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 :slight_smile:

here is the beginning
I’ve found this web site: http://www.boneclones.com[color=white] – 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! [/color]

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)


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.”


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
I think we all knew that). Scot Robertson has a WONDERFUL DVD tutorial on Gnomon regarding shadow construction.


[font=Verdana]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 :)[/font]


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!


HEY…Icey…:thumbsup: :slight_smile:



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. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I've added your wonderful tutorial [here](http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4168064&postcount=33) 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. :thumbsup:



OOOOHH MY GOD ! :drool:
I love B&W since I was a baby but your work is MORE than incredible. :drool:


Oh my…

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



major help! thanks a lot ill be sure to look through this many times.


Thanks for sharing! Looks great.

Me likey the pencil!


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.


thank you, thank you! :slight_smile: Very helpful - and timely for me, I was just asking for advice on shading!



[left]Hey Icey, great tips for drawing. The only thing that could make it better is if the direction you shaded in reflected the form of the object, the way you’re shaded only reflects light values.

I definitely agree with darkening a “finished” drawing, you can’t worry about localized details if the drawing doesn’t pull together as a whole. The final layer of shading really reinforces the impact of the work.


Icey :slight_smile:

That’s a lovely tutorial; with lovely artwork to go with it! :slight_smile:

Wonderful :thumbsup:

cheers and take care
a. :slight_smile:


Amazing skill! A bizarre and great tutorial. :slight_smile:


Whooo,proberly not so original when i say thanks for sharing, but i’ll say it anyway,so…
thanks for sharing!!!ha,ha.
I love pencilwork too!!!Really nice work you got there!