Monday, February 20, 2012

Learn How to Draw - Graphite Pencil and Charcoal Tutorial

Learn How to Draw - Graphite Pencil and Charcoal Tutorial

                                                           Work In Progress

Title: "Inner Beauty"
Size: 18" x 14"
Medium:  Charcoal, Graphite, Carbon on White Paper

Step One:
I am using charcoal for the background and graphite for the subject. I'm using Arches 140 lbs hot press watercolor paper for this drawing. This is one of my favorite papers. It has enough tooth to create dark values yet is smooth enough for very delicate textures. In this first step, I have cut out the shape of my subject(s) in frisket film and applied it to the paper. Then, I applied 3b soft charcoal to the background to begin creating a wood texture.  


Step Two:
Next, I blended the charcoal with a piece of felt and added the beginnings of wood grain. I repeated this several times to build up a solid tone. After pulling out some highlights with a clic eraser, I used a sharp hard charcoal pencil to create shadows to help create slivers and chips in the wood. I also applied masking tape at this point. I will be drawing masking tape in these areas later. Some of the wood texture will show through from the previous step and give my drawn masking tape a little more transparency.

Step Three:
Then, I sprayed the drawing with fixative, Peeled off the frisket and began rendering the subjects. I used a 6h graphite pencil to add tone to the paper and blended with a chamois. In some areas, I applied the graphite with the chamois. For those of you that haven’t tried blending with a chamois, it can produce incredibly subtle tones – almost like an air brush. I use a kneaded eraser to pull out the crinkles in the paper. I am using the same technique to render the rose, applying graphite from dark to light and blending.
The tape on the right shows what it looking like after I removed the real masking tape.  I have begun rendering the tape on the right with a General's carbon sketch  pencil and blending with a tortillon. Using carbon here for the tape will help separate it from the wood and the paper.   

Step Four:
I have started adding the holes and lines of the notebook paper. In case you are wondering, I didn’t darken the background in this step, I had to turn up the contrast on this a bit to show the lines on the paper.

I used charcoal for the holes to match the background. Adding charcoal at this stage always makes me nervous since it isn’t fixed and can easily smear. I also continued to add shading to the rose and added the line drawing of the stem.

The lines on the paper were produced with a .3 mechanical pencil to keep them as sharp and clean as possible. I used a French Curve instead of a ruler because the lines had to follow the bends and crinkles in the paper to keep the perspective correct. The best way to describe a French curve is it’s a bendable rubber straight edge

Step Five:
Here’s the final. I had a real tough time taking photos of this one. I couldn’t get a picture of the softness of the paper shading without compromising the darker background detail. The original has more punch.

I’ve included some close-ups to give you a little better Idea of the detail. In the original drawing the tape is approximately 3/4" wide. It may appear larger than I drew it on your screen. 

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