Almost a year since the first line, I've finished the drawing of Madhuri. I'm happy, relieved, and a little disconcerted at finally being done. I used several photo references, mainly for her face, veil, and posture, but the design of the jewelery, clothing, and henna is largely my own. I've learned a lot: how to apply the right amount of pressure to achieve different effects; to stand back once in awhile and ruefully realize my four hours of work look much less appealing from a distance; to erase rather than stubbornly scratch at an area that is poorly thought out; and that a realist graphite drawing takes a very long time and hundreds of pencils. For those of you who are wondering why so many pencils, I have to keep a sharp point in order to fill in every area with the short, parallel, contoured lines that give that smooth texture. I spend a good portion of a drawing session sharpening. However, there are few things I find as delightful and satisfying as making something recognizable emerge out of a blank piece of paper. Though there are flaws with the drawing of Madhuri (the hand in particular was frustrating and the nose is too long), I'm proud of it. Now, back to Bargue and more learning!