Figured I'd show a bit of insight on how I achieve my finished drawings. My process has changed over time but I think I've finally set in on something that works for me. So here we go....
First is a pencil sketch of the subject (in this case Denzel Washington of course). I use a 2H lead pencil for this stage. My paper of preference is regular 8.5x11 printer paper. Sketching with most of my shoulder and NOT my wrist. This helps me identify the shapes of his face. Also I move all over the place. I don't focus on one portion of his face until I have established an overall likeness. After a likeness is established I do a bit of shading with the pencil to give it some form.
This is the final pencils stage. As you can see I have added shading (and cross hatching) to establish different planes of the face and give it some volume. In the past I have been guilty of just cross hatching for the sake of it. Just for the "sketch" look. As I've grown as an artist I've realized the futility of such efforts. For this stage I use two different mechanical pencils. A .9mm HB lead for the overall line work and shading, and a .5mm HB lead for the details and tight areas.
This stage is usually where I stop if I'm posting to my FB page. What I have done here is scanned the final pencils drawing, isolated the line work in Photoshop, and gave a color tone to the pencil work. This is a bit more appealing to look at than regular grayscale sketches. Although sometimes I do prefer the original white and gray look.
This final stage is a quick addition of highlights is helpful to set up the drawing for painting. I'm not sure when, but I do plan on doing a digital painting of this one. These highlights are added in Photoshop on a separate layer using the default round brush with the flow and opacity dropped down a bit. Also I'm using a graphics tablet for all my digital painting work. Would be nearly impossible to do this kind of work without one.
Well that's all for now. Hope this was helpful to. Happy New Year!
"1 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11