My first share,unfinished

So far most of what i’ve done is coping along with Matt or timed gesture,very few original. Here is one im working on but not sure what to do next with this unfinished work. I’ve been looking at it for a week now as i draw leaves on Matt’s tree. Thinking of shaving pastel to blend a background and im not happy with the values. So ,any help in moving on or way to improve my work ,maybe something to change .
Interesting how long i had to think about sharing something ,but i feel comfortable here . Hopefully ill have to make copies and try lots of new things. tom!


The first thing I noticed were the eyes and the tilt of the head which appears to be in alignment with the other facial features. It is looking very nice, good job.

Hi Tom! I am still learning a lot, but perhaps I can help a little. I love the facial features and the eyes are great. I have done only one portrait up to now (Apache posted a few days ago). As I was drawing, I had a similar reaction to yours. I had stopped, thinking that I was close to finished. Then I look at the photo I was using and realized that I could still push some of the values further. I ended with a result that pleased me. I think that perhaps you could push the darks a little more. I know it is a little “scary” because one doesn’t want to go too dark and then be unable to revert. But if you take your time, work the darkest areas slowly then step back and “squint” as Matt says, you should be able to judge the progress. For the eyes on my subject, because they were in shadow, I had restart many times before I had the values where they needed to be and with the correct intensity. Still, I think you did a great job in giving the face a lot of life. The treatment of the eyes is very interesting. Wat about the hair? Are you happy with it? I find short hair intimidating (hair in general actually). Some of the marks in the hair seem a little sharp. Perhaps lifting some of the harder lines in the hair would soften it a bit? Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you get to the result you want. I certainly enjoyed this unfinished portrait. Hopefully, some of our more experienced members will chime in with ideas. Good luck! :smiley::handshake:

. Patricia
I saw your Apache Drawing and loved it. Inspired me to actually start a Michael Pate drawing. He played Vittoro in the movie Hondo.
The hair I started with graphite powder and then drew lines. I can see the need for work there. A little rough . It does need to be worked.

The values are where I am not sure how far to go but agree they need to be darker. Possibly some facial lines too.

My inspiration here is a photo and as you mention I’m also trying to capture intensity or story.

The eyes, well I just couldn’t resist trying my new set of color pencils…

Thanks so much for responding, for making suggestions and making this experience so much nicer.


Hi Judy,
I also started trying many mediums but settled for graphite mostly. Looking forward to sharing ideas and making new friends here. I don’t have many works that I really developed mostly things that were ,"let’s see what I can do here"type of drawing s and just drawing along with Matt.
Bye for now,. Tom

I have never worked with graphite powder. I will have to give it a try and see what it is like to work with. Can you explain how this is used?

I have a set of graphite sticks,different values. My first time also so I shaved a little off with a utility knife on a practice sheet and tried using my finger and a q tip to spread. I’m not home for a few days so I cannot tell you the brand but it’s just like a set of pencils without the wood .I think in this drawing I could have made it darker as my reference is .But I’m going to be reworking this drawing so ///////

Pastel background in subtle colors would make the eyes and face pop even more. But other then considering that, I wouldn’t change anything. Great first job! You are an inspiration.

Hello Kari : Had to go back to look this drawing up . Same old subject still has me wondering when i finish a work weather to leave it or try some sort of background. I actually asked Matt to comment on the Members /Minute Butterfly last week. Good timing.
I did recognize your banner from the forum. thanks so much for the suggestion ,i am always grateful for the backup and feel more comfortable going for it. tom

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You may want to consider moving on to new drawing project, store it for now and come back and check it out later. You may decide to keep it as is to show yourself how far you have progressed or you may want to make some changes or do it again. I have been where you are and that helped me. Her eyes are lovely.