Viking/Saxon pencil drawing

Viking study – OK not an animal drawing this time. I have a very keen interest in history of all periods. So it is natural that I get drawn to draw/paint historical subjects.

Generally I like to use my own references when possible. However at present I do not have any of Vikings or Saxon reference etc.

Reference is from a DeviantArt member Random-Acts-Stock. What drew me to the image was all the different textures.

It was also a good exercise in drawing the human face. Drawing human faces is something that I struggle with. I find getting noses, lips and chins correct quite a challenge. Lucky for me, this guy has a big bushy beard. This really helped to simplify his face. I only needed to concentrate on his eyes and nose.

I did not employ any smudging of the graphite in this drawing. My method was to build up very light layers of graphite, and then remove graphite with a putty rubber or blu-tak.

I picked up the trick of using Blu-Tak from Mike Sibley. You use it in the same way as a putty rubber, but the result is slightly different. It’s one of those methods you have to try to see how it works for you. I would suggest using a well used lump of blu-tak as it will have less oil in it.

As I don’t normally draw the human form this turned out well. I’m especially happy with his beard. But I guess that is like drawing long fur. The texture of his iron helmet is another part of this drawing that was fun to do and looks like metal.

By not smudging/blending his skin, I feel it gives him a rough and tough appearance, which suits the drawing well.

So overall I’m very happy with this Viking study.


Stuart Fowle is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

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