Time: ~10 hours
This was by far the most challenging drawing I’ve done to date. I absolutely got immersed in it and enjoyed every minute of it. There were a couple points in the drawing I wondered if I had gotten in above my head (esp. around the eye and the bottom of the trunk) but I took my time, did what I could and was pleased with the finished product. I did it in a 6X6 size so I can frame it.
I started in the upper left hand corner and worked my way down, then across, then back up. I did this so I wouldn’t smear my graphite across the paper as I was drawing. I ended up doing the eye and detailing last, then shaded over the whole drawing in a couple spots. I have had a few people ask me how I get so much depth and shading, and the answer is really using your graphite. The darkest pencil I have is 6B.. I used that for the darkest spots, and the lightest pencil I used was a 2H. I also have a paper (I use Strathmore or Canson) that can hold up to 20 layers of pencil, and I think that definitely helps. And as always, I use a kneaded eraser to do my highlights.. it makes it so simple, because I tend to smear a lot.
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!