I used 5B/6B pencils for this tutorial. Either one works for sketching and shading. If you don't have these pencils you can use any type of pencil that you have.
Start off by sketching a female model. This sketch serves as a starting point for designing your fairy. Start the sketch off with a basic figure. You can use the approximated markers that I used to help you with proportions. I made my fairy about 7 and 1/2 heads tall.
Roughly sketch in the body's form. Don't bother too much details.
Use bold lines to outline the body. Your anatomy doesn't need to be perfect. As long as it looks like a person you're doing fine.
Sketch in a basic idea of what your fairy's wings are going to look like. I based my wings off of dragon fly wings. It's really up to you. You can be as creative or as simplistic as you want to be.
Define the wings with bold lines now. Try to erase your guidelines if you need to.
Time to sketch in the clothing. Again, get as creative as you want to here. I kept the clothing fairly simple.
Define you lines again and clean up the sketch with an eraser.
For this step I applied a rough layer of graphite using powdered graphite and a brush. If you don't have powdered graphite, you can lightly and roughly shade over your drawing in a cross-hatch pattern then blend it in with a blending stump, some paper towel, or a soft cloth.
Finish up the sketch by adding some really basic highlights with an eraser. You now have a template/design for a fairy. You can still modify the design when you reference it later, but I think it's always nice to have a point of reference when drawing anything fictitious.
Start sketching in a female form using the same techniques as before. Start with a basic stick figure and add on basic shapes/forms.
Start defining the body with slightly bolder lines. Work from top to bottom.
Finish defining the body. It's up to you to decide how detailed or accurate the body is. I didn't stress too much about anatomy when drawing this sketch. Lightly sketch in some guidelines for the wings after you are finished with the body.
Define your wings during this step. Once your wings look the way you want them to erase some of your guidelines to make the sketch a bit cleaner.
Now start sketching in more features and details to the top half of the fairly. Sketch in any clothing and accessories.
Using bolder lines, start defining your fairy from top to bottom. Again, don't worry about making everything perfect since this is just a sketch. Just try to make your lines as clean as possible.
Sketch in the rest of her clothing. Get as creative as you want just don't add too much detail yet.
Finish your line work and erase as many of your unneeded guidelines as possible. From this step you can do just about anything with this sketch. You can color it, paint it, shade it, or just leave it as is. The choice is yours.
For this step I used a big brush to roughly add some powdered graphite to my drawing. You can use the same technique used in the previous sketch to add shading here. I used powdered graphite mainly because of how large this drawing is. It would have taken quite a bit of time for me to apply rough shading using just a pencil.
I used a kneaded eraser here to add some rough highlights. Work from top to bottom.
Using my 6B pencil, I added basic shading to the fairy above the waste. You can smooth out your shading with a blending stump or tortillion if you so chose.
Use an eraser to add some basic highlights to the wings. You can add all sorts of cool patterns to the wings here.
Add some basic shading to the wings during this step. Don't worry too much about getting your shading perfect.
Finish up the sketch by adding basic shading to the rest of the fairy. You can go over your background a bit if you want it smoother. You can also lightly blend over the drawing with some paper towel or a cloth to soften up your shading. I really hope you enjoy this sketch as much as I did. Let me know if you try this tutorial out and have any comments or questions about it!
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