When we think of Lucy, most often we think of her as the zany, wacky “I Love Lucy” from the 1950’s television show and never realize that she was a stunning model before she found her comedic niche as a redhead. The graphite drawings below are progression shots of my rendering of Lucille Ball. I worked on this at the end of 2013 and finished and framed it earlier this year. The goal was to see how far I could push the use of graphite pencil to render a photo realistic image and I think it turned out very nice. (Oh! What would it be like to take a class from Dirk Dzimirsky when he is in the U.S.! Check out his incredible work here)
This project took over 40 hours to complete and had some challenges to say the least.
In my studio in Draper, Utah: Below is the rough sketch of Lucille with the original magazine reference. Getting the proportions correct was crucial at this stage.
This closeup below is after all of the major lines were roughed in.
Working on facial details below… If the eyes aren’t right, might as well rip it up and start over.
To get the earring to look like polished silver was particularly tricky. Eventually I had to lift some graphite off the neck that was too dark.
And the completed portrait below…
“All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup” (below). You would think hair would be easier than an eye, but you would be wrong.
What a fun piece this was!