How to Draw Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock Holmes


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STEP 1. This tutorial is completely in PENCIL! Let's start with the tools. I'm in love with the Monolith 9B graphite pencil sticks. It's nice, black, smooth on the surface and makes such great dark lines. And a No.2 pencil isn't bad either--great for details and light shading. The great thing about .7mm mechanical pencil is you never need to sharpen it... just change the lead when it runs out. Kneaded erasers are charms. Kneaded erasers can make great highlights like the pupil's catch lights, or shine in hair. But you need patience with it because you need to mold it & sometimes you have stroke a few times before getting your results. Blending stumps do just that... blend and so does tissue paper for large areas.   STEP 2. The picture that goes with this step shows two different ways to hold your pencil to acquire certain effects. OVERHAND: Holding a sharpened pencil in normal writing form with fingers in the middle or near the lead gives you great control and thin/detailed strokes. UNDERHAND: Holding the pencil at a 45 degrees or near level to the table with end of pencil under your palm with pencil on the flat side, gives you large shading coverage. With the No.2 pencil, you have the exposed lead side to shade with. But for a wider swath, use that Cretacolor Monolith graphite pencil with no wood casing. The whole sharpened portion is all lead, like in the step's picture. Practice the toning values to help you with control.   STEP 3. The strange crescent shape on the oval is just a reminder that his hair will be there. Also in bisecting line (down the middle of the face) and parallel lines in the next picture are to help with eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth placement. Right now, drawing in this general shape makes it easier to sketch in the details later.   STEP 4. FIRST PICTURE: If you are doing a professional picture and need accuracy, this has helped me tremendously. This is MY TIP of the day and it is LONG! Skip it if you want to. Those crazy lines help with placement too. Don't get me wrong, I mess up majorly most times. What? I can hear you say, "Your pictures are near perfect!" Not when I'm working on them. If you feel something strange in your gut about your picture, put it up to the mirror. That'll tell you. Also take your reference pic and put it in the mirror too... what a big difference! To measure out where the features go, take an envelope, piece of paper or a ruler (straight edge)... anything to vertically represent your line placement and try this: Take your reference pic, put the straight edge against the edge of the smile line and see where it lands near the eye. Then do the same on your drawing, if it doesn't land in the same place, adjust. Don't give up. Take a deep breath and work slowly. It's like molding clay. SECOND PICTURE: You've erased the guidelines and other distracting lines. Your picture won't look exactly like this, but remember my picture is only a guide... that's it. Now we are going to start with shading.   STEP 5. Start shading with a pencil, even a No. 2 pencil will do well. Shade diagonally around the eyes. Also fill in the pupils, leaving some catchlights. Stroke the eyebrows in, giving a hairy appearance . You can give sketch lines under his right eye facing you for wrinkles.   STEP 6. Continue to shade in the white of his eyes below the guidelines. Shade more under the eyebrows. Do this lightly. Also sketch in his forehead wrinkles. Make sure the wrinkles right above his eyebrows curve along with them. I have not blended yet. I'm just adding more lines and make sure your pencil stays sharpened as you shade. The next step will have a closeup of the shading progression of Benedict's eyes.   STEP 7. You can see closely how the shading progresses. 1. Simple eyebrows and eyes. 2. Shading and shaping begins. 3. More lines and looking at the reference. 4. Darkening the eyebrows, eyes, and adding more shadow & shading to skin to match reference. 5. Blending of sketch. 6. Darkening of shadows (because blend lightened the picture) & adding highlights with eraser. Notice how the iris is slightly covered by the upper lid. And the reason for so much shading around the eye is because it is sunken in a socket. TIP: When shading, in a corner or darker edge area, start dark then allow your stroking to become lighter as you progress out. This works in small stroke progression or circular shading.   STEP 8. Now let's add more detail to the nose. Those pyramid type of lines help to place the shading. The tip of the nose is darkened for definition. Can you see how the basic shape of the nose is triangular? Hopefully, this will make it easier to draw.   STEP 9. Go ahead and lightly shade with diagonal strokes. Now using a .7mm HB or even 2B lead in the mechanical pencil is great. It doesn't wear down, you don't have to sharpen it, and it's quality remains the same.   STEP 10. Here you can more easily capture the shading progression of the nose. If you need to, lighten the outline of the nose with your (kneaded) eraser.   STEP 11. Here we are starting with the mouth. The basic image is there and tweaking, erasing hasn't happened yet. Just shade lightly at a diagonal slant. His upper lip is defined by this process. Also add a dark shadow on his lower lip.   STEP 12. Branch out to shade his cheek lines and lower part of lip. Look at my picture as a reference to see where the lower lines of the lip takes form. Also shading has started on his chin.   STEP 13. Here is the shading progression for the lips. In picture 4, you can use the 9B graphite pencil to add darkness to where the lips meet. Picture 6 is the end result of blend and highlight/darkening details.   STEP 14. I simply added curls to his hair. Notice how everything starts out real simple then I build up on the picture. Always look at the reference, draw from it, and observe the placement of your shapes.   STEP 15. Here is the beginning of shading the hair. The strokes are curved and go along with the basic shape of the hair groups.   STEP 16. When you start darkening the hair, you'll notice doing it in layers gives a realistic look. Darken as you go along, looking at your reference. The next step will give you tips on shading hair with strokes. Also branch out and add a slightly darker shadow to his scarf.   STEP 17. When you follow the arrows as you fill in his hair, it adds realism. Why? A realistic texture is added to your hair using this technique. The hair shouldn't appear flat. TIP: When you start a stroke with your pencil, the beginning pressure is harder and ends up thicker at the base. As you finish the end of the stroke, it is lighter and tapers off much like a paint stroke. That is why it's much easier to get the dark to light appearance starting the stroke from the darkest area.   STEP 18. Keep adding those hair strokes in the direction of the curls. It helps to keep looking at the reference and not assuming where the lines flow.   STEP 19. Sketch lightly over his face with your No.2 pencil. Do diagonal strokes or small circles. This technique adds color to his skin. You can add texture to his scarf by small lines. Make sure your pencil is sharp. Now those thicker lines on his lapel is added by a 9B graphite pencil. It's softer and the lead becomes blunt really fast to give those thicker lines.   STEP 20. Here, add knots to his scarf, shade a little with your pencil (No.2). What I've done is add the really dark shading with the 9B graphite pencil to his lapel and hair.   STEP 21. The blending stump can work miracles for your picture. Use the skinny, tiny one for small areas, like around the eyes, in the nose and mouth. The larger stump can blend larger areas, even the cheek areas and skin tone area. Now if you want a really smooth and can risk that area to appear lighter, use some soft tissue. That really breaks down the graphite lines to a smooth finish. I've used a blending stump to darken the light hair areas.   STEP 22. It does take time a patience to do a full-blown pencil portrait like this. Since the blending lightened areas of the drawing, you need to darken the shading like his hair, side of face, scarf and lapel. Add more nubs to his scarf, dab with kneaded eraser to add highlights to the nubs and pattern on his lapel. This gives a great textured look. Don't forget to give a reflective light on the side of his face. I love those tiny techniques that add POP to a picture.   STEP 23. Here is a nice closeup of the detailed progression of his ear. As you can see in the 4th picture, his hair has been darkened and skin tone added. The 6th picture is the completed process.   STEP 24. I've darkened the side of his face and hair more. Make sure you take your kneaded eraser and leave some highlights in his hair and at the edge of his face. Adding the background darker at the edges and lightening it as you get to his face makes Benedict as Sherlock Holmes pop out more. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8. Step 9. Step 10. Step 11. Step 12. Step 13. Step 14. Step 15. Step 16. Step 17. Step 18. Step 19. Step 20. Step 21. Step 22. Step 23. Step 24.