Art: Pencil - shading technique (help)

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Thread: Pencil - shading technique (help)

  1. #1
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    Pencil - shading technique (help)

    Well the bigget problems i had with drawings was always the shadin, i don't know why or how, but i think i'll never get the hang of it. Well what i'm looking for is for maybe some point outs, or tutorials that may help me get the hang of it.

    Appreciated.

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    Yah, Im struggling with shading too..
    Maybe upload some examples of your work so you can get some critiques and help from the masters here?

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    ookay! I am a newbie. so, you can automatically discredit me. but... I spent a long time in intensive pencil-shading classes. however, that was about... 8 years ago... but oh well. if you are having trouble with shading, you must get down to basics. i'm serious now. i'm not gonna make you start with fsumato (however you spell it) like-smoke light to dark stuff, but you can do that if you want. okay. start with basic shapes. sphere, cube, cone. a sphere radiates out from the highlight. there is a highlight, then the midtones, the shadows, the darkest part is the core of the shadow. THEN, and I belive this is the key to shading, is the reflected light. a cube is simple. top planes are light, down planes are darker. the farther away from a light source, the darker it is. Drapery, and most everything else is like a mixture of the spheres, cones and the cube. again, top planes are light, down planes are dark. pencil shading is just a fine crosshatching. If you want the shading to be beautiful, there are things to keep in mind.
    1)take your time. build up LIGHT layers. use your pencil at an angle, but keep a SHARP point on it. it takes quite a while if you want to do it right, but if you do, it will be worth it.
    2) DON'T SMUDGE. blending stumps are good for some things, but a beautiful pencil drawing can, and in my opinion,should be acheived without one. definately don't use your fingers. the oil will ruin your drawing.
    oh yeah, to achive a shiny effect, like chrome, (pencil is NOT the best) but to do it, it's all about contrast. your darkest shadow right against the highlight. okay, I think that's it for now. I hope that helped. i hope it wasn't too boring. i hope it makes sense. i hope no one thinks i'm a moron. oh yeah. the best pencils for that kind of thing are ebonys. :bheart: yay! ebonys! so, I had examples and stuff... but I just found out i can't post attachments.:confused: sooo.... oh well.... I guess now you can't see if I can back up my words or not. ha.

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    There are two things that have/are helping me learn how to shade. The first is an easy exercise which is to draw a box on a piece of paper and then shade a gradient in the box going from light to dark. It is good preactice for getting smooth shading . My techique is either to make long strokes and build up darks with cross hatching and varying pressure or for smoth textures I make small circles with the paper gradually applying more graphite. As to applying that to real life drawing I never really understood how to shade real life objects until during one english leasson at school I was board and started sketcing. There was a magazine from a paper infront of me and there was a magasine from a newspaper with a black and white photo with a lot of contrast in it. I decided to not draw outlines but just draw the patches of dark. So filled in the darks and using the gradient methods detailed above to blend them into the whites. It looked soo much better than anything I had done previously since I just focused on the tones and not on trying to do a line drawing of the shapes. since then I haven't looked back. For me the secret of shading seems to be to not focus on your lines but on getting your parches of dark right. I would advise you all to copy some very high contrast pictures for yourself. You never no it might just click for you too .

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    Lionel, fletchgirl,
    Thanks for the comments, and help.

    amphex - I would of upload something, and some of my drawings, but i don't think they are good enough. Hell I've seen people's work here, and i'm totally offline from expert like most, or should i say all of the people here.

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    agree with lionel.. we had to do rectangles going from light to dark, light to dark to light, and dark to light to dark. AS for what lionel said about thesecret to shading is to not focus on your lines, I can still hear my teacher now, "There are no lines in nature!!!! every shape is defined by it's lights an darks, not by it's "lines" you could also try this. get some simple (and maybe a few complex) objects together and throw a strong light source on them, if nothing else, use a desk light, or a reading light. anything to give the objects a unified light source, and then draw em! over and over and over again!

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    shading

    another way
    all the above are perfect.

    is to do ten small one inch by one inch squares.

    then order them one above each other
    with space between them.

    shade the first one being the lowest.
    100 % which is black.
    90 % being a charcoal
    80 %
    down to ten percent
    30 %
    20 %
    10 percent bing next to white.

    and 50 percent being half way

    so then when you look at a object not drawing.
    you go around sayin what percent is that object.
    is it ten or 50 or closer to black.
    so your forever running it up and down a slider of greys.
    >>this is good cause when you look at a red let say
    you can say if it pink it closer to white and wine is closer to
    black perhaps.
    so your always adding ten percent yellow to blue making a green or 75 percent making a darker green.

    hope this helps.

    take care

    Darrell Bowman
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    Thanks for your help and comments. Well it did help. My problem was really with peoples shading, and not simple objects such as - squares, balls, and pepper (that we've just finished doing.) Maybe more like 'adding deatils' and using shadows to.. erm... well more or less 'define' the face, and get it more 'humanistic' look.

    Yet again, thanks for your comments, i'm sure they'll help me around. As i take them under consideration.

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    okay

    well hmmm
    it still looking and deciding what value is it.
    should it be darker lighter etc.
    values are always in play.
    is it ten percent darker.
    sometimes squinting helps.

    the other area is pencil or tools your using.

    some guys outline in 2h shade in H and then darken with
    a HB.

    i use alot a drafting mechical leads i get it sharp
    with those turn around sharpners those drafting
    guys use and a neaded erasr made to a point.
    i use a F pencil or HB.

    with the F pencil and it sharp i can get right into the paper.
    the other thing is the paper.
    got to be fairly smooth
    like a bristol plate idea or you are not going to get
    into the paper to get the tone across.

    i use to use lighter fluid and cotton to smear graphite
    lots of different ways.

    off to draw a paycheck
    later dude

    Darrell Bowman
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    Good advice...

    I see some good advice for those struggling with pencil shading. I think the biggest tip came from Fletchgirl...DON'T SMUDGE!! I too used to smudge, but some time ago realized, with the help of one of my teachers, that smudging is really letting go of any control you have of the pencil. Use strokes to build your tones and use several degrees of pencils if a tone is not light or dark enough. Keep your pencil razor sharp! A gentle touch goes a long way!

    Here's a still life study I did with an HB, 2B, and 2H on vellum.

    Pencil - shading technique (help)

    Last edited by Smeagol71; November 8th, 2002 at 04:45 PM.
    "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."
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    Very NIce

    This is very nice work similar to what i do with a
    F pencil.

    One Question thou were do i put the quarter.

    thanks for sharing much apreciated.
    maybe if we saw his or even a corner
    of his we maybe could see the problem.
    being visual person.

    thanks

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    Im confused..would anyone be kind enough to just make a list of the different types of pencils from lightest to darkest?

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    pencils

    list of pencil leads.

    9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B,
    3B, 4B, 5B, etc.

    9h is hardest - HB most common - 2B upwards the softest.

    they come in varies gages and squares.

    you can have charcoal pencils and conte pencils.
    colored pencils etc.

    art stores carry catalogues giving u all the
    makes and options.

    hope this helps.

    Darrell Bowman
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    so 9H would be the darkest?

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    and i know im being annoying, but can you make any recommendations as to what different pencils a begginer should get?

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    leads

    9H would be hard as a nail.
    very little graphite on the paper.
    so hard probably tear the paper.

    the B's would be the softest.

    2B and upwards to 6B

    the H's are hard.

    3H or 2H is good for drafting
    up to a HB

    HB good for general work.
    good allround pencil.

    2B for sketching.

    something like a 4B good for tones
    life drawing maybe.

    Darrell Bowman
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    Wow, very helpful.
    Thanks alot man =D

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    oh lol, and i got another question..
    why are woodless pencils more expensive than wood..ful pencils or whatever lol
    whats the difference? (besides the lack of wood =P)

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    leads

    Not sure why personally.

    some have plastic coatings.

    maybe your talking about drafting pencils.

    if you have a wacom and computer.
    alot of drawing can be practice on the computer.
    without purchasing these items.

    maybe there imported dont know.

    there is also in usa a number 2 pencil.
    i think that a HB around the office pencil.

    if your scanning images in.
    i think alot of guys not sure use 2h then
    shade in with H and darken with HB
    to make your blacks.

    everyone different
    some use chisel pencils.
    some sharpen with nifes.
    loads of variables.

    if i got a job and got 10 minutes to do a layout
    i pick up a soft pencil.
    if i got time i go harder depends on how much
    detail i want.
    some times draw eyes in hard pencil
    use a soft one for the hair.

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    woodless pencils, especially the softer ones, such as an 8B, are fantastic for laying out things very quickly. my guess on why they're more expensive would be... graphite is more expensive than wood? maybe? and, they're for a specialized thing, you know, supply/demand and all that. anyway, yeah, an 8B is great for quick thumbnails or storyboards. you can quickly sketch them, then use the side for laying out tones. I really never use H's. the hardest I'll usually go is a 2B. the H's really do tear up your paper and I've never needed to go that light for anything.

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    One thing's for sure...try out all different kinds of pencils until you find something you're comfortable with. Personally, I've found subtle differences in pencils from brand to brand that affect my drawing, even if it is in subtle ways. Every company produces their pencils differently. One company's 4B could be quite a bit softer than another's. I've settled on Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils and have found those to fit my liking. I buy them by the box load, especially HB's!! But everyone's hand is different. Your touch could be heavier or lighter so you need to find the pencil that fits your own touch.

    Well, hope this helps someone! LOL! Man...I read the previous paragraph and I think, "My life revolves around pencils."

    "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."
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    lol, nothing wrong with that smeagol =P

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    Quick Question...when someone cross hatches...should that only be used to create darker tonal areas or should it be used on the whole image? Did that make sense?

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    generally crosshatching will build up a darker tone...not terribly useful for light areas.

    for my shading, l lay down some graphite then use an assortment of materials to blend it. each material gives a different texture, i use felt, tissues, toilet paper, cloth, chamois etc.

    Smeagol71- thats a good drawing. i think though for beginners its easier to smudge at first to get used to creating tone, then when proficient with that, one can move on to trying to shade without smudging. but i think smudging comes in very useful at times.

    i think on one of my next drawings i'll try to shade with out smudging to see how it comes out

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    oh crap, zippzopp, why didnt someone tell me that earlier!
    Ive been doing it wrong my entire life lol
    I hate crosshatching, I give up on it =P
    And also, I dont like the way the shading looks when ive smudged it around..is there any technique to smudging?

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    I think this is one of my favorite threads yet! Probably because I have such respect for the pencil!

    Anyway...

    MindCandy: Cross hatching is kind of a subjective thing. I've seen people use it heavily in a drawing and things look fantastic. I've seen people use smudging more and it looks great. I guess it all has to do with what you're trying to accomplish and what you're trying to communicate, but I can tell you what I do (for what it's worth). I use cross hatching all over my drawings but tend to only use lighter strokes in lighter areas of my subject. I tend to try and "imply" form in lighter areas and that usually doesn't utilize crosshatching for me. One important thing I try to do is crosshatch with the form that I'm shading, and I don't make hatch marks perpendicular to each other. I will hatch and create a darker tone by rotating strokes anywhere from 1 to 45 degrees, left or right. Does this make sense? I think I might need to post a pic to explain myself. Let me see what I can come up with and then maybe it will be clear. Anyway, my goal is to create a more organic and loose technique and define form with the strokes. A master of this and a master of the pencil is Paul Calle, whom I think you know of!

    ZippZopp: Thanks! I appreciate the compliment. You're right about smudging. It does have it's place and if I did "put it down" that wasn't my intention. I use it from time to time and think it definitely creates a distinctive look.

    Amphex: Hello! We'll hook up on OpenCanvas one of these nights! ) But to reply to your question, there is one technique I use with smudging that has seemed to work well. It requires one of those Pentel clic erasers, or something similar. It works good for hair or fur. First, lay down your general tones, darks and lights, until you're satisfied with the range. Then, with a knife cut the tip of the eraser flat so that it has a sharp edge. You then can use this to cut away at your smudging to create medium and light toned hairs, depending on the pressure you use. You could end up going through quite a few erasers because you have to keep the edge sharp, but the result is usually worth it. You may need to go back and refine things but I've found it works pretty good.

    If I get a chance I'll post some examples or pics to make it more clear. For all those interested though, I posted a pencil self-portrait I did sometime ago. I'm not really that satisfied with the drawing, but I bring it up because you're able to see a lot of individual strokes in the piece. Like I said...for what it's worth...

    Pencil - shading technique (help)

    "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."
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    Damn smeagol, thats a pretty kickass self portrait.
    I mean, I see why you dont like it, but its damn cool =)
    Thanks for your help man =D
    Davi should change your rank to "pencil warrior" =P

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    All I know is, one of my art teachers would always say, "you have to know HOW-TO to know WHAT FOR" or to know WHY NOT. personally, I think you should not use the smudging, until you can do a good enough drawing without smudging. smudging in the way ZippZopp uses it is not because it's easier... but because it's a technique. uncontrolled smudging is because you don't feel like you have the power to do it any other way. Have you ever seen picasso's figure work? that guy was AMAZING. i mean, I don't know how to spell the french for it anymore, tremp l'o-oh forget it, but they looked like photographs. then he threw that all out the window to break up forms and start cubism with Gris. anyway, my point is, he didn't do cubism because he couldn't draw amazingly well... he already knew the form perfectly before he could break it up. does that make any sense? I feel like the Greek guy in Muppets Take Manhattan. "is tomatoes? huh? is lights? no. peoples is peoples" and kermit's all, "Thanks. that really helped." :p just keep at it, really. Patience.

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    spacing

    make sure you space the lines as you crosshatch
    even if they are microns apart other wise they fill in.

    Pencil - shading technique (help)

    Darrell Bowman
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    Hah Fletchgirl, actually that made alot of sense. And very interesting fact about Picasso too..Id like to see some of his figure work..

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