It’s probably not the best idea to title this the final Astrid drawing since I’m probably going to dozens more for the rest of the book series (yes, I’m writing the next one!) but this in the portrait drawing I did of her that I was the most happy with. The first drawing, while I liked the face shape I thought she looked too model-y and the scars a too slapped on.
The second drawing I was happy with the scars but wasn’t happy with the face. It’s was too harsh and I completely messed the hair up. Astrid was meant to have a very elfin face, her eyes were meant to look quite piercing and for the most part she has as bit of a poker face. Any expression is in her eyes.
After sketching out her face on tracing paper I transferred the outline on brown paper, I haven’t used brown paper in ages so it was great to realise just how much I love drawing with it. I’d also bought these pan pastels a few months ago and only really gotten to use then 3-4 times, they were ok to use on white paper but oh my gosh…they’re increadible on brown paper!
The pan pastels made the skin look so life-like!
For the most part I used the yellow and the pink pan pastels, the blue was used a tiny bit as a highlighter and under the eyes. For applying it I used a mixture of makeup brushes which I use just for art and some art brushes.
On brown paper especially I don’t like the use the my finger because it can leave oil stains on the paper which only show up more and more as the drawing get’s older. Also with brushes it’s more like applying makeup to a face and I find that a lot more comfortable.
Before I went ahead and started drawing the full face I did a little tester on a scrap piece of paper
The last thing I wanted to do was to start drawing the full face and mess up. Especially on the lips which really gave me a lot of trouble each time I drew Astrid.
As much as I hate drawing lips eyes are my absolute favourite thing to draw! I’ve always loved drawing them, if the eyes on a drawing aren’t good it kills the whole drawing. You have to make them look alive, and like there is a real character looking back at you through the paper.
A few months ago I bought a white ink pen and since then I always use it to draw the highlights on the eye
It’s my favourite way to add highlights in the eye and a glow around the eyes. That way you can just go ahead and draw the iris and not worry about the reflections. Once the eye is drawn you then add the light.
For the eyebrows I used three different colours and layered them. Hair in general, unless it’s been dyed, is never one colour. So I used a variation of shades to make the hair look a little more realistic.
I didn’t end up drawing her actual hair since it got in the way for the book trailer
For the book trailer we’d tried making an animation older Astrid but it just didn’t work, so I decided I would have do draw it so that I could get the face to look the way I wanted.
And that’s the final drawing! It took three tried to get Astrid looking how I visualised her in my head, but I was really happy with the final result! You can see how I drew the second drawing here.