Progress image showing the development of the portrait.
Progress of Hanna – See more of my illustrations

Portrait of Hanna

By Mathias – Apr 26, 2020
In Sketching – Regarding , ,

I was supposed to write blog posts way earlier than this when I got my site up. But for various reasons I stalled. Anyway, better late than never. So here’s to my first post!

A couple of days ago I felt that I needed to get out of a rut and just draw a portrait. Not overthinking it too much and just do it. And luckily I found my partner Hanna prepping a dessert, and in a suitable angle for the kind of portrait I wanted to do. So I took a couple of initial sketches and photos and worked from there. This approach felt more genuine than my previous attempts where I had set up a plan, camera and lighting. That got a bit too self-aware for me.

I started off with simple thumbnails to get the overall shapes and composition of the image. Trying to make an effort to not get stuck in details at the time. As this isn’t meant to be visible in the final piece I didn’t worry about working too small.

None of it got in the final stage, but it helped me a lot refining the drawing later. I practically draw the same picture several times before settling.

Thumbnail drawings of the portrait.
Contour lines on the portrait.

At some point I began to draw contour lines along the face to get an understanding of the different planes and how I should approach the drawing when shading it later on.

In the end I also added a tinted background to be able to broaden my spectrum and work with highlights.

I actually got a pretty cool time-lapse of the process working in procreate! But, as some of you probably know; it records everything. Including some not so appropriate joke-doodling by my model and partner Hanna 🙂

I’m gonna keep that in mind till next time.

The finished portrait of Hanna.

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I’m Mathias Ragnarsson


Developer by day, illustrator by night – Building tailor-made WordPress Themes when the sun is up; drawing and visualizing ideas as the sun goes down.

Portrait of me, Mathias Ragnarsson. The author of this website.