TUTORIAL - Traditional Pencil Shading Technique - by Icey (NUDITY)

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Old 01 January 2007   #1
TUTORIAL - Traditional Pencil Shading Technique - by Icey (NUDITY)

I was asked by Rebecca to show my own tutorial(s) here. So i'll just copy-paste what i have on my thread

Ok… here is the beginning… I’ve found this web site: http://www.boneclones.com – and I’ve bumped into this image with the 2 calf skulls. This will be my next drawing. Now, what I am going to do is use the elements that I like, and change the rest of it!

First step: I’m starting with the major volume. Be very careful with paging – you won’t like to find yourself running out of page or asymmetry when it is a must. Most important thing during the whole drawing process – DO NOT APLY PREASURE ON THE PENCIL! Whatever you do, don’t use blacks. You’ll find yourself messing it all up and not being able to erase anything. At this early stage, just let the line flow, let gravity do its thing on your pencil, you just control its direction. You can use the ruler to control your proportions and symmetry, but I prefer to do it by hand, so that I won’t become dependent on it. I’m drawing the eye sockets, jaw and nose, the symmetry axis joining, etc, only at the basic level.

Second step: digging into big details. And that is the next major volumes/forms on your shape. I am also thinking what I like and what I’m changing – I don’t like the jaw –it’s kind of deformed so I’ll get my own design, more real, I’ll lengthen the skull a little, ageing the animal, I don’t like the teeth so they’ll suffer some modifications.

If there’s a chance to use the eraser and modify big things, I think this is the best one! (I mean perspective, symmetry, proportions – very important for the human figure)

CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #2
Next step: focusing on smaller details: like the curving of the bone’s relief, different holes and the edges where different parts that form the skull ends…. Stuff like that… One thing you have to start thinking about is the source of light. You won’t like the picture’s flash light because is boring, non artistic and flat! You need the real thing, the thing that would make your model interesting in a movie shot, throwing a little mystery upon it – either is a man, an animal or a building….. It also gives you the focusing point! – the most important thing in my opinion. If you use colours you can focus your attention with a striking complementary (is this the right word?...). But right now I have to do it with blacks or wits.

Some would prefer leaving all the construction lines, others would clean it all up… I like to keep an average. Maybe sharpening the edges a little, creating some line contrast – but! !not too hard! You’ll have to cover them with hatching later

One other thing! DO NOT TRY TO COPPY THE PICTURES YOU ARE USING FOR REFERENCE, OR THE LIFE MODEL FOR THAT MATTER! You will find yourself in one situation when you have to draw something with no reference… You have to understand what you have in front of you, either is something as simple as a mug or a human being. Try to understand the way it works, what makes it the thing and the way that it is! Those are very difficult questions….

You can start now with some early shading- it will help you revealing the shape and depth better.

CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #3
4th step: Blending and texturing. Now is the time you throw your reference away and just go by your thought, because a bad picture could ruin everything you’ve worked on until now. Start adding a little contrast.

I’ve shaded the background a little – because it gives me a first idea about how the edges will look – you need shadow to have light, like you need evil to have the notion of good. I’m also cleaning the edges revealing a more accurate contour.

When shadowing your form, be very careful where your source of light is. Draw small arrows just to remind you about it.
CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #4
5th step: Further blending and texturing and contrasting. I’ve heard recently that art school teachers think that contrast is for beginners, and they prefer the cool down shading. Well… I don’t know about that, but I just love contrast and things that bump right out of the paper, that you feel you can touch… And you have to have more that a good perspective to do that…

6th step: Start asking yourself : what helps you describe your shape best. Hide the unnecessary parts! (this is something I’ve learned from The Bone Doctor – Mr. Mentler ) Cool down the things you like to remain unnoticed on a first view. Accentuate your focusing point.

CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #5
7th step: Still looking unfinished! This is when you have to blend perfectly. Close your eyes so that you can allow only a small ray of light through your eyelashes, that way you can create a filter and work on your “natural photoshop levels”. What you’ll see black, just shad it some more! It’s a little trick I’ve learned a long time ago. Work the background too! As you’ve noticed, we have no cast shadows (is that the right word??)… We will have them in the next step, just be patience! That requires all the attention.

Now… Daniel Dociu said something once that changed my opinion about how a final stage drawing should look like. Hope I can translate his words right: “When you think you’ve finished, try blacking two thirds of your drawing, no matter how hart braking is to destroy all the details you’ve worked on, you’ll realize your work has gained impact, force, clarity, much more than losing details.”
CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #6
And here comes the final step: adding the shadow that your object drops on the environment and on itself. There are 2 major categories of light: the sun light and the artificial light. The sun light leaves no shadow perspective - it means parallel lines when constructing the shadow. The artificial light creates a shadow that respects the one view point perspective – that means that the construction lines meet in one point – the source of light… (ok… I think we all knew that). Scot Robertson has a WONDERFUL DVD tutorial on Gnomon regarding shadow construction.
CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #7
If you don’t like the finish drawing, it doesn’t have to be the finish! Just start playing with it in photoshop, see what shapes you can get, and you can use those for future works, abstract materials, presentation and so on… Possibilities are there for you to see them

CGTalk sketch thread HERE
Old 01 January 2007   #8
That was FANTASTIC! I've been a big fan of your pencil sketches and it was really nice of you to give us a little peek into your process. A wonderfully written tutorial and amazing artwork to go with it.

Edit: Damn, I posted too soon. Just when I thought it couldn't get better...it did! The Photoshop postwork is -beautiful- Reminds me a little of Android Jones' work (and I say it in the best, most complimentary way because he's one of my art gods)
You rock!

Last edited by Iridyse : 01 January 2007 at 01:32 PM.
Old 01 January 2007   #9

Glenn Gallegos

Old 01 January 2007   #10
Icey, in terms of drawing, you're definitely a star - this stuff is amazing! Thank you for sharing your techniques. A wonderful tutorial. I'm definitely a fan.

EDIT: I've added your wonderful tutorial here to the Notification thread. Hope everyone gets the chance to check this out. I've also made this a Sticky, I think we all could learn a lot from you! Please feel free to add more tutorials or drawings to this thread, it would be an even greater source of inspiration.

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Facebook Page | Blog
Downtown Los Angeles

Last edited by Rebeccak : 01 January 2007 at 02:27 PM.
Old 01 January 2007   #11

I love B&W since I was a baby but your work is MORE than incredible.

Old 01 January 2007   #12
Oh my...

Thanks a lot for sharing with us ! I have to put it in practice !

Eduardo S. Janiszewski

Zupi Portal (eng)
Old 01 January 2007   #13
major help! thanks a lot ill be sure to look through this many times.
Old 01 January 2007   #14
Thanks for sharing! Looks great.

Me likey the pencil!

» B O T C H E D (gustaf fjelstrom)
The Botched Blog (um.... my blog)

Old 01 January 2007   #15
Thumbs up wow!

Amazing! I haven't worked in pencil in ages... thank you for sharing the tutorial! You've inspired me to try my hand at it again.
~Eden Celeste~
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