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.