Blessed is the latest in my growing collection of pencil portraits of old women. The complexity of images such as this present technical challenges which require me to work methodically so as to not become overwhelmed by the details that I am presented with.
I begin with the simplest shapes I can find, focussing on the outlines and identifying the main blocks of light and dark. From this point on everything is about refining ever further, and discovering subtleties which only become apparent after prolonged study.
Graphite pencil lends itself to this type of work, as providing it is handled correctly, it will allow for a great many layers to be applied, and also much of these to also be removed and reworked as required.
These six stages of Blessed offer snapshots of the process, condensing many hours at the drawing board into a sequence that I can share with you here.
Many thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his inspiring reference image.