The first step is picking a nice reference. This picture is originally in colour, but to make it easier I turned it black and white. I usually print the reference, but that is not necessary. In this drawing I used paper, a tissue, an eraser and only one pencil. I only used a Bpencil this time, because I know that an 8B pencil (or any pencil like that) isn't always withing reach for many of you. But I do recommend using more than one grade, to get better realism
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! :)
As you can see, this is my sketch. I erased the grid already. Erasing the entire grid isn't always necesarry but since her skin is very light it's better to erase it in advance or the grid will show through.
I started off with drawing the left eye. Her eyes are very dark in this drawing. Draw the eyebrows quiet dark and add some dark shadings between the eyelid and eyebrow. Draw the eyelid line very dark (especially in this picture) and of course add eyelashes. Her eyelashes are often very long, so make sure not to forget them! I went on to draw a tiny part of the right eye. the space between the eyelid and eyebrow is entirely dark!
Now we move on the the right eye. This one is even darker. As you can see, even the eye-white on the right side of the iris is very dark. The only things that are close to white in this part, is the eyelid and the eye-white in the left corner. Everything else is fairly dark. But make some parts a bit darker (like the eyebrow) so you can still see differences.
I blended the skin around the eye a bit (this is optional) to give it a smooth look. Now we'll draw the nose. I usually start with drawing the nose thrills. They are always the darkest parts of the nose. As you can see in the reference the light source comes from the left which means there's more darkness on the right side (also why the right eye was darker). So you can add more darkness to the right side and also a shadow from her nose.
We are almost done drawing the facial features. The upper lip isn't very hard to draw. start of with drawing a dark line between the upper and lower lip. fill in the upper lip with some layers of graphite. There aren't many different shades in this part, so it's pretty easy.
Now the harder part: the lower lip. She's quiet known for her full lips. We can achieve this with shadings and highlights. Draw the bottom of the lower lip a bit dark and fill in the rest of the lips. Add one higlight to the lip (in the middle) with an eraser. The higlight is white.
We won't be drawing skin shades in this drawing except for the darker shadows around the face and the neck. Why? Because the contrast in the pick is quiet high and the whiteness can make the picture look more soft. The area on her neck is of course dark because it's the shadow of the chin.
Drawing the hair is difficult. You don't want to draw every single strand there is because that just takes way too long, while you can do it a lot quicker. What you need to do now is add shadings. No strands or highlights yet, we'll add those later. Of course you can call it done at this point, but keep reading to make the hair more realistic.
Take your tissue and blend the shadings. It doesn't have to be very smooth or precise, as long as it is a bit blended. Now take your (sharp) pencil and add some strands! Follow the direction of the hair and add more strands to darker parts and less strands to lighter areas. Drawing hair is very time consuming, but you'll get better results once you put more time in it. As you can see with adding shades before the strands, it takes a lot less time but same (or even better) results to achieve realistic hair!
This is the finish in touch! Take out your eraser and add some highlights to the hair. I also added the ring by "scribbling" the diamonds and added more darkness at parts where I thought it was necessary.