As a charcoal and graphite pencil artist, when working on a hyperrealistic portrait or anatomy piece, I typically start by sketching out the basic shape and proportions of the subject using a light pencil. I then begin to build up the details and values using a combination of charcoal and graphite pencils of varying hardness.
I typically use a soft charcoal for the darkest darks and a harder graphite pencil for the lightest lights. I use a variety of techniques to create different effects, such as hatching and cross-hatching for shading, and blending tools like paper stumps or my fingers to smooth out areas and create a more cohesive image.
When working on 450 g paper, I find that it can hold up well to multiple layers and blending, making it an ideal surface for creating detailed and realistic images. The heavy weight of the paper also adds a sense of stability and permanence to the piece.
As I work on the piece, I frequently step back to assess the overall image and make any necessary adjustments. And then I finish it with a fixative spray to keep the charcoal and graphite from smudging.
In a presentation, I would show the process and the final piece, along with any tips or techniques that I found particularly useful in creating the image.