YouTube

I published a new time-lapse video to Youtube a few days ago. For this one, and for the next few portraits I draw, I’ve decided to recruit family members to serve as models.

This drawing is of Ethan. I often refer to Ethan as my “nephew”, but he’s not, really. He’s my wife’s cousin’s son. I think that makes him my wife’s first cousin, once removed… Which would make him my first cousin, once removed in-law? That doesn’t sound right to me, which is why I’ll just keep calling him my nephew. Or just Ethan!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video!

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  1. First cousin, once removed, by marriage. Smooooooth. Oh, great drawing. I own the Portrait Drawing class; this inspires me to go back and study it again!

  2. Absolutely wonderful!!! Can I ask how long it took in real time and whether it was directly from the model or a photograph? Also, were you using some sort of charcoal powder with the brush … I guess you used both graphite pencil and a charcoal pencil and some sort of white conte crayon? Thanks. Peter.

    1. Thanks, Peter. I used a photo reference for this one. Ethan’s not a professional art model, so making him sit for several hours wouldn’t be kind. He’s also family, so I can’t treat him too badly 😉

      I don’t keep track of time when I’m not paying a model by the hour, so it’s hard to say for sure. If I had to guess, I’d say somewhere between 15 and 20 hours… maybe a little more if you count the time I spend just staring at it, wondering what needs fixing.

      There’s no charcoal in the drawing. The brush is used to apply graphite powder, and the darker pencils are Staedtler Mars Lumograph black pencils that have carbon black added to the graphite leads. The white pencil is a General’s Charcoal “White”, which is a little more chalky than conté crayon.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Thanks so much for your answer David. I love the ‘smooth’, flesh-like effect of the graphite powder. Is this something you buy or just make with a pencil and a pencil-sharpener?

  3. What leapt out at me was how much of yourself is in that picture. It is a beautiful piece of work.