Textures And Tones With A Soft Pencil

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Pencil Brickwork Texture
Figure 3-4. Practical application of pencil texture and tones (Note: Carpenter's pencil is used for brick and shingle textures)
Pencil Texture Techniques
Figure 3-5. Mechanically applied single line technique combined with stipple technique

(1) The mechanical application of single line shading uses a straight edge, triangle, and a technical fountain pen or mechanical pencil (fig 3-5). Because of the consistent, uniform line weight of the pen, you can easily achieve a clean, mechanical, visual effect.

Pencil Drawing Textures
Figure 3-6. The freehand single line application of pencil to a rough-textured paper

(2) The freehand single line approach (fig 3-6) is very expressive and beautiful. The freeness of this approach gives life to the subject matter. Experiment to improve your skills. Tools can be either a pencil, technical fountain pen, or a crow quill pen. The flexibility of the quill pen will allow a variation of thick and thin lineweight throughout the line length.

Figure 3-7. The form-following approach

(3) The most difficult single line approach is the form-following approach (fig 3-7). The linear shading follows the form and changes direction with the form. The effect, however, will be worth the effort. It gives a three-dimensional look to the work that other techniques are unable to match. Use any of the above-mentioned tools to render with this technique.

Figure 3-8. Series of short, single line applications

(4) Patterns of a series of short single line applications are a very effective shading technique (fig 3-8). The patterns can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, with repeating applications to each. There is no set pattern to follow as long as value is controlled. Simply stated, copy the dark and light areas.

b. Graded line has varied thickness within its length. This variation helps to create the illusion of shade and shadow while creating the illusion of depth. The most well known examples of this technique are comic books and cartoon-style posters.

c. Crosshatch shading technique uses two or more series of overlapping parallel lines. Each cross in different directions. This technique uses the same principles as the single line with each series crossing another to create a darker value area (fig 3-9).

d. Stipple (confused with pointilism) uses a series of irregularly spaced dots (usually ink) that control light and dark (fig 3-10). The closer the dots, the darker your image area. A fine-tipped technical fountain pen (00) is most useful for application of this technique. Application consists of touching the pen to the paper vertically and sporadically. Do not apply stipple on-the-move or dashes will appear instead of dots. Stipple technique is time consuming but pleasing to the eye. Practice will help you refine this technique.

(1) Pointilism is the placing of small dots of pure color juxtaposed (placed next to each other) to cause a visual color mixture. An example is the art of Vincent VanGogh.

Shading Technique Pencil DrawingShading Technique Stippling
Figure 3-10. The stipple shading technique

e. Dry brush technique applies a liquid medium in an almost dry state. This technique applies many tiny value patterns of pigment to the illustration in a manner resulting in a somewhat rough appearance. This technique is ideal for creating an illusion of texture such as grasses and weathered wood.

Application can be with a standard brush with its hairs spread out, or with a fan brush.

3. Tone media techniques. Tone media can be dry or liquid and must be capable of producing black, white, and shades of gray (including color media)(fig 3-4). The following discusses techniques for using tone media.

a. Dry media techniques - Dry media (pencil, charcoal, pastels, and chalk) involve directly applying the pigment to a surface. Application can be with either the end (tip) or broad side (edge), depending on the medium used. Control the value by the amount of applied pressure (fig 3-11). Adjoining values are feathered or blended to create a graduated tone. Use a smudging tool to smooth tones. These tools can be a stump, tissue, or cotton swab. Don't use your fingers to blend media. Fingers contain body oils that may smudge the drawings. Use a kneaded eraser to bring out highlights.

b. Wash media techniques - Thin wash media (watercolor, ink, and opaque paints) with water, then apply to a heavy absorbent paper. Use a round or flat sable brush to apply washes. The four types of wash are flat wash, graded wash, wet-on-wet, and wet-on-dry. Listed below are techniques for using washes. An appropriately-sized round brush should be used to float-on washes.

(1) A flat wash has one even value once dry.

(a) First, dilute enough medium to cover the entire area for the wash. Then, wet the paper with clear water and allow it to be absorbed until there is no visible moisture.

(b) Load the brush with wash. Starting at the top of the paper, use an even, moderately fast stroke to lay on the wash. Hold the brush nearly flat so most of the hair touches the paper. Float the wash on. Do not rub it in.

(c) Continue with a slight overlap of the previous stroke. Before the brush loses all of its tone, quickly dip it into the wash and continue until all the area has wash.

(d) Finally, with a dried brush, stroke the pool that will form at the bottom of the paper. The brush will soak up some of the excess. Squeeze the brush and repeat as necessary.

Figure 3-11. Dry media techniques

(2) Graded wash has a gradually changing Value from light to dark within its area. Follow the same procedure as for flat wash but dip the brush into clear water instead of the wash. Do this every stroke or two. This will dilute the wash and graduate it from dark to light. To go from light to dark do the opposite. Start with the clear water and add a little tone after each stroke.

(3) Wet-on-wet is applying a toned wash to an already wet value area. While the area is still wet, apply another toned wash to the area. This second wash will bleed into the first creating a soft irregular edge.

(4) Wet-on-dry is laying a wash on the watercolor paper and then allowing it to dry. Apply a second wash over the first after it is dry. This technique will allow build-up of the tone's value and create sharper edges between different tones or values. For a very sharp edge, lay masking tape or a masking medium over the area not receiving the wash. Once all is dry, pick up the tape or masking medium, and the protected area without wash remains the same value.

c. Opaque media techniques - Opaque media are those paints, discussed previously, which you cannot see through. They include tempera, gouache, and acrylic. Opaque paints are heavy, stiff, and difficult to blend. It is easy, however, to get a flat area of uniform value. Take the medium directly from the tube and mix it to the proper consistency and shade. Paint over mistakes by simply letting the paint dry, then repainting with the correct tone or another value.

(1) Consistency - Mix the water-based opaque paint with a little water to get the consistency of heavy cream. Don't add too much water or the paint will be runny and no longer transparent. If you don't add enough water, however, the paint will be stiff and difficult to use.

(2) Mixing - Opaque paints come in black and white, and color. They also come in shades of premixed grays, often called retouch grays. Although it is more convenient to use the retouch grays, you may want to mix your own. First mix black and white paint to get a middle gray. Next mix this middle gray with white to get light gray and with black to get dark gray. Continue to mix adjacent values until the desired number of grays are reached.

(3) Blending - To achieve an appearance of a graded tone, paint narrow bands of closely related values side by side.

You may, however, want to blend the colors using either the wet or dry brush method (fig 3-12).

(a) Wet brush - Lay the two values to be blended, side by side. Slightly overlap them on the paper. Wet the brush in a clear carrier and move it back and forth over the two values. The brush will mix the two values together creating an in-between value (fig 3-12).

(b) Dry brush - Paint the two values slightly overlapping the other, creating a definite separating line between them. On the palette, mix a gray tone, half way between the two values. Pick up a small portion of the gray tone with the tip ends of your brush and blend over the middle of the two values (fig 3-13).

Figure 3-12. Wet brush blending
Tones And Textures With Pencil
Figure 3-13. Dry brush blending

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Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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    Which pencil gives a soft tone?
    4 years ago
  • bobby
    How to shade graduated tone in drawing?
    2 years ago
  • Clorinda
    How to render realistic tones in a drawing?
    1 month ago

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