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Blending Blending Demonstration Tortillons

I always begin with the eyes, nose then mouth. Getting these correct is essential, if I don't draw Matt's eyes, Matt's nose and Matt's mouth correctly then I won't have a drawing of Matt... Once happy with these three features I will then go on to "blocking in". So I'm going to draw in the eyes first... almost to completion. I'll start by "blocking in" the shades, although there isn't actually much detail in this particular photograph due to the deep shadows.Remember to keep your shading as tight as possible.

Using the tortillon, I blend together the penciled area around the eyes pulling the colour into the surrounding white area. I prefer to use small circular strokes when doing this.
As the graphite is pulled out, it becomes thinner and gives the required graduation. To build up the tones, apply more colour to the darker areas and repeat the blending and pulling. If your shading is tight enough, all pencil strokes will completely disappear.
Referring constantly to the photograph I determine the growth direction of the eyebrows and using light, short pencil strokes I try to give the impression of hairs. This will be the first of several layers with alternate blending and lifting out of highlights. Even within the shadows, I can see slightly lighter tones, these I will very carefully lift out with the putty rubber  using a mixture of dabbing and soft, stroking movements.

I've now blocked in the 3 main features of the face and I'm fairly confident that I've captured the likeness, although at this stage, it tends to look a little untidy. I can now proceed to block in the rest of the face, using the photograph as reference.