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Picasso did these when he was 15. The left one is pastel. The right is watercolor.
yeah. wow. those aren't the ones I was talking about but God, they're beautiful. kind of makes you sick, doesn't it. geez. 15. jerk. that's what I'm talking about. if you can draw like that, you can do whatever the heck you want.
I keep staring at that pastel. I want to cry.
i know, I could have put this all in one post, but... different thoughts... here is what I was refering to. I'm not sure when he did it, I think he was 15-20 yrs. old at the time.
speaking of shading technique...
not a very good image though... sorry, it's the only one I could find.
One of the most important things with all pencil work I find and nobody has mentioned is to keep your pencils as sharp as possible!!! Really just getting a really nice sharp point on your pencil will help you more than you are possibly imagine . My old art teacher said that when she was at school her teachers made her sharpen all her pencils with a knife as you can get a really sharp point anyother way. I stand by that advice. If you want to do something that will reall make a big difference to you drawing instantly then sharpen all you pencils using a knife till they are insainly sharp . (I really need to start taking my own advice)
Hey guys....I posted this in the guest self portrait thread as well but I thought it was pertinent here as well. I did a self portrait last night and this was the first time I ever really did shading. I wanted to get some criticism of the technique etc...I know the proportions are way off and stuff like that but I mean just in terms of the shading. I have close ups that I can post if you want me to. Thanks...this topic is great!
Wow looks really good.
off to a terriffic start.
MindCandyMan: If you want something that will help you understand how to shade better find a high contrast black and white photo and try to copy that.It is much easier to draw something in high contrast as the subtal shading is less important. When you draw it don't put any lines on the page and just place the masses of the shadows don't worry about getting the anatomy right as it is you shading you have to worry about. I found it helps to start with something simple as it is easier to produce good results that give lots of incoragement.
Thanks Lionel I will try that. Should I use something broad like charcoal?...that way I wouldn't be able to get caught up in too many details. I like film noir so I will enjoy drawing with such stark contrast hehe. Thanks lionel I appreciate it.
I personally would stick to pencil as it was doing things like this that really helped my pencil drawing. I always am very afraid of charcol as my drawing always been to week to let me produce anything half decent with charcoal :/. I am a bad draftsman so all my bits of advice are things that have really helped me as a beginner with my pencil drawing.
Cool thanks...I will try that. Sorry one more question...hehe I am newbie and it shows...How would you go about applying really large dark areas to get the best result. Slowly build up? Or turn the pencil on its side, etc... I haven't taken any art classes so I know nothing about technique hehe. Thanks man.
I personally slowly build up but rember if you want a lot of dark use a softer pencil. I have never used the side of a pencil so have no really idea if that would work. Rember keep your pencil sharp!!. . One other thing try and pick a picture without large areas of black but rather lots of small areas as creating large ares of darks is always a bit of a pain . An example is to do a portrat of sombody old/middle aged face as the wrinkles will break up the large patches of dark and make them eaiser to render
Last edited by Lionel; November 13th, 2002 at 12:51 PM.
you're right Lionel, I can't belive I didn't mention the sharp pencil thing, it was going through my mind the whole time as I was writing, because it is VERY important!!! although I can't get a really sharp point with a knife. but what we always did was sharpen it really good with whatever, then have a sheet of paper on the side of your drawing. after you sharpen it, you rub the pencil on its side around the edges till you get a really sharp point. this'll only work well with your softer leads.
but that way, you don't have to get up to "sharpen" it as much. as for the dark areas, I also build up with ight layers. don't rush and burn the paper with your pencil (you can tell if your dark areas look shiny. they shouldn't.)
You can also use a fine grain sandpaper to get it to a sharp point.
Wow, this thread has been unbelievably helpful to me =D
Thanks alot for your words of wisdom everyone!
I still cant draw for shit though..lol, keep on practicing, right!
you also want to think about the white spacing between a stroke even if it a mircon.
more white the lighter it is less spacing the darker it could
get. it could be no white space and greyed in.
that were you want it ...then next tone goes up from
i did tons of dotting pictures in my youth with
technical pens like a triple 0 till got use to it.
it like anything you cant do one or two.
you got to do hundreds.
sometimes leaving out things is as much
as leaving things in.
a blow up of the skull in reverse shows how even apart
most of my strokes are.
haiku - one of the things you haven't said is what "style" of shading you prefer. There are many styles and combinations of styles and media which are useful for different purposes. Darrell has shown some good classsic crosshatching technique, but is that what you're after? If it is, look up Hales' book on "drawing lessons from the great masters". If you want a smooth painterly style like Kchen uses, then look up Faragasso's book and other references to the Art Student's League of New York or the Watts Atelier in California.
Faragasso's book is good, except the head/facial stuff is way over the top...(too dogmatic for me).
You might also look at Glenn Villpu's stuff, it tends to be very classic in approach -- and very very very well constructed:
Glenn Villpu Studio
go to the gallery section...
they prefer a smooth newsprint and often use RITMO charcoal pencils; (per Ron Lemen).
I personally like a combination style used by Victor Ambrus; if you can find his books they are very good style reference for people and animals.
Victor Ambrus at Amazon.com
What pencils/carbon/charcoal and papers to use is highly individual. Try different things until you find things you like.
My personal choices and style are similar to Ambrus -
Conte Carbone HB, B, 2B, 3B and
Ritmo Charcoal 3B for the dark darks
I like lightly textured papers like "Ingres", pastel, or canson and also like a light grey rather than white.
For very quick sketches I like to use a Gretacolor 9B woodless pencil and a No.5 stomp for quick midtones I can pick-out with a kneeded eraser. There's a book on this method, by David Rankin.
As far as how to shade, the figure, the comments above recommending spheres, eggs, boxes, cylinders and cones are right on -- since that is what the figure can by analyzed as and simplified to, to understand where the shadows and reflected light will be. I know it's probably not what you want to hear. The next step is to get yourself a skull or some plaster casts of figures and body parts and practice drawing with those under different lighting conditions.
You can order plaster things from here, some are reasonable in cost: check out the other sections too --
The advice above on dividing things into light and shade is very good advice -- it will really help define the forms and make your shading easier. A very good thing to do is read all the online Loomis stuff you can get your hands/eyes on. Still some of the most solid instruction available. The main stuff is over at fineart.sk
...must stop now...good luck!
Last edited by prismacolor; November 14th, 2002 at 02:44 AM.
thanks for the information.
you have taken me to a higher plane
in terms of life drawing.
i was leaning on the technical side of drawing
rendering products or medical.
well not really medical not sure how they
would tackle it.
not being a medical illustrator.
but for life drawing WOW.
prismacolor - Thanks for the abundance of information you heap down upon me. I love it! I had a quick question. For Christmas (I know it's kind of morbid heheh) I wanted to get a skull for Christmas so I could start drawing it. I noticed on that statue.com site that they have a plaster version of a real skull. Which one do you think would be better...buying a fake anatomically correct skull...a plaster cast of a skull at statue.com.....or the cast of an anatomically correct head at statue.com? What do you suggest? Thanks again for all this info it's great!!!!!!!
Thank you all for your replays and time. I appreiciate it.
...always glad to help out when I can...
As far as skulls go, a good reproduction is fine; if it's an accurate cast of a real skull -- it's a bit better than most plaster casts or plastic models, tho' there is a decent plastic model around that costs about $20 US, if you're on a tight budget.
If you can, the closer you get to the real thing is better. Try this location, it happens to be fairly close to where I live...it's pretty amazing what stuff they have:
The Bone Room
check out the human skeleton cast sale, there's some skulls in there...the budget skull is actually pretty good, but go for the better quality if you can...
Mind... hee. I would get a skull if I were you. I agree that you should get as close to anatomically correct skull as you can. plastic is fine. the reason I would get that ove the anatomically correct head, is because if you want to see a correct head, buy a cheap mirror. i know you cant see the muscles as well and things, but if you get the skull, then compare it to your own face... you can get a pretty good idea of how things attach. also, i don't know how old you are or what kind of school you're going to or anything, but if you're really interested, take an anatomy class at your local community college. if you draw a lot, and it sounds like you do, it's not to hard and it's really informative. If it's anything like the class I took, they have plastic models of all the muscles that show all the points of attachment and everything, and we had quite a few actual human bones to look at. (it doesn't get much more anatomically correct than that.) and it cost less money than most plaster casts. so.. yeah.
oh, and Smeagol... Homestar Runner? awesome.
Damnit lol, I went through an entire 8B pencil in like 3 days.
Damn electric pencil sharpener not only takes off like 2 inches every time it sharpens, but it doesnt even give a good point!
yeah, 8b pencils are sooo soft.. not good for the electric sharpener!
Just thought I would post this for the fun of it, this being the pencil shading thread! Some girl at work comissioned this and I need the $$$...sooooo...
I'm not a big wrestling fan, well, I'm not a wrestling fan at all actually. But it was interesting to draw at least. As always, critique is welcome and encouraged!!!!
Oh, and Fletchgirl...I LIKE MARSHMALLOWS! :ahha:
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
Any suggestions on how to sharpen the 8B besides an electric pencil sharperner?
the softer your pencil, the easier it is to get it in shape.
hard leads often crack when the sharpening blade isn't sharpened well.
for soft pencil, you can use any decent "manual" sharpener. you decide how often you turn it around, i.e. how much material you take off the pencil.
but hands down my favorite for sharpening pencils is a scalpel.
you can get them for cheap (a few bucks for a metal grip that lasts ages and some more bucks for a pack with 100 blades), the only difficult thing is finding a store that carries scalpels. i used a medical emergency supplies mailorder in germany.
the thing about scalpels is:
they are sharp. the blades begin to wear quite quickly, though.
i found nothing that both provided me with the sharpness to sharpen even hard leads without having to fear the lead will crack and i have to start up again and the absolute control over my pencil tip.
make about 5 to 6 conical knife strokes towards the point. don't worry if they don't end up in one point, you can adjust that with the knife, too.
also, you can sharpen your pencil to have one or two "worn" tips for softer line marks and one sharp-as-hell edge for small details and harsher line marks.
(don't go for a one-point-finish but sharpen your pencil like a three-sided prisma turning the pencil around to draw with different edges of it)
as for shading technique for itself, i stick to loomis. quote: there is no such thing as shading, there just is modelling.
Haha..a scalpel to sharpen a pencil..hehe, just seems funny to me =P