How to Draw James Franco


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STEP 1. Draw the oval lightly with a No.2 or HB pencil. Make sure you draw it as seen in the picture.   STEP 2. Now draw in the bisecting red line to balance his facial features.   STEP 3. Sketch lightly the crescent red lines for hair line and head mass.   STEP 4. You can draw in the lines a. for eyebrows, b. for eyes, c. for nose, d. for mouth, and e. for shoulder placements.   STEP 5. Now draw in James' eyebrows and eyes.   STEP 6. Observe where James' features appear in relation to the guidelines. Draw in his nose and mouth. Don't forget his slight mustache growth.   STEP 7. Watch closely how James' face outline, jawline, chin with a beard growth, and ear relate to the guidelines. As you draw, you will have more accuracy.   STEP 8. When you sketch his hair, add those straight lines and feathered ends. And use short jagged lines for his hairline. Try staying close to the lines that represent the direction & curls of his hair. This will help as you shade it in.   STEP 9. Now draw in the collar of his jacket, shoulder and seams. If you haven't already, you can erase your guidelines.   STEP 10. I made this line drawing especially for you if you don't want to do the pencil shading and blending part. Otherwise, let us continue to the pencil drawing part.   STEP 11. Here is the outline done with a 0.7mm mechanical pencil. Look closely and see if your lines look something like this. You can erase if certain areas like the eyes or nose don't line up. Take you kneaded eraser and dab off the shadow outlines or dark lines with your kneaded eraser for a more realistic look as you shade. Shading transition from dark to light (or visa versa) should be smooth... no harsh lines. Be patient with this, it's not as complicated as you may think. As you do more pictures, this will come easier to you.   STEP 12. This time Acrylics has won! Sandpaper, the new kid on the block has to take a back seat to my wonderful Titanium White or Opaque White Watercolors for HIGHLIGHTS! Yaaaa! Try it, you'll like it!   STEP 13. 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 14. PENCIL STROKES & TONE, SHADING, TEXTURE -- For your convenience, I have inserted this step with different pencils, strokes to use. And you can study the shapes that make up this drawing universe, along with tone, shading, and texture.   STEP 15. Best thing you can do when drawing hair is to establish the general shape then work in the main strands of hair by holding your pencil at a 45 degree angle for stroking and coverage. Then, as in the third picture, you can work in more details. But here's a TIP! Don't draw a straight line for the hairline. Do tiny strokes to represent beginning of hair at its root. Look at real people and see their hairline isn't a straight line. Practice and your picture will look more realistic.   STEP 16. The picture here is a great exercise for value shading. I've got a little secret tip for you to make things easier. You can download this to your desktop. First click on the picture to have access to full size. By right clicking on your mouse, you can select "Save Image As." It should save to your desktop.   STEP 17. After printing out a number of the above template, practice shading in the values like this picture. You become familiar with this shading technique that gives you more control and confidence.   STEP 18. This is the first start with the pastel application. If you do the whole picture in a pencil sketch, this is where you would sketch in small circles or lines to shade the areas. It would take hours upon hours to cover all that area with a pencil. I chose to shade with pastels. In a few strokes I've got area coverage. Applied medium gray to his face. Added dark to light gray to his hair. Charcoal, dark and medium gray was added to his jacket. Looks like a mess, but that's how a some beginning projects will appear. Keep patience with you and keep applying those layers of whites, grays & blacks. You'll have a great outcome.   STEP 19. Here I used my blending stump to "draw" in more lines, add more shading to his hair eyebrows, side of face, neck and jacket with the dark gray pastels. I needed to whiten areas like some hair strands and jacket seams. I did this with a kneaded eraser and white pastel. Then with my blending stump I lightly "drew" in some of his facial hair.   STEP 20. I sketched in more fine facial hairs with my 9B and 0.7mm pencils. With the 0.7mm mechanical pencil (HB lead), I defined the hair strands. I applied 9B to darkly shaded areas in his hair, eyebrows and eyes. Blending with my stump, I added more charcoal gray pastels under his jacket collar and inside his neck area. Also the kneaded eraser helped to lighten the jacket seams and lip shine. After those adjustments, I sprayed the picture with "Krylon Workable Fixatif" to adhere the pencil & pastel to the paper for a non-smudging and workable surface.   STEP 21. Basically, I added more highlights with Opaque Watercolor to his hair strands and corrected his collar seams and zipper. I previously covered the incorrect white seam in the collar and found it was too high, according to my ref pic. After darkening it, I drew another two straight lines to define the seams with white opaque water color. Then I sprayed my picture again to make it easier to apply the background without smudging James Franco.   STEP 22. "Faint!" I could do the dance of joy. I have finally FINISHED!!! Basically, I covered my background with medium and light gray pastels to mimic a cloudy look. I smoothed the background with a tissue, leaving that textured look. Then I took my Kneaded Eraser to make circular shapes. To help out with specific areas of highlights, tone, texture, etc., the next two following steps will show you.   STEP 23. Without highlights, your picture would have a flat appearance. Click on this picture to learn how to make your own picture POP out!   STEP 24. Click on this picture to see how Tone, Shading, Texture, and Reflective Light affects James Franco who is a multi-talented and amazing actor that portrayed movie legend James Dean. I am closing out now. But you all have been wonderful and it has been a great pleasure to do this tutorial with you. Please fav, comment, and show your love here. And I will definitely reply back soon or eventually. Love, peace, happiness, success, and more beautiful days to ya! *hug* *blowkiss*   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.