A little more progress on the American Bittern (stage 2). There was actually a version in between this one and the first, but it was kind of a failure… So I drew the portrait for a THIRD time, grabbing what I liked about version 1, and adjusted for accuracy. This version is lighter in real life than shown here, and will provide the basic outline for the colors, which I will add next. The reason for this is I tend to go too heavy with the graphite early on because I get excited, but colored pencil becomes muddy when added on top of graphite. So in addition to refining the composition, this stage ensures better color on the final portrait.