I did this portrait as a surprise birthday present for a friend, so I couldn’t ask her for some good photos of him without giving it away. This meant I scoured her Facebook wall for photos of him, and used several different images of random quality as a reference for the drawing. Ideally a couple of really high quality photos are best, but if I have several lower quality photos, I can usually use bits and pieces of each to get the features needed for the portrait.
Again with this portrait, I used a lighter style, with softer layers of first pencil to get started and then slowly building up layers of colored pencil in black, blue, a couple of shades of brown, and even silver, to get the subtle colors that make Simon such a handsome boy.
Emphasizing the eyes I think brings some expressiveness to the drawing and gives it a bit of personality.
The original is 11×14 on Bristol board.