A Portrait in Pencil

A portrait of a German shepherd dog in pencil on paper

This is my latest portrait, a rescued German Shepherd called Nick.

I do pencil sketches all the time as studies or as preparatory drawings for my portraits and landscapes, but it's been a while since my last formal portrait in pencil.  I used a full sheet of Arches hot press watercolor paper - a very high quality paper which is 100% cotton and as thick as card.

All the areas are built up in layers, just like a painting, except that the drawing is done with a very fine cross-hatching technique.  Here's a close up so you can see more of the detail:

The Arches paper has a lot of sizing which gives the paper some tooth while still being smooth, By keeping the pencils sharp and working with a light touch, the tooth can be preserved and some wonderfully soft edges can be obtained.

I did most of this drawing standing up at my drawing table: I was able to walk around the table and work on the drawing from lots of different angles.

Stay in Touch

Get information about events and special offers delivered to your inbox.

Your Email

Enter your email address to receive occasional emails from Portraits by Simon Bland. You must be at least 18 years old to sign up for the newsletter. Your data will be managed in keeping with our Privacy Policy.