I began with the hat which I have to admit gave me a lot of trouble. I initially began drawing in great detail, every fibre and straw but after several hours I was getting nowhere with it and so decided to 'loosen' up a bit. The initial start then had to be adjusted to match so almost 2 sessions in, all I had to show was this portion of the hat completed
Once I got into the rhythm of the weave of the straw I began to get somewhere with it. Darker than the reference picture and with a slight blur to avoid it looking over fussy, but still with plenty of detail.
Next was the forehead, followed by the eyes. I wanted to give the impression of a sunburned face, so used plenty of depth of tone before adding the texture and wrinkles. Once the eyes are in I get a better idea of tonal values and go back over the forehead to adjust.
Next I begin putting in the hair and beginnings of the beard. I have made good use of my stylo and also the technique of pre-drawing with a very hard, needle sharp 6H pencil which prepares the board so that when I add the 3B and 6B I get realistic hair with depth. I put the ear in next so that I can get the hair which falls on top of it.
Plenty of work on the beard now, I can see the hairline will need to be blended in more to the forehead and tones adjusted on the hair. I also complete the background above the hat to bring it out, add a few highlights and make final detailing.
After the neck is roughly completed I can begin on the clothing. He's wearing a coarse, woolen type of shirt which I achieve firstly by 'painting' with graphite dust using fingers and course tortillon. Then going over with a very sharp 6B in minute swirly motions to create the fibrous texture.
Below is the completed portrait, which can be viewed and purchased on the MightyFineArt website. Quite a moody one and rather striking in real life!