My tribute to humanity… Pencil portraits of people from all around the world.

I admit that, at first, doing these portraits after photos, using the Sktchy app, really was only for practice.

NB : Sktchy is an application you can get on a smartphone or tablet, where people upload some pics of them so you can do their portrait.
It’s a fun sharing! Thank you to the people who “posed” for me virtually through the app and lent their face for my video.

You know how much the journaling thing is important to me. I like to record things that are really happening around me, objects that I like, places I visit. So, that’s true that sketching someone I don’t know after a photo wasn’t interesting for me in itself, to begin with! As I said, it was just for practice.

But, then, something happened. The black and white pencils on toned paper technique started to give life to these faces and then Orlando happened ☹️ and something clicked…
I started to like these faces I was translating on the paper. I started to feel fascinated by the amazing beauty of the unique features of one unique person in the world. 😃


Plus, besides all this diversity, we can find so much common points too, especially this human face I try to understand better, to “learn”, to catch with this drawing practice. You know, two eyes, a nose, a mouth… A forehead always taller than you think… 😉 all this things that makes us so similar to each other.


I wanted to make this short video as a sort of tribute to humanity…
Just to say : we are all the same and we are all different and that’s why the world is so beautiful and interesting. We may have different cultures, religions, opinions, sexual orientations, habits but we all have this same look in our eyes, wanting so hard to be loved, fearing not to make it, hoping to be happy.

Btw, this is also a speed up demo for you of this portrait technique on toned paper. As you know, I am not an expert but I like to share so I hope you will find it interesting! 😊
Each portrait takes between 15 and 20 mn to do. I think I could do that within a slightly shorter time if I could fiddle a bit less! 😬


I wish you a great week, with lots of love and of bond moments with your close family and friends… and maybe with strangers, through the web, that could become closer than you would ever have thought. 😙😉

10 thoughts on “My tribute to humanity… Pencil portraits of people from all around the world.

  1. I think this is the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen!!!! I love the “humanity, diversity, similarities” because it’s so true. All of these portraits tell a story and the way you’ve portrayed their likenesses on toned paper is brilliant! Thank you for sharing your talent. Marvelous!!!

    • Whoooo, thank you so much Karla!! I am so happy that you liked it so much!
      Thank you, really, your your kindness and your great comment about my work.

  2. Hi there I’ve just watched your sketches and your urban sketching of the taj manual. Both are brilliant. I love the way you have such a flowing way of approaching your work. I look forward to seeing more. I was wondering if you could tell me what brushes you are using in taj mahal.
    They have such a lovely point on them. Thank you Pauline

  3. Fabulous video thanks for sharing. I’m curious about the pencils you used, were they colored pencils, or pastel pencils. I so want to learn to draw people, looks like I need to practice more.

    • Hi Elaine!
      Thank you for comment and you compliments about the video!

      The pencils I used are colored pencils. Mine were becoming really short so I actually bought some new ones yesterday… I am going to try severals brands in order to see which ones I prefer, which ones can give me the strongest value without having to press too hard on the paper. 😉
      Trying some pencils in my art store yesterday, I figured out that watercolor pencils are a bit more waxy (but not to much) and maybe offer a stronger value, especially for the white (I don’t mind that I am not going to use it with water ☺️).

      So, the black and white pencils I used in the videos were Faber-Castell Polychromos ones but I figured out that they were, maybe, not the strongest possible, especially for the white. Btw, the colorful ones are from a box of Caran d’Ache pencils.
      The ones I bought yesterday, to try, are a Caran d’Ache Prismalo and a Conté for the white and a Faber Castel Albrecht Durer for the black. That way, I have almost all the brands to try!!

      Yes, I guess that you need a lot of practice to be able to draw people… As for me, when I try to sketch them from life, I realize how much it’s difficult, even after a good training from photos (however, I am pretty sure that photo training is great, nevertheless, if you don’t spend 2 hours for each portrait)! 🙂
      But, I think that, for me, things start to work!! I admit that I am really proud of these two little sketches I did yesterday, in a library, FROM LIFE!! The light was good (back light), the people rather still and they are really simple, or course, but I am so happy because I think these are my best portraits from life so far.
      I even think the likeness is not so bad, especially for the woman. ☺️

      So, yes, it’s possible! If you want to draw people too, practice, train yourself, try, don’t bother you with bad portraits, pay attention to the light of the faces… and I am sure you will be able to do it too!

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