I enjoy drawing in pencil very much: there is so much less to worry about regarding colour and tone when using graphite than working in paint. My friends also seem to appreciate my drawings more than my paintings: maybe they look more professional, maybe, like black and white photography, they just look classier. Either way I get lots of people asking me to do black and white pictures of their children and grandchildren, as well as the occasional grandmother and grandfather.
Here are two old men I drew freehand from photos in the newspaper. The first is actually of the owner of Harrods, Mohammed Al Fayed, but I wasn't interested in getting a likeness. I had seen some interesting cross-hatching in a gallery in Edinburgh and I wanted to have a go at it. If you look closely you can see I employed wavey cross-hatching to build up the shades, I think it turned out quite well. The second was also an interesting photo I found in a newspaper. I like to start a pencil drawing with a hard pencil and then move step by step to softer pencils as the drawing requires deeper and deeper tones. In this way I usually don't have to use an eraser as the hard pencil lines are almost invisible when you get to the 6B-9B. However, I do like to use a putty rubber at the final stages to add highlights. In these two drawings I wasn't concerned about achieving a likeness, but if I had been drawing someone's child I would probably have started by drawing a grid on the photo and paper to get the proportions exactly right, I don't want to offend any parents by making their babies ugly. I'll post some photos of children later this month.