Drawing Tips: Skin Texture

Lee Jeffries Drawing
Lee Jeffries-Bearded Man

This is my first ever hyper-realistic piece I have ever attempted. The original photograph was taken by the talented photographer, Lee Jeffries. I have had multiple questions regarding how I managed to get the skin texture down, so here is my answer: People have their own ways, so mine may or may not be the best way to do so. Anyway, I first start with the basic layer of graphite by brushing it on with various sizes of round tip brushes. Use a kneadable eraser to soften value transitions. To get a more realistic skin texture, I take my light-leaded pencil (typically a 2H graphite pencil) and make small circular motions because skin is not perfectly smooth when you look at it in real life. The pores are extremely dark in the reference image, so I dipped my thin blending tortillion into my pastel cake and made dots where the dark pores are. If needed, I lighten up just below a pore to make it more pronounced. The whitest highlights can either be done with white acrylic paint or white gel pen.

Hope this helps, and happy drawing!

Melanie Tassone

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