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The Face Of David by imaginee The Face Of David by imaginee
The Face Of David
18 x 24 inches
Graphite on Smooth Bristol

For those that do not recognize this face it is a small part of the sculpture by Michelangelo titled "The David". After seeing a recent TV show of his work I decided to try a drawing of the face of David.

I started work on this 2 foot drawing 1-3-11 and finished on 1-26-11. The reference was small but very clear so I was able to work from it. I used a 2 inch grid, have to say working on such a large drawing can be difficult so that grid was a huge help. Since the David statue is made out of solid marble I needed to visualize the smoothness, the slight imperfections, the veins, and most of all the depth of the is the carvings along with the cast of light that make up the shapes I needed to draw. Take the eye for example, the eyelid is very deep so you know that this shadow needs to be VERY dark and slightly lighter in the foreground, light as you know fads to black in shadow. I used a 4b mechanical pencil for the lid of the eye and the pupil, I kept the pencil strokes very tight and used medium to hard pressure (not hard enough to indent the paper). I layered the area until it was as dark as the shadow depth.

Another example is the eyebrow shadows. I could see from the reference the carvings under the brow are not as deep as that eyelid so the shadows will be drawn lighter, I used a B pencil for most of that area. Since the light is cast down from above part of the eyebrow that protrudes out is lit up, but there are some shallow carvings on the brow that needed to be shadowed.... I used a blending stump that had a little graphite on the tip to color in those light shadows on the brow.

Have to say this drawing has the greatest shadow play so I enjoyed working on it. I layered the face with B many times, and then layered a bit more. One thing I wish I had done differently was to give it a border.

While I was drawing I did a little research on the statue of David and learned a few things that I didn't know so I'd like to share them with you:

In 1464 artist Agostino was commissioned to create a sculpture of David for the buttresses (roof) of the cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore. He worked on the block of marble and only got as far as shaping the feet, legs and some of the upper torso, then for some unknown reason stopped work. Ten years later Antonio Rossellino was commissioned to take over the project but his contract was terminated soon thereafter. The block of marble stayed unfinished in the cathedral yard for 25 years. In 1500 the block of marble which was called "the Giant" was raised to it's feet so that the masters could examine it and a new artist could be chosen to finish the work. A year later 26 year old Michelangelo got the contract. Michelangelo worked on and fished the sculpture of David from 1501 to 1504. The statue never did make it to the roof of the Cathedral. The statues proportions were sculptured to be viewed from below, this is why his head and upper body were larger then his lower body. The 17 foot sculpture of David today stands on display in Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia.

Wip image: [link]

I wanted to say a sincere thank you to everyone that stopped by, left a comment and also favored! :)

EDIT 12/14/11:
Thank you DA for this honor! I appreciate it very much!!
Here's a little side news on this one...I entered this and a few other drawings into an art show (my very first). The show was 7 months long and traveled all over the region. I'm happy to say I won! It was such a great experence!! :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-12-09
Demonstrating amazing technical skill, ~imaginee portrays The Face Of David using graphite. ( Suggested by Orisagi and Featured by oilsoaked )
Mongoosa Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist
Wait... That's a picture. NO WAIT WHAT?! WOWOWOWOWAAATTT
cardi777 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016
Amazing skill
5thpoint Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2015  Hobbyist
GentleExplosions Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely lovely! Incredible work!
Psyfire-Satra Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015
This is such an amazing piece. My mother loves "David" - when we were in Rome, we took a day trip to Florence, just so she could see it.
KlassikalGuitartist Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015
Picture perfect!
thank you for sharing :)
Pachat11 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, just wow.
LePPeArtist Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Amazing! Very impressive work.
LePPeArtist Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Very impressive, is amazing!
Brandon-hall-2015 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Nice work!!
Dragonfly22 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome work! I can almost feel  the coldness of the marble and the smoothness of his cheeks with the tiny holes across his face. 
artbyfieldsofsage Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Incredibly precise!
MaliciousFantasy Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
i noticed you mentioned you use graphite. how, with the darker areas do you avoid the reflective shine that you tend to get with this medium as many photo realist artists tend too use pastel or charcoal to avoid this ? if you could help that would be much appreciated. thank you :) great work
imaginee Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
I spray the finished drawing with a few light layers of fixative, that helps to reduce the shine. How you display your graphite drawing is most important, you need the right lighting so that the graphite does not reflect light. I found a light above the frame pointing down onto the drawing is perfect... :)
MaliciousFantasy Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou very much :)
ShenaniBOOM Featured By Owner May 3, 2014
The realism is incredible!
TripleS-Art Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Awesome work! :)
tiarapau Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Student Interface Designer
very cool!
Chiamaka-on Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Holy crap this is so awesome
MissMelis05 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ANDRESPRIVITERA Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
Simply Perfect!
Tdkrupp Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Raftoftheway Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
This looks awesome!
alexandra-91 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Seems like a photo..
harshadpd Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
joaovictorbastos Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
!!!! *~* FANTASTIC *~* !!!!
AndreeaAtena Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks incredibly realistic. You're very skilled :D.
VivaLaStrana Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
you are super talented. awesome, awesome work
nmer12 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
It beautiful . I have page on Facebook it just for famous artists .
nmer12 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
I maen I will share it on fb

DII2 Featured By Owner May 11, 2013
SamanthaMessias Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
What can I say...... FANTASTIC
nmer12 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
U can say anything

doakes82 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013
Absolutely Stunning!!
you r great painter & women
artworksbynet Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is mind blowing and totally awesome! Is it okay if I share this on facebook?
imaginee Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
yes u may :)
4GE117 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
bubblegumfancypants Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013
i LOVE this!!!!!!
LaConeja Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Misaaki Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
Nanushii Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
This is soooooooo awesome!!!!
walshj99 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013
Jaw dropping good.
deidara1444 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is fantastic. First I thinked it is a photo not a drawing :)
DiptiArt Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this absolutely amazing !!!
Flying-Fossa Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
This is absolutely gorgeous!
benneido Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Insane, how did u get that texture/contrast !!!! ??? ?? !! ?!? ?!?! ? looks so real !!
imaginee Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Since the drawing is very large you can create texture more easily. The contrast is very important in graphite work so I make sure to have a great balance of dark tones and light ones...and those dark areas need to be near black so that you get the best contrast.
benneido Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so inspiring , it's spot on, so real !!! magnificent !! since how many years have you been practicing drawing ? to achieve perfect black do you use charcoal ? 

Really thanks for all your time in replying !! Really appreciate it :hug:  
iro-kotori Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's amazing!
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Submitted on
January 28, 2011
Image Size
237 KB


59,037 (12 today)
3,619 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 30D
Shutter Speed
1/125 second
Focal Length
24 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 27, 2011, 2:35:03 PM
Sensor Size