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Hi guys, I've been a bit of a lurker and have just joined. I'll post a sketchbook soon as I get a new scanner.
Anyway, I've been drawing perhaps 5 years, and have just come out of a bit of a 'spot' where I haven't drawn much, and thus: I've completely lost it.
I take senior art in my high school and, even though I can draw 'well', there are still some things I would really like to improve, particaully my pencil rendering.
I would like to start from scratch in this particualar aspect so... please offer any advice you can give me to get better and improve. I am prepared to put in as much time/effort as needed, so just throw anything you have at me, whether it be excersise's to do, what pencil's to best use, studies, general advice, websites that can help me understand this concept... anything.
I've been a bit of a lurker myself, and this is my first "proper" post, so im hoping that you find it useful.
Hmm..well i have been working with pencils quite abit myself recently trying to get more out of them, and i must say that they are extreamly versitle. There a quite a few tricks to help get more out of them, and these are the ones that i have found useful so far.
1 - Keep a wide variety of pencils
I usually have three sets of 5 pencils at the ready. They vary from hard to soft [i like to use a range of H to 8B]. As I said, I keep 3 sets of those, each set having a different point type.
What I mean by that is I keep a set of really sharp ones, a set of round points, and a set of blunt pointed pencels. This is usfull when you come to drawing various objects. If the object is dull, such a s a worn out leather shoe, rendering it with the blunt pencils can really help give character to the object.
2 - Use all sides of the pencil.
Realistically..you can create very good drawings with as little as 3 pencils, if you vary the way in which you hold it. The way i work is by roughing out lines of action by holding the pencil flat so that the majority of the lead is touching the paper, and then I tighten up the details by holding it on its side [so that the pencil is at a 45 degree angle to the paper]. For finer details you can hold the pencil almost upright [90 degrees] and work purley on it's point. it helps to use a sharp lead for this.
3 - Be prepared to invest alot of time
The final thing i learnt working with pencils is that to achive those photo realistic rendering looks, the main tool you need is patience. laying in values can be tedious, and personally, i dont like to spend so much time on greyscale renderings. however..if that is the style you like then go for it, and give yourself time to work things through to completion.
Realistically..every tool has its strengths and its weakness, i think the trick is to find the tools which complement your working style. I'm still searching for mine
Hopefully this helps?
Thank you for the helpful advice
if you wanna do some awesome modelling (or 'rendering')...
get a reeeaaaaally nice, sharp, pencil. the sharper your pencil, the sharper your awareness.
do a nice ol drawing and get it accurate. get your shadow shapes where you want them, whatever.
now, do some hatching. look down at your paper... notice how inbetween your pencil marks theres those white spaces? fill those in (with your sharp pencil!). use a kneaded eraser to pick out those little dark spots. This flattens out your shadow shape, which is what you want for now.
Then, model from the shadow up to the light. Make sure you fill inbetween the marks if you want that smooth look.
So you'll have the full value range between your shadow shape and the white of the paper to work with. later on, when youve established your value range, you can pull out your reflected light in the shadows.
Of course, what I just told you is a process, not the actual ideas behind the process. But I cant teach you that in a forum. So, if you follow what I said, you'll learn to make some nice pretty drawings; even if theyre not totally right.
I'm not very good at rendering, but I have been learning it. To start, you can practice alot with cubes, and spheres, and simple geometrical shapes and practice shading them with different light arrangements. If you can get a 3d modelling package (there are many free ones) you can use them to set up a scene with lights to help you. It's pretty boring honestly but it is good practice. You want to learn to control the pencil and the pressure you put on it as I have read.
You might want to start with landscapes, and simpler objects. I find people to be very hard to render well. Of course, you have to establish the proper lines first before you render. If your drawing isn't accurate it might be a waste of time to render it, but maybe not, there are sometimes good drawings that are technically not perfect.