All the portraits are drawn using a 5mm mechanical pencil with 2B lead and tortillons for blending. How to Draw Lifelike Porttraits from a Photographs by Lee Hammond is the book I used to learn the technique with the help of my wife Donna. Donna helped me see the shapes, the lights, the shadows and pushed me to correct my mistakes. 

To see my first five attempts at drawing a portrait. Scroll down.

As you can see I was not very good. It also shows most people can learn if they will take the time required. My first attempt was 5-22-01

My second attempt was better, but still not very good. My second drawing was done on 6-1-01

I decided to try someone different. I did Laura Bush, the President's wife. I thought it was really good at the time so I sent it to her. I did this drawing only a few days later 6-06-01.

It was time to try my dad again. This was my fourth drawing in just a few weeks. I did this one on 6-08-01. I thought this was good enough to give to my mother. My dad had past away several years earlier.

On 6-11-01 I did my fifth drawing, a portrait of my oldest sister Ruby Joan Meyer, better know as Jody to the family. She had passed away just a few months earlier. I gave this picture to my mother also.

Donna's portrait, the one at the top of this page was drawn January 2005. I owe much of my improvement in drawing to Donna. She continues to give me instructions and help on the fine details, such as the hair and eyes. She is also good at pointing out shapes that I have not drawn correctly. She has also encouraged me to spend more time on each drawing. My first drawings were done in just a few hours, I now spend several days.