Drew Barrymore’s portrait drawing, step by step photos!

Here are the promised photos of the different steps of my recent drawing.
This was the most complicated thing I have ever drawn! That much patience was something I hadn’t before, usually preferred to get results soon, but this time had to wait something like 20 days or so to finish the work. I spent approx. 25-28 hours on this energy consuming never ending artwork!

By the way, does anyone know if these types of drawings can be sold? I guess they can’t be, ’cause the photo used as model very probably is copyrighted, but if you know more please let me know, I’m just curious, thanks!

This time to get the right proportions I used the grids! That may not seem very professional, but believe me, that was a new discovery for me!!! πŸ˜€
Guess how much time I wasted before to get the right proportions, and it was never exactly what I wanted. Using the grids I could easily draw the principle lines and get the right proportions. Pretty neat!
And again my cheap magical mechanical pencil helped me a lot to create the craziest details of this portrait, on a smooth Fabriano paper. For the fine lights, and the light lines of hair I used Pelikan white gum eraser, cheap and neat!
Didn’t use any other material to draw this portrait, only a pair of tired eyes, decorated with vivid red veins for the lack of sleep, and my drawing-thirsty hand! πŸ˜€ And of course the photo of Drew Barrymore as the model, guess she was very younger when this photo was taken.

Hope you enjoy viewing all the different stages of this portrait, and the final result.
Looking forward to reading your comments and opinions.


12 thoughts on “Drew Barrymore’s portrait drawing, step by step photos!

  1. You have a wonderful eye, and a beautiful technique which somehow softens the hyper-realism of the work. Using a grid is very professional, by the way. DaVinci and Michelangelo both used them. Copying someone’s photo and posting it, even if you don’t intend to sell it, can get you in a lot of trouble with the photographer however. Even if you change it a bit, you can still get in trouble. Look up the recent news on Seth Fairey for an example. He just ended (and lost) a long expensive court battle trying to defend himself for “borrowing” an AP photographer’s photo to create a stylized portrait of Obama for a poster back in 2008.The issue is usually described as “fair use” or “appropriation art” and lawyers could write whole books about it because the case law is so difficult to interpret. Play it safe–find out who the photographer is, and ask permission. They will probably ask for a fee to let you use their work. Better yet, take your own photos and never have to think about it at all.

    Finally, thanks for visiting my blog and allowing me to appreciate your work! Take care, and don’t get discouraged by thinking you are limited in subject matter. Friends can also be a good source of photo material–just put out a call to them and see what comes in!

    • Thank you so much for your very kind comment and useful information. I had no idea about it, as I’ve seen thousands of portrait drawings on internet using Google search. Only on deviantart.com you can find many high quality drawings of celebrities which convince you there are no problems in publishing those drawings until you make no commercial use of them.
      I studied the case you’ve mentioned, this person has gained money by his posters, they were also published on magazines, and he also obtained much fame. Maybe the cases of poor unknown artists which use stuff only for practicing wouldn’t create that much trouble. πŸ™‚ However as you wisely suggested I will take my own photos for my future practices, but don’t know what to do with my previous posts, should I delete all my drawings? It won’t be easy to find all the photographers, and however I’ve already published my drawings.

      Once again thank you very much for taking the time to help me. And thanks for your up-lifting words.
      It was a pleasure for me to visit your beautiful blog. Really love your latest work. Looking forward to seeing the completed painting and more of your works.

      • I think you’re probably OK as long as the drawings are only for your personal use. I have sketchbooks full of portrait practice from photos in Elle and other fashion magazines. But they’re in my flat files and will stay there…not for sale or exhibit. Probably nothing will happen unless you try to sell them. Galleries certainly would want to know that you had permission and/or paid the photographer’s license fees. It’s really hard if you want to specialize in celebrities to get good photos without spending a lot of money. However, I think a lot of artists (not necessarily you) have no idea of the time and work and expense involved in becoming a professional photographer. This is their life’s work, and they don’t want to give it away (read: work for free) any more than a fine artist does. There’s an attitude that if it’s on the internet, it must be free for anybody to copy it or do anything else they want to with it. I think it all started with music sharing sites, and went on from there, so I do understand it, but it’s wise to try to avoid unnecessary trouble.

        I do think you can do some stunning portraits of non-celebrities for free if you develop relationships with friends who are willing to share their photos. There’s lots of good stuff out there, it just requires networking. Which in the long run is good for you because the more people you know who also know what you do, the better chance you have of finding outlets to sell your work. If you take your own photos, you will also develop a really good sense of what makes a great picture, and an appreciation for the effort that goes into it. You don’t need a fancy camera to start out, just a good eye–which you already have in abundance!

        • I didn’t intend to offer these portraits to any galleries. For me sharing these files on my blog is mainly a way to receive comments from artists or people who have other point of views, to know how my work is improving. I’m a self thought portraitist, friends always give nice comments, but I’d like to know what other artists or art lovers think about my work, positive comments give me lots of energy and motivation to go on, and critics help me a lot to improve. I don’t have the luck which many artists have, the chance to dedicate myself to art, otherwise I would have not been here, would have my tutors and teachers to correct and guide me or criticize my works. This is a very hard period in my life and every comment means a lot to me. Besides, I’m receiving many visits a day mostly by people who are looking for celebrity drawings. That means that there are many people out there who love to learn more on drawing their favorite celebrities, and my drawings would be a guide or comparing point for them. I know what you mean, and I agree. Photographers don’t become professionals easily, but I believe that the value of a painting or drawing doesn’t necessarily depend on the professionalism of the photographer. And drawing or painting using a photo is not like stealing someone else’s work, you put a lot of effort and time to create your artwork (without earning any money), and to draw celebrities you don’t have any other way, they won’t come to your house and ask you for a portrait ;D

          Consider an architect who designs a very beautiful building and after the building is constructed some photographers take beautiful photos of this building and they publish them on several magazines, earning money, etc. Well, the idea, and efforts to create the subject has been of the architect, can he put these photographers into a case because they have used his work without his permission? I think it’s a very complicated matter. However I’m not going to use any other photo as my model for drawing, without first obtaining its photographer permission. I think I’m gonna sculpt for a while now. You’re right about the friends, but among all my family and friends there is no one who’d like to have their portraits published online. That’s why many artists use celebrity photos as their models.

          Just tried to explain some aspects of this issue that not everyone may think of. Many thanks for taking the time to help me. Best wishes.

  2. I love how you posted all of your steps. It’s cool to see how you progressed from almost a blank piece of paper to a completed drawing. This would be great to help inspire other artists who may need some guidance to go about drawing a portrait. Very inspirational πŸ™‚

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