My latest illustration work is focused on portraits. I mainly sketch the bust of my subjects and work on smooth lines, shading, and perspective.
I always try to include a basic shading line for each portrait, even when it is rudimentary like the lines seen above. This style of basic shading is cartoonish, but gets the job done.
The difference is remarkable when shading is not included. Looking at the above portrait sketch (as well as the one below) there are absolutely no shading lines. As a result the subject looks flat and one dimensional. I think that it seems very cartoonish. The representation is good, but as one of my favorite online illustrators would say: shading allows more features of the face to appear that line work alone does not reveal.
The above sketch uses much deeper shading around all major areas of the subjects face that is eclipsed her her hair. There is still a cartoonish nature to the portrait, but it can be said that my style is improving here.
My preferred style of shading is achieved with the airbrush effect on Autodesk sketchbook. The soft airbrush tip works well, but I also use the hard brush to get deeper definition and more dramatic looks when shading. Above, shading and highlights are visible in the face of the subject. This airbrushed effect give the portrait more dimension and an appealing appearance. It is definitely my favorite sketch of the week.
Which one is your favorite?
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