I took the photo on which this sketch was based, while on a walk with my brother Mike* when he was living in his group home. The look in Mike’s eye is different in the photo than in the sketch. I wonder if the scale of this drawing has anything to do with its look. There is a lot of area to cover on a 12×9″ sketch. A smaller format would be easier to render. One of the factors that influences this composition is shading. As you can see from the reference photo (below), the continuously changing tonal values make the facial expression ambiguous, thus easy to ponder on its meaning. Mike’s look in the sketch is different than the photo.
* Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal