25 July, 2016

Building up shade help

This probable seems like a really obvious thing to many artists, especially those of you well established or who have studied/done this professionally...but bare with me because I didn't really take art seriously as a student and most of what I've done has been about going with the flow rather than technique.

But there's always a time to start, right? Anyway, I want to know how to make my pencil drawings a little more professional. My problem is that I like to draw low-key compositions and I can build up to a nice level of shade with my B pencils...but covering large areas like backgrounds is a problem because I can't smoothe it all out evenly. I try to layer up to avoid too many collage-looking areas...but it's tough! So when light hits my pictures it ends up looking like a 5 year old has been colouring in, even though it has taken me a lot of time.

I'm wondering if maybe adding some charcoal in may help to add more depth? And it's a little easier to blend in however is messier and not my ideal.

Below is an example of what I mean - I'm really, really happy with this picture I just feel like the background really lets me down.



lauren tindle 25 Jul 2016

It always seems more obvious when scanned in too!

Stella Colhoun 05 Sep 2016

this is a beautiful piece, some people like to see the workings, (rough pencil marks) but if you want it smooth, you can try a paper stump, find them on amazon, or personally i just smudge it with my finger, I know a lot of artists frown on this, but if it gets the desired effect hey ho. keep up the good work x.

Crazycatz9 13 Feb 2017

my insight is not attempting to layer the pencil until you achieve the desired shade rather change the pencil that can give that desired shade. example if you take a b2 and a b6 you notice that they already have the desired shade yet still overlap.

rosemary gioielli 23 Feb 2017

Nice work! the background doesn't necessarily need to be an even toned, variation can be interesting. The "stump" used for smudging creates a certain smooth look, but as mentioned in another post it is often frowned on because of that certain look. I think a little finger smudge looks better anyway. On the areas where you want to blend a bit more- try using your finger to blend.( like on the cheek bone)...Charcoal is messy, but a pop of white charcoal here and there, and black too. you can also use your eraser for high light areas.