The first step is to decide what reference you want to draw. I took this one! The original is in colour but since we are drawing in graphite I turned it to black and white, so it's easier to distinguish the right darkness in the shadings
For this drawing I used tissues, sharp pencils (for better results), erasers and paper. The pencil I used are B, 3B and 8B.
In this drawing I used the grid technique to draw the sketch/proportions. I'll give a simple example to show you what I mean. In this picture you can see a smiley as a reference. I drew a grid over the reference and the exact same grid(same size and amount) on my drawing paper. As you can see box 1A in the reference is blank, which means 1A in the drawing should be blank too. 2A in the reference is a little part of the eye which means that I should draw that part (same lenght) in box 2A of the drawing as well. Of course with drawing realistic human beings it's a bit more complicated, but you get the idea! :)
Draw the grid very lightly so you can erase it easily. Draw the sketch light as well(same reason). The size and amount of the grid is up to you, as long as the proportions and the amount of the grid on the reference is the same.
I always start of with drawings the eyes. It's not a rule but it's just my personal preference. Make sure that there's shading everywhere (even in the eye white). As you can see the upper eyelid in the darkest (it's probably shadow as well). The waterline is also darker but not as dark. Make sure that the waterline isn't the same darkness.
Now start shading on the nose and the skin area. Note that the nostrils are the darkest parts of the nose. Draw the darker ares just a bit slightly darker. I only used a B pencil to do this. I always use layer to draw everything. The first layer is a layer of B pencil (with few pressure). If I want it darker I keep adding these B encil layers (with the same pressure). I only start using darker pencils when I can't go darker anymore with the B pencil and I need it to be darker. This way you have more control over the darkness
Now draw the mouth and the rest of the skin. I used the same technique using layers. The lips are a bit darker than the skin.
Now we are going to draw the mask, hat etc.
Do not take your darkest pencil (8B in my case) And start drawing as dark as possible. Using layers has a nicer result. As you can see it's darker to draw with layers but it also cover the paper better than with only 8b.
As you can see I started with the first layer. Define the lines around the mask a bit more or you won't bee able to distinguish the mask ans skin anymore (since it has the same tone).
Now add the 3B and 8B for the darkness. You can see in the reference that there's a light on the right side of his face/mask. Gradually go from dark to entirely white.
Do the same with the rest (hat, clothing) using the same layering technique. You can blend the drawing but it's not necessary. That all depends on your taste.
This is the finish in touch. I added scribbles to the hat (to give the illusion of texture) and added some shading to some parts like a bit of the background.
My tip for you is to stay patient. The longer it takes to draw, the better your drawings get!
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