Note the realism in the following violin drawings. I was commissioned to do this portrait of a musician from my home town.
This is a preliminary pencil study of the instrument and the hand. For the instrument, I used Staedtler 3B, 4B, 5B and 6B pencils. I wanted the soft leads to capture the sheen of the wood.
Before I started the charcoal piece, I wanted to familiarize myself with the construction of the instrument. Ironically enough, I think that this preliminary drawing stands on its own.
For the final drawing, charcoal was applied with Staedtler 3B and 5B charcoal pencils. I also used an HB charcoal pencil for drawing some sharp edges.
The biggest difference between the pencil preliminary and the final charcoal drawing is the improvement I made on the head of the instrument.
Close observation reveals a complicated pattern of highlights which fall across the curved wooden construction of the intrument.
Each highlight is contrasted against a very dark area. This contrast creates a three-dimensional sense of realism.
After the charcoal was applied, brushes were used to imply the smooth wood textures of the instrument. Depending on your monitor, you may or may not see hints of striations in the wood. These were drawn with an HB pencil.
Throughout the entire drawing, I paid close attention to the complicated construction of the instrument. Note the following arrows on the drawing:
#1: Dark areas indicate where the wood curves inward.
#2: Highlights indicate where the wood curves outward.
#3: Note the detailed pattern of highlights in this area.
#4: Ornately curved construction combined with subtle lighting, make the head of the violin convincingly real.
#5: Curved sound-hole adds realism and a subtle contrast in this area.
#6: Sharply delineated lines add contrast, and they clarify the shape of the instrument.
Check out these other violins.