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I almost only use a mechanical pencil(0.3 and 0.5) on my drawings and practice, but I think I can't get a good range of values like I see some artists doing in their works with graphite. Is there any technique that artists use to don't blend everything in darker areas and get all messy?
I use HB leads, but when they get smooth because of use, if I don't use the sharp edge, it get's a very smooth blending, but messy at the same time. What I see artists doin is crosshatching like this:
How can I achieve these darker but at same time sharp areas?
Also, am I missing something or drawing with traditional pencils is veeeery slow? When I use the traditional instead of a mechanical I find myself sharpening the tip ALL THE TIME, cuz anything I do makes the tip round pretty fast.
I really need to try other midias to see if I can get more confortable... I love drawing with ink pens, but I can't erase them, so...
(mechanical pencil 0.3 hurts some types of paper SOOOO easy, trying to get a darker tone with it one day I made a hole on the sheet...)
A 2 mm leads such as the ones encased in wood, or wooden pencils, shouldn't be used for its sharpness, there is the smaller lead sized mechanical pencil for that. What wooden pencils have over small 0.3-0.5 mechanical pencils is its broadness, which means you can cover larger areas in smaller amount of time. Instead of shading in lines, you can create smooth particle texture that gives the impression of form. if you press heavy enough with 2mm lead, you can get broader line shadings like the ones with thinner mechanical lead, except the lines are broader.
Mechanical pencils are often associated with lead sizes that are 0.9 or smaller, but there exists also 2 mm mechanical pencils, the size of the leads found in wooden pencils. They have all of the benefits of a wooden pencil and a mechanical pencil. Also, there is a rotary sharpener they make for 2mm mechanical pencils:
Don't let the low reviews discourage you from buying a rotary sharpener. If you read the reviews, most of the negative ones are from people who can't figure out how to use the simple device. You put the pencil in the only hole and you rotate with your arm, but not twist as with ordinary sharpeners.
The key thing shading with lead is to have a consistency of particle spacing(graphite particles) or lines, which takes practice. It usually takes some kneaded eraser dabs here and there to keep the consistency of graphite particles. But first you need to understand light and form.
I tried using only the broad side of a 2B 2mm pencil below: As you can see, it offers a variety of texture. You can hatch with the broad side, to get the stylistic lines shading(such as the bottom part of the dress), and at the same time have the paper's tooth catch just small amounts of particles, evenly spaced, when you shade light enough, and have no lines at all. On the other hand, an example of uneven particle accumulation is in the neck area of the picture, where you can see some dark dots caused by uneven tooth of paper. Lastly, apart from pressing the pencil extra hard, in order to get things totally dark with the limited darkness of a lead, you need to go over the same areas until the white spots or "white lines" (negative white areas caused by line shading) are gone, which was how I managed to get the dress so dark.
Last edited by Vay; October 6th, 2012 at 12:49 AM.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don't wonder what you are
For by spectroscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
I can't add much to the great advice above but just wanted to say that I always use both. I use a mechanical pencil for creating the drawing (for which I need a consistent sharp point), and then switch to 2B/3B/4B traditional pencils to shade areas and darken some of the lines for edge variation (for which I need darker values and better coverage). For the shading rather than drawing part you shouldn't need to keep sharpening. You just need to use the strengths of each type at the specific part they are needed.
how big is you drawing? if A4 i find a Pentel-Twist 0.5 erase with staedtler HB leads fine for this size...0.3 too fine for drawing.. breaks too much
if a bigger drawing A4 i find
a Berol HB trad pencil with a Faber B fine for most subjects..
for darkness you will depend on the papers you use..
...schoellerhammer drawing paper .. remember there is a main drawing side on most good papers
...smooth suface and medium surface cartridge papers
...and banknote paper as in Daler-rowney layout pad paper..
if you draw for long enough you develop permanent callouses and nice grooves in your fingers that dont hurt after 20 years..
p.s i notice that your dark tones seem to be done in one pass ..it best to build up to dark hatches by layering you strokes at angles left or right depending on your image..
you should not need to destroy your paper ..only hysterical erasing destroys my paper..that why my erasers are put in a drawer and locked up..
Last edited by kliest; October 6th, 2012 at 07:51 AM. Reason: link
Some pencil artists own several pencils of the same hardness and switch between them as they draw. You still spend the same amount of time sharpening per pencil, but you save yourself the time you spend switching contexts. And because you're interrupted less often it's less frustrating.
But yeah, as a pencil crayon artist I find that you don't need super-sharp crayons all the time. Some jobs can only be done with a sharp crayon, some only with a dull one.
Additionally, some people still use knives to sharpen their leads to different configurations. You can't sharpen a mechanical pencil to a chisel-tip.
To avoid blending, keep your grubby hands off the paper. Put something under your hand. Work from top left to bottom right (or top right to bottom left if right-handed).
Thanks for all the answers and tips, enjoying all of it!
sketchbooks that aren't as big as A4... Thinking about it, that should be one of the reasons why I find so hard do render, because I have to do the details extra small...