This was a portrait commissioned as a birthday present. The birthday was today, so I can now blog about it. I hear the recipient liked it a lot, too, which pleases me greatly. I like a satisfied customer!
I didn't take many progress scans (purely due to laziness on my part, my father likes to use the top of the scanner as a shelf, and there was so much stuff on it, and most of the time I couldn't be bothered moving it...) but here's a brief progress animation, with three stages – at 2 hours, 15 hours and 22 hours.
The original photo reference had a tshirt (visible in the sketch above) but I eventually changed that to a more draped neckline, which I thought gave a more elegant effect and faded into the background better. Most of my time, I must admit, was spent on the hair, which looked rather softer in reality than it does on the scan...
All up, it took about 22 hours, and I used a #B 0.5 mechanical pencil and an #8 solid graphite pencil, with various blending tools and erasers. For more information on my portraiture materials, you can view my tutorial on deviantArt (I've added cotton makeup remover pads to the lineup since I wrote this back in 2007)