Dad sketch



Liza Visagie taught me how to do this. There is no way I could have done this without her patient guidance and inspiration

Employer: Self
Client: Dad
Project: Sketch for Drawing Fundamentals class


This was the second portrait I’ve ever drawn. The first was three months earlier in Drawing for Illustration class. It was a copy of a black and white photo of Yoko Ono! I’ll post that here soon to show the growth in my skill set, especially with the toning.

The grid and the outline was a challenge because I had to look at my dad’s face objectively in terms of shapes, lines and negative space instead of my ideas of what the happy expression meant to me, this is my dad, etc.


I chose my dad as the subject to make it more personal. Liza told us if the subject is more personal we’re more likely to put our heart and soul into the drawing. Which I did.

I spent six hours on the outline and grid. There was lots of erasing but I made sure I had all the measurements and proportions correct before I did the toning.

I allowed myself a couple of hours over three days to play with the toning. This method gave me perspective and saved me from erasing something that was actually fine.


The toning was so fun! The method we used of starting light and gradually going darker really made this come alive for me. I have a progression photo I’ll add a photo here later to show the first stage of the toning when I thought I was finished the drawing.

I still can’t believe I drew this! The best part was framing the original and sending it to my dad for his seventy-tooth (his words) birthday! He was speechless.

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