Portrait Pencil Drawing - Photo reference guide & tips

Just about everything that makes a great pencil portrait drawing is a good photo reference or multiple references. We suggest choosing photos that best display subjects personality & features. Something unique, quirky or even cheesy create brilliant pencil drawn portraits.

Using More than one image

Multiple references are great also we can combine photos to create group drawings of multiple subjects, however, we suggest being mindful when doing this best method is to find images that have similar perspectives and lighting. (It looks kinda odd, somewhat disjointed if they don't match up)

Removing details, adding details

During the process of the drawing we can also remove or add certain details you may wish to take out of the photo or something added or changed. (remove necklace, add a different background, remove leashes on pets etc)  Make sure you describe what you would like done in the brief so we can best decide how to use the photos supplied. Again be mindful of perspectives and lighting.

Original Portrait - pencil portrait drawingsDog Portrait Drawing - Pencil portrait drawing

What to look for when choosing reference photos

Good contrasting photos with natural light source casting nice shadows of the subject work the best. Close-ups and focused photos (not blurry) enable us to gain a lot of detail within our pencil portrait drawings, that and a having a high-resolution image all help better represent in the final piece. We'll go as far as drawing skin pores, peoples unique wrinkles etc if it's something that will enhance the overall drawing within our detailed realistic pencil drawings.
High-quality full resolution photos help a lot when doing the finer details enabling us to zoom into certain details, we can only do so much with a poor quality photo and if that's all you have we may suggest getting a sketch rather than a detailed drawing. If unsure just contact us and we'll suggest the better option on the photos, you've supplied.

Digital Proofing

We can and do apply photo corrections and edit photos using Photoshop and other drawing applications to achieve an overall better result come time to draw. When ordering the detailed portrait drawing you will receive a digital proof of how your drawings will look like regarding lighting, shading, and composition.

We find doing a digital proof and correct things with you during earlier stages rather than during drawing or after drawing process. Drawing on paper and erasing with many changes will damage the fibers of the paper which neither I nor you would like. That's why we like to start digital then finish with a handmade pencil drawing.

Original - Pet Dog Pencil Portrait Drawing Dog portrait drawing - Pet Dog Pencil Portrait Drawing

Rather us check the images?

Just remember better the reference photo is, better detailed the result will be. Your satisfaction is important to us if any of this confuses you? or unsure of the photos quality contact us, we'll check them out and help you choose before you even commit to an order.