Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some tips/tech for drawing.

This entry is dedicated to my beautiful and talented niece Victoria who is interested in all this jazz since she made her mind and wanted to study design, I saw once her illustrations and a nice elephant she did reminded me of this old trick.

The is dedicated to you, too. This post may help you in giving you a somewhat rudimentary technique which involves erasing in order to create light on objects drawn with pencil.

Step One: The Drawing.

To give light to any object first you do is visualize the object in your mind, its proportions and how would it be if it is three-dimensional. For instance, if we visualize a ball, you can "feel" its roundness in your mind and start imagining where would the light hit it if is set overhead, the upper parts is clear while the bottom is darker.

When it comes to more complex objects, for example, an animal, a rock or some irregular shape, then you are going to use your imagination a lot to visualize these objects before using some lightning or shading.

Well, this is the Furroduck's outline.
For this case I decided to go with some weird animal I imagined right out the bat, sorry :) I named it the Furroduck, or whatever you like to call it. Once you're done with the outline drawing you start to get a better idea how would you like it filled using your crayons or pencils.

In my imagination I tried to shape its muscles and many body parts as rounded as it can be to give it more mass, while it has more mass it is more interesting to see, in the case you're going for reallistic drawing.

Step Two: Filling.

The order in which you
sould apply the pencil.
Filling would "color" the shape you did, since we are working with pencils it would be very nice if you familiarize with the density of the material you are using. For this technique I would suggest you to use F, FB, or HB pencils which trace is very light and is easy to erase. It is important here that you don't fill anything without an order, if you start making directionless strokes you would probably get a mess where some parts are darker than others and you just don't feel any uniformity around your drawing. You're aiming to get it as flat and opaque as possible.

For that purpose, you can use your HB in a fixed direction for the first pencil layer, as it shows in the 2nd pic.
The first layer doesnt have to be perfectly
uniform, you just have to do it.
This is the part of making a drawing where you get totally absorbed by it. In my particular case I feel like I do not belong to myself and is a very abstract feeling. Working on a texture does not require a lot of concentration, it just requires all the contrary; plug yourself off and pour yourself in the drawing. Sorry if I exceeded my words, but Hey! is what I feel while doing it! :)

If you don't have any graphite drawing pencil you may resort to mechanical pencils and the trace will be much more uniform without having to worry about the hassle of sharpen the pencil.

In this case it didn't take me too long to complete the 1st. layer of filling. In order to make it uniform you need to apply several layers to the shape, as in the avobe pic you may want to draw the first in a direction and the second on the opposite way.

And then erase on the points where the
light hits, caring about the outline.
Once you are done with the second layer you may have a much more uniform "coloring" on the shape, and you will feel much better whatever it ails you. Kinda therapeutic. You may try to make the second layer with the same intensity of darkness with which you drew the first. You know, uniformity-ish-ly.

Part Three: Erasing

Here is when it gets cooler. You can use either the back of a pencil for precission or a big eraser for covering more space. Whichever the case you will employ your imagination here more than in the previous steps.

For the lightning I went for the classics and I'll put the lights as if they were in a room, right above its head, and started erasing the upper parts of the drawing. The shoulder, the head, the ear, the cheek, and the back line were in my priority list for erasing. If you screw this part erasing bigger parts there's little to be done for fixing it. just be careful and erase conciously.

Not finished, but there you can get the
idea of what you got to do.
And for the shading part you want to use a third or fourth layer of pencil to get them really dark. Try here to use any B pencil you got around, my favourite is 5B which is very dense and leaves a real mess of dust as well as a big amount of "valor" in Spanish. Which means "intensity" in illustration terms. My teacher used to say "Si no le pones valor a tus dibujos, no tienes valor!! tienes que ser valiente!!" (if you don't put valor to your drawings, you have no bravery! you gotta be brave!"... good times those, I loved that teacher.

And there you go! This technique is very rudimentary since the best way to apply lightning on a drawing is not filling on the white parts. Doing so will make the white of the paper itself to stand out. By erasing you are automatically pushing graphite dust particles inside of the paper holes, darkening it in the process.

Additionally you may want to polish the coloring by brushing the "layers" with your finger on the dark parts of the drawing, doing so you smoothen the texture in the coloring layers and it will look much more finished.

Well, I hope this can be useful for you, and you can practice a bit too in the future. I would like to hear your comments, observations, critique and much other things. Have a great week.

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