I decided to return to human portraits for a while (I started there). I started with a photo in the book Drawing a Likeness by Douglas Graves. He did his on white paper but I like to draw with white, so I used a grey sketchpad, 6B and 3B pencils, and a “white charcoal” pencil, whatever that means. I discovered that unfortunately the white charcoal will not draw on top of graphite no matter what, so if I wanted to add a highlight to a dark area, I had to erase first. I used an erasing shield a lot.
Doing these exercises from the book was helpful because he pointed out the anomalies in the woman’s face, such as the draw of the lips and the mismatched size and shape of the eyes. I did my drawing at the same size as his so I was able to make sure I was on the right track as I went along.