The first thing I do when starting a new piece is to find the perfect reference photo. Believe it or not, I enjoy every part of the drawing process, including the subject selection. It wasn’t difficult to choose this subject because he’s my darling nephew. I also enjoyed taking the photo of him sinking his teeth into a juicy homegrown watermelon. Grandpa is the happy grower of watermelons in our family. You should see the watermelon parties he throws!
I have two references to choose from. I selected the second photo because of the expression on the little boy’s face. Plus it shows how much he likes watermelon because the piece is eaten almost to the rind.
I then take the color photo and turn it into black and white in Photoshop.
The second thing I look for in a photo reference is the lighting. This one didn’t quite have enough contrast, so I adjusted the the lighting. The reference I’m showing you already has the lighting adjusted. I may still darken the left side of his face once I start working on the drawing. I will also take out the chair in the background. I may or may not put a background in. That will come to me later.
So, I’m getting anxious to start this jewel of a piece. The Drawing Board will be empty for 2 or 3 weeks for summer break. Next time it returns, there will be more fun and exciting drawing tips.
I’ll show you some step by step information on how this piece takes shape from how the eyes, nose, hair, and eyes are done, to how shading and contrast is very important.
Enjoy your summer!