Pencil drawing: a lady gardener

Pencil on A4 paper

Moderately pleased with this piece. It definitely took me a while to warm to cross-hatching with pencil in this drawing. I always have the uncomfortable sense that since this is not a pen I should not be using it like a pen. I think from the neck down it is very strongly drawn. My issue with the way I drew her face is that the style is slightly incongruous with the rest of the drawing. In other words, the shading on her face is a little overdone, and, although delicately delineated, her features lack boldness and definition. The unwavering confidence of the lines which shade her apron are the best part of this drawing. Ultimately, the creases on her apron stand out more than her face and its expression. This is not how I wanted it to be.

I must remember to never begin a portrait drawing with the face. Since the face is the focal point, it is best I ‘warm up’ first and personalise my approach by shading something easy, like fabric. This will lead to greater consistency of style across a drawing.

Reference for this drawing was taken from Vogue magazine. I chose to draw this woman because she has a very memorable face and is posed very elegantly in her gardening apron and wellington boots. She has a curious expression on: one half of her mouth is turned slightly up and the other is level, making her look subtly playful and interested. Her eyes are very deeply and closely set, and her nose inclines to her right the tiniest bit. She looks peaceful but alert. This drawing took about 6.5 hours.

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