Drawing Tips: Choosing the right SIZE for your Drawing

Posted: July 4, 2012 in Pencil Drawing Tips
Tags: , , ,

A LOT of people ask me, HOW DO YOU COMPLETE SO MANY DRAWINGS? It’s because I draw as small as I can! I read that if you make a drawing just 20% larger, will take up to 50% more time to draw. So in theory, a drawing that takes me 10 hours, would take me 15 hours if I only increased it by 20% in size! I spend at least 10 minutes JUST planning the perfect size of the drawing. First, I set my printer on draft setting, and I print 2 or 3 test prints of the reference photo, then I compare them to my past drawings, and based on that, I can tell how much time it’s going to take me to draw! This helps me to determine how long it will take, and how much detail I can fit into a certain space.
For ME, it is about finding this balance, between the level of details and how long it takes me to complete. It’s because I loose interest in the subject quickly, and/or I get inspired by a new subject. My typical drawing takes between 8 to 12 hours, depending on details and several other things.

SIZE is critical, especially when drawing for commissions. Not only does size equal time, which in turn should affect price, but it also affects my personal ability to capture details. I have discovered that the ideal size for a person’s FACE is between 5 and 6 inches from the top of a normal hairline to the bottom of the chin. If the person has large eyes, the smaller size can be an option. If the face is any smaller than 5 inches, it’s hard to produce the level of detail I desire. If it’s any larger than 6 inches, it will take too much TIME to create those details. I found it to be the perfect compromise between detail and time required! There are ways to make the over-all drawing fill up a larger sheet of paper, by just simply drawing more of what’s around the face, like clothes and background, but I consider this to be is a secret formula I’ve developed.

Hope this helped?


  1. Nice post. Yes it certainly helped.

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