Lemonade Chronicles Life; Gently Squeezed

The Reluctant Smile

In this week’s pencil drawing I take a different approach. Instead of someone famous I attempt to draw an awesome picture of a grandmother. This grandmother was fondly remembered by their grandchild in a Reddit post. The person who posted the picture indicated that their grandmother didn’t really like smiling in photographs, but they were able to capture a smile in a candid photograph. I was moved by the picture and offered to draw it for them.

I feel that I fell short in appropriately representing the grandmother’s smile – I felt the drawing was, while technically good from lighting and shading, a bit dark.

Here’s the process.

First, please enjoy the wonderful picture of the grandmother.

The wonderful candid capture of the smile

Here’s the start of each project – drawing the 1″ x 1″ grid on both the photo and the drawing paper.

1″ x 1″ grids


Here’s a series of photos showing the progress. I erased and redrew the smile six or seven times to try and get it to match the photograph.

Sketching the outlines and features

more features and attempt at the smile


more shading


attempting to add tones to the entire face and more shading


working with light and shading


close up of the shading


one of a few nearly done drawings – it was somewhere in here that I erased and re-drew parts of the smile.


Here’s the final photo.

The Reluctant Smile


What do you think?


Post Navigation