This page, which is out of my Sketchbook Project 2011 sketchbook, is an updated version of a sketch that I did back in 2003 from an old photo out of a tennis history book. This sketch is done with a Burnt Umber Prismacolor colored pencil.
My original sketch was a simple outline done in pencil. My usual method for an accurate and detailed drawing of a full figure from a reference photo is always the same.
I do the head first, taking care to get proportions correct. Then I place a grid on my paper using the height of the head for a distance between lines. Next I place a grid over the photo using the height of the actual head in the photo. Going forward in this way gives me the same proportioned grid over the photo as on my drawing, allowing me to sketch in the rest of the figure very accurately.
My main goal on this sketch was to get a bit of variation of line weights on different parts of the figure. Many times it is not good to have a totally uniform outline all over the drawing.
The only other thing I wanted to do was indicate a bit of motion, as well as ad some interest, with the horizonal background lines in a few select places. These lines also help to push the subject forward.
If you think these horizonal background lines look familiar you’re right - think renaissance-era drawings (although mine are a bit too heavy-handed I think).