Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tutorial: How to Draw a Face

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

 This tutorial is quite a bit more advanced, and may not be suitable for a beginner to undertake. I am posting it for the more experienced; that is, the intermediate artist who has already acquired a knowledgeable and working background in the basics of composition, perspective, and the techniques of various pencil strokes and shading.

Of course, as I am just beginning this tutorial web site and there are not many posts, I plan to have a well-rounded set of tutorials for everyone, beginner and advance alike.

I would suggest that a beginner doesn't start out with learning how to draw a face or portrait, as it could lead to disappointment and serve to discourage further interest in learning how to draw if you see your attempt of this project as a failure. Learning to draw a face is extremely advanced, and definitely not for the person just picking up the pencil for the first time!

With all that said, I still stand by my previous statement that anyone can learn to draw, with enough practice and patience! That general ability to learn certainly comes with all drawing subjects, including faces.

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

The photo of the girl above is what we will be drawing from. I obtained this copyright and royalty-free photo from, a web site which has all manner of free resource photos and images for artists.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Using the 2B pencil sketch the outline of the face. To get the correct proportions, take note of the horizontal and vertical guidelines in the image above. There is no need to apply too much pressure at this preliminary step.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Moving further along and creating a more detailed outline of the girl's features, and still using the 2B pencil, we arrive at a basic foundation to expand upon for the rest of the drawing.

Sketch in the basic outline of the hair on the left side of the girl's face. Define the basic flow of her hair with a few strokes. No need at this point to be too detailed; that will come later. With this step, we are just trying to achieve the basic foundation, and we will build from that in each subsequent step.

Take note of the proportions and composition of the girl's smile; the corners of her mouth are parallel to the center of the eye, specifically the pupil. Also, the dimples are on a parallel plane relative to the outer far side of the irises of her eyes. I have sketched guidelines to illustrate this, shown above.

Add the outline for the eyebrows, sketch the outline of the eyes and mouth. Pay attention to the proportions; I have left guidelines here to help you. Notice the position of the girl's head; her face is slightly cast down, and she is looking up at the viewer. It is important to take notice of this, as it is an integral part of the portrait's composition, not to say nothing of how it adds an interesting element for a portrait drawing. Also, her chin doesn't fully appear in view, as well as the top of her head and the right side of her face, they are cropped by the format of the image.

Lightly sketch in the highlights in the eyes; this is the part where the light hits the eyes.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

As a reminder, it is helpful to refer to the reference photo to be sure you are getting everything correct.

Starting on the left eye, take the 4B pencil and add shading to the outside iris. Be sure to gradiate the shade toward the inner part of the eye, as well as the outer, and not leave a solid black line (As you can observe, the girl has very light colored eyes, so don't add too much shading). This will give the eye more depth and three-dimensionality. Moving on to the pupil, take the 6B pencil and blacken the pupil's center, fading the tone as you work outward. Also, work within the parameters of the highlights and try not to add any marks in these areas.

Add hairs to the eyebrows with feathered strokes using the 2B pencil, work from the bottom of the eyebrow and moving up and to the left, following the hair's direction. Add the eyelashes by using sharp comma strokes. Take care to not overdo it and add too many.

Using the 6B pencil, add shading to the eyelid as shown above. Gradiate the tone as you move rightward.

So that you can see what we have done so far in the overall drawing, here is Step 3 of the drawing, whole view:

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Taking the HB pencil, add an even shading to the girl's whole face. Try to go extremely light; if necessary use a 2H pencil for this step. The reason for applying graphite in this manner is that skin is never completely white, or in this case, the color of the surface of the paper (except for the spots that are hit with light). It is necessary to cover the entire face with tonal values as this will create a more life-like portrait.

We will not blend the graphite we've added to the face; that will be the task in the next step.

As a piece of advice, at this point you should get a blank sheet of paper to lay down over the drawing where your hand is placed to protect it from smudging.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Using the 6B pencil, darken and shade the hair. use fluent, flowing strokes, and give all the hair some tonal values. Don't worry about drawing every strand of hair at this point; we will define the finer details in a later step, using the kneaded eraser.

At the point where the hair meets the eye and forehead, add a gradiated shadow moving to the right, as shown above.

If the image above isn't clear, click on it to enlarge.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

In this step, we work on the left side of the face; the cheeks, nose, and mouth area. This detailing, shown above, is just the first layer of graphite shading, in later steps we will add more graphite tones and even finer details.

Using the HB or 2B, add the shade from the strand of hair on the girl's cheek, as shown. I use the point of the pencil to add layers of shading. Here is an example of my personal shading method:

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait; How To Shade with a Pencil
Shading Method

In the example above, I have used a 2B pencil to illustrate the method of shading and adding tonal values in drawing. When performing this technique, try to apply even layers of graphite, and don't apply pressure with your fingers on the pencil; rather use your wrist to apply the strokes. This may sound odd, and forgive me if I am not providing an adequate explanation here. What I mean is, the fingers should be the vehicle, and the wrist and forearm should be the motor. Try to develop the habit of not using your fingers to stroke, but letting your wrist and forearm apply strokes. The strength of application should come from the arm, not the fingers.

Pay attention to how deep or light the shadows and tones are from observing the reference photo. In the area covered in this step, the shadows are light to medium, not so deep and dark. From the reference photo, try to observe each cast of shadow, it's direction, and how it follows the contours of the face. Then, add what you see with the pencil.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

In Step 7, we continue to working adding tones and shading to the nose, lips and mouth area. With the lips, observe the reference photo. As you can see the source of the light cast on the girl's face appears to be from the upper left-hand side. So as shown above, the bottom lip highlight is on the top, and slightly lighter on the left side, then darkening slightly as it moves to the right.

I have mostly used the HB and 2B pencils in this step.

Here is a zoomed image of the area in particular:

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Following the technique that we took in Step 3, render the right eye, using the 6B pencil for the darkest areas, and the 4B and 2B for the eyelid shadows and the eyelashes. Keep within the parameters of the eye highlights.

With the 2B pencil, add shading to the right side of the girl's face, starting from the nose and moving rightward. Note that the right side of the face is slightly more in shadow than the left side.

I have started to add some freckles here; use an HB pencil for this and go lightly. When sketching the freckles, be aware of the contours of the face. As an example, look at this image:

How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Notice that on the side of the girl's nose that the freckles appear to be thinner and clustered closer together. This is because we are not looking at the freckles head on. As the freckles make their way around the nose, they appear more clustered. It is very important to render the freckles in this way, to do otherwise will make the drawing look less life-like. The bridge of the girl's nose, in life, juts out more than the sides of her nose, as do the cheeks and forehead. So, observing the contours in this way is very helpful in achieving a realistic effect.

Darken in the area of the jaw line in the lower right corner using a 6B pencil. Add additional definition to the lips and area around the mouth. Remember: the right side of the face is slightly more in shadow than the left.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

Here we have added more detail, finishing the freckles and defining the tones more sharply. I have added deeper shadowing over the whole face with the 2B pencil, and with the 4B pencil added darker tones to the hair.

In the next step, we will finish up with the final details.


How to Draw a face; How to Draw a Portrait

In the final step, we take an rubber eraser, I have one made by Derwent, although there are many manufacturers. It is different from a regular eraser, such as one for classroom. Even better is a click eraser, Pentel makes one and you can find it at any supermarket.

Alternatively, you can use a battery-powered eraser.

Take the rubber eraser and move to the hair area and erase and highlight the areas shown above. Don't worry if what you have erased out appears too white; just take the HB pencil and lightly go over the area to darken it.

Again, don't worry about getting every strand exactly as it appears in the reference photo. Getting the general idea will suffice.

After this, we are done!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tutorial: How To Draw a Human Mouth

How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

In the next tutorial, we will draw a female mouth from the frontal perspective. This viewpoint is the simplest to draw.

We will be using the range of pencils: HB, 2B, 4B and 6B for this exercise.

Remember to sketch lightly (use gentle pressure with the pencil) when laying out the preliminary sketch. You can use a 2B pencil for the first step, as it dark enough to make lines, but not hard enough to indent the paper, which creates a problem when you add shading and final details later.


How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

In this step, sketch the basic outline using a 2B pencil. The area should be around three inches from the left  to right sides of the mouth, and two inches from the top to bottom. Use a ruler to get the proper measurements, but this size is suggested only. You can draw the mouth bigger than this, but try to keep at or above these measurements, because in later steps we will need a sufficient area to work in to add details and final shading.

On thing to remember: if you are just starting out and learning to draw, don't worry about getting this outline exactly right, and don't worry if you leave out a few teeth. Just try to do the best you can.  Optionally, you can print the Step 1 image and trace it to the surface to be drawn.


How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

Continuing with the 2B pencil, shade in the gums lightly as shown above. Between the upper and lower rows of teeth (the area between showing the inside mouth and tongue) take the 4B pencil and add a preliminary shading as shown. Don't make the whole area dark, as there are some highlights here that will be accentuated in a later step.

With the 2B pencil sketch in the highlights on the lips, then add an even layer of shading to over the whole lips. Go lightly; we just want the general tone of the lips, later we will add the finer details. 


How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

Take the HB pencil, or if you prefer, a 2H pencil, as this next step is very delicate and it is necessary to apply very light graphite. We will be adding tones to the teeth.

It is assumed that teeth are white, but in reality, they are never completely white. When inside the mouth, depending on the angle and lighting, they may appear darker or lighter in tone as the case may be.

This step will really make the drawing life-like; it is tedious, but worth the effort. Using the HB (or 2H, as it is necessary to use a harder lead as we need to apply the graphite very lightly) add and even shade to all the teeth, top and bottom rows. Go very light.

When you have finished, take a tortillion (or toilet paper and twist it into a point), and gently blend each tooth one-by-one. This step may be the most difficult of this tutorial. You don't want to make the teeth too dark, but yet, you want to add the proper tone to them. If the teeth are too dark, it may indicate that your subject needs a trip to the dentist! If it happens that you add too much graphite, all is not lost. Take a kneaded eraser and light and gently remove the excess graphite. Like stated before, it requires a lot of patience!

In the image above, you can see that I have done the right side upper teeth, and the lower teeth, but the left side of the upper row of teeth have only been penciled with the HB; no blending with a tortillion yet. this is to show you both aspects (adding graphite, then blending) of this exercise.

Take care to avoid putting your hand or fingers into what you have already sketched. To obviate this, put a separate piece of scrap paper down over the drawing where you hand might go.


How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

As shown above, I have finished the teeth began in the last step and have moved on to the lips and other areas. We begin to fill out the fine details in Step 4.

As you study the image above, take note of the highlighted areas; the shiny parts of the lips, as well as where the lip meets the area below the nose--along the 'bow' of the top lip, there is a highlight that follows the line of the lip. These areas receive little or no graphite as this is where the light hits directly on the subject. These highlights are important to the overall drawing, as they add realism.

Take the 4B pencil and add the darkest tones of the lips. Optionally, you can also work on the areas above the lips, and the cheeks and nose. The darkest areas are reserved for the 4B pencil; then, as the tones become lighter, use the 2B. As no part of this drawing is white, with the exception of the highlights on the lips and teeth, all areas at this point should have a layer of pencil. The highlights are the only  areas which are the plain paper with no graphite applied. For the lightest areas of the skin above the lips and nose, add a thin even layer with the HB pencil.


How to draw a mouth, how to draw lips, how to shade teeth

Using a finger, lightly blend the shading on the lips, Pay close attention to the highlights; if you accidentally smudge some graphite into them, no worries, just take the kneaded eraser and carefully remove the smudge.

Still using your finger, continue to blend the drawing, moving on to the nose and areas below the nose, and cheeks. You only need to rub lightly, the graphite blends well.

Using the final drawing above as a guide, check to see if all is well; that is, if any areas of the lips, for instance, need more shading. If so, then apply as necessary.

Taking the HB pencil, sketch slight lines over the lips (not too darkly) in an up-and-down circular motion which follows the arc of the lips. This gives the lips a life-like appearance.

Finally, accentuate the highlights with the kneaded eraser.

The drawing is completed!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tutorial: The Art of Perspective Drawing

Backstreet by Edward Evans

Drawing in proper perspective is one the biggest problems that beginning drawing students have to overcome. It is one of the most important issues for an artist to master in order for his or her work to have the look and feel of authenticity. If a drawing's perspective is incorrect, the overall work looks abnormal. An exception to this would be surrealistic and abstract works.

This post will attempt to explain issues of perspective in drawing. I will impart several tips and pointers to help the understanding of perspective as it applies to drawing, and I will attempt to provide a basis for the beginner to start from so he or she has a practical starting point from which to tackle and master perspective drawing.

To define perspective drawing, it is the systematic method of rendering objects and subjects represented in the artwork relative to their closeness or distance from one another from the perspective of the viewer. Simply, learning to draw in perspective gives your work a three-dimensional reality.

City Street Perspective

To illustrate, imagine you are standing in the middle of a street looking straight down the thoroughfare as far as you can see. All the buildings, houses, trees, electrical utility poles, cars and people all gradually grow smaller as they retreat in the distance to the point where you cannot see any further. This point is called the vanishing point, and it is located on the horizon line, which is the distant point beyond which that you can see. When you look out from a beach at the expanse of the sea, the horizon line is where the sea meets the sky--it forms a horizontal line (horizon line) from the left to the right of your sight, or perspective. This known as one-point perspective. In future posts, we will deal two-point and three-point perspective.

If this all sounds confusing, don't worry! I will provide ample illustrations to facilitate understanding of this.

Three terms to be remembered:

1. Horizon line;
2. Vanishing point; and,
3. Eye level.

Many people picking up the pencil for the first time will arrive with some confusion; when rendering railroad tracks in a drawing, logic will tell them to draw two parallel lines, like this (or similar):

Wrong Perspective

Railroad tracks run parallel to one another, but when you stand between them and with your eyes follow their direction to the point where you cannot, the tracks seem to gradually converge.

When learning perspective as it relates to drawing, it is important to learn to draw what you see, not what you know. What I mean to say by this, is that we know that railroad tracks are equidistantly parallel to one another. What we need to learn when drawing is how it appears from the artist's (or more generally, the viewer's) perspective, that is, what we see. When you go outside, look down the sidewalk. You know that the sidewalk is pretty much the same width at the point of where you are standing as it is 50 or 100 feet down. But when you look that far down, you see that the sidewalk gradually tapers as it goes farther into the distance. That is what is meant by drawing what you see, not what you know.

Also note that the farther the objects are in the distance, as in the sketch below (tracks, hills, etcetera) the lighter in tone and fuzzier in detail they become.

Railroad Tracks Proper Perspective

In the sketch above, take note of the tracks and how they gradually recede into the distance of the surrounding hills: the point where the tracks disappear from sight is called the vanishing point (marked with an 'x'). The hills which run from the left to right of the illustration in the distance is the horizon line. In this example sketch, the horizon is also the eye level, but this arrangement would not be applied to all drawings; there many differing perspectives in any given subject the artist wishes to render. The eye level (or standing view) is one of the most common points of view, but there is also the bird's eye view (perspective from above) and the worm's eye view (view from low to the ground), which are only two of many examples.

Bird's Eye View

The above sketch is an example of the "bird's eye" perspective. In this instance, the body of the man tapers as the view goes from his head, to chest, and finally to legs and feet. This is another drawing technique called foreshortening. We will cover this in a future post.

Worm's Eye View

This sketch takes the perspective from the ground level, called the worm's eye view. Note that the man's body tapers as it goes upward; the foreshortening technique plays a role in this instance as well.

In closing, I must add that perspective is such a major part of drawing that it is certain that I will be covering this issue in future posts. Let this be an introductory to the basic principles; in the next few weeks and months we will indeed go over drawing perspective in greater detail.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tutorial: Some Tips On Composition

Before the artist can put a masterpiece on the paper, there are things that must be considered beforehand. Deciding on the subject to be rendered, of course, is one. But after conceiving what the artist wants to draw, he or she must consider its layout and composition, that is, how it will look on the paper.

Excellent layout, or composition of a drawing is what enhances the work, it makes the work stand out and demand attention. Composition is a major factor in any work of art and if the composition is not right, the rendering will look awkward and out of whack.

A simple method of deciding the composition of any work is the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds compositional technique conceives the planned drawing together with its subjects and regions, and dividing it into thirds along imaginary lines. The Rule of Thirds is not a hard-and-fast rule for every artwork; there are instances where following the Rule of Thirds is not feasible. But to keep it simple for the beginning student, the Rule of Thirds is a very powerful and basic compositional technique.

Rule of Thirds grid

Rule of Thirds applied to landscape sketch

The second illustration above is a good example of how the Rule of Thirds composition is applied to a simple landscape sketch. Notice the trees--they line up with the right-hand vertical line. Also, the horizon line (the distant hills and trees) is parallel with the bottom horizontal line of the grid. The foreground is the first third. The second third is the eye level, and the top of the trees and sky makes up the last third. This makes for strong composition.

You could render the tree in the center, or on the left side. The principles of the Rule of Thirds make way for many possibilities. If you take your own photographs to produce as drawings or paintings, understanding the Rule of Thirds technique is invaluable.

Rule of Thirds composition applied to a portrait sketch

An additional example of the power of the Rule of Thirds at work in composing a portrait drawing, in the example above.

Sketch of a Lighthouse using the Rule of Thirds

In another example of the sketch above of a lighthouse, the Rule of Thirds is applied to center the composition with the lighthouse as the center focus. The sketch is portrait orientated as opposed to the landscape orientation of the two before.

It must be stated that you don't actually need to draw a grid on your drawing, but rather, "see" the grid in your mind's eye when considering the composition of a drawing.

Next post, we will take a look at Perspective...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Few Words On The Drawing Pencil And Its Use

How to draw, how to sketch, drawing lessons

For the person who is just starting out and learning to draw, I feel it necessary to run through a few basics on using the pencil, and to discuss some skills to practice to make learning to draw better and easier. Also it must be said that any web site that dares to call itself "Drawing Tutorials" shouldn't assume that all its readers are at the intermediate level (or above) in drawing ability. This assumption would result in neglecting essential discussions on the basics of drawing, and in the process leave a number of people feeling left out.

How often have you heard the line: "I wasn't born with that talent", in reference to drawing ability? I am of the mind that anyone can learn to draw, and you don't need to be born with any artistic talent. Artistic ability isn't passed through genetics or DNA, it is learned. Personally, I can attest that when I picked up that first crayon or marker as a toddler, I couldn't draw. At the time I loved the marks that I made on the wall, but my mother wasn't so amused!

All one has to do to learn to draw is possess the willingness to put in the time to practice drawing. What I wish to set forth with this blog is to impart the basic skills to learn for the beginner, as well as give instruction to the intermediate student of drawing.

There are a few things of note about the drawing pencil and using it to draw. The beginner may not be aware of the differing types of pencils used in drawing.

There are several different drawing pencils with varying degrees of hardness and softness of the graphite (lead) contained within. Marking this on the pencil is a number followed by H or B. 'H' pencils are hard, starting with HB, which is the "softest" of the hard pencils, and going up to 9H, which is the hardest lead. These 'H' pencils are widely used by drafters, designers and architects where fine lines are necessary in the drawing of building plans or designing blueprints of all things mechanical.

Then on the opposite spectrum, there are the 'B' pencils, which are soft; very suitable for drawing and sketching. In my drawing, I never use a pencil harder than an HB, which combines elements of both hardness and softness together and is the mid point of pencils in the spectrum, before going softer on one end, and harder on the other.

Some artists prefer to do their preliminary sketches (the basic outline of a drawing) with an HB pencil, I prefer to use a 2B pencil for this purpose. The 'B' pencils start at B, then go on to 2B, 3B, 4B, and so on, and stopping with 9B, which is very soft! The 9B can produce some rich darks. For all of the tutorials on graphite drawing, we will be using mainly HB, 2B, 4B, 6B and 8B pencils. This selection is a personal preference; after some time, the developing artist may discover their own tastes regarding pencils, and that is certainly okay. If one feels that the use of another grade of of pencil, such 3B or 5B is better for them, that is okay too. The point to take away from all this is to understand that certain pencils make darker marks than others.

Marks of pencils by degrees of softness

In the illustration above, I have demonstrated the richness of tones of the various pencils using approximately the same pressure on each pencil. As you can see, there is a variance of tonal values in the pencils you use for drawing. For deep and black shadows, or areas of a drawing where it is very dark, you would want to use the 8B or 6B pencils. For lighter shading, such as that in a portrait rendering where often the shadows are very subtle and only faintly dark use the 4B, 2B, and perhaps the HB pencils.

Tree Sketch

In the above drawing of an old tree, I have used HB, 2B, 4B, 6B and 8B. As you can see, the differing grades of graphite pencils are an extremely helpful development for the artist, and make the going easier for the beginner to the most advanced artist. In your hands, you hold magic waiting to be rendered on the drawing board!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tutorial: How To Draw a Human Eye

How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

For the first tutorial, we will draw an eye. Arguably, drawing eyes and other facial features can be difficult. Hopefully, this step-by-step instruction will simplify the process.

We will be using three pencils for this drawing: 2B, 3B, and 6B. These refer to specific grades of softness of the pencil. The rule is, the softer the graphite, the darker it will go on the paper. Thus, 6B, will lay out a nice, thick, black, ideal for deep shadowing. It is good advice to always keep your pencils sharpened. Also, a kneaded eraser will be useful.


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

First, we draw the basic outline and shape of the eye using the 2B pencil. It is not necessary to add fine details at this stage. Use care to not use firm, hard strokes--instead sketch the lines with a feathery, light touch. Otherwise, if you use hard strokes and lines, you will create indentations in the paper, which is counter-productive later on when we add the shadowing and other details.

Be sure to scale your outline at least two inches wide. To assist in getting the proper scale, use a ruler and mark two inches on the paper, and draw the outline within these parameters.


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

With the 6B pencil, fill in the pupil, keeping in mind to not use hard strokes, but rather a firm circular motion. The 6B is plenty dark, there is no need to overdo it!


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

For this step, take the 4B pencil and a separate piece of scrap paper and draw some dark strokes on it. Then, using either your finger or tissue paper (or even better, a commercial blending stump), rub the dark area of the scrap paper so that the material (finger, tissue or blender) is saturated with graphite.

Focusing on the iris of the eye, rub the graphite lightly with a circular motion within the iris, as shown above. Pay close attention to not rub graphite into the highlight of the eye located to the upper left of the pupil. This small white area represents the reflected light of the eye. If you accidentally do get graphite into this area, it is easily removed with a kneaded eraser.

For the area immediately outside and surrounding the pupil, this part is slightly lighter, so apply graphite only sparingly.


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

Moving on to the next step, take the 2B pencil and draw strokes going outward to the edge of the iris beginning at the lighter area of the iris, as shown above. Make light, thin lines, and be gentle. These strokes will represent the "lines" which appear in an actual iris. As we shall see in a later step, this will prove to be the preliminary step in which the kneaded eraser will be utilized to highlight the iris, bringing the eye to life.

The area under the upper eyelid, using the 6B pencil, add a graded shadow,with the area immediately under the eyelid the darkest and working lighter as it comes toward the pupil.


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

Add darker shadows, using both the 4B and 6B pencils. Around the edge of the iris and working inward use the 4B to add a graded shading to give the appearance of an orb. Otherwise, if there is only a line to indicate the edge of the iris, the eye overall will look completely lifeless.


How to draw an eye, how to shade an eye, sketching eye

With this step, we fill in the final details. Add the eyelashes to the upper and bottom eyelids, making quick, sure comma strokes, as shown above. Pay particular attention to the direction of the eyelashes as the follow the lid to both corners of the eye. Note that as the lashes proceed, they gradually flare outward.

Be sure to make the starting point of the eyelashes on the outer line; this gives the appearance of three-dimensionality as it looks like an eyelid. give this area between the eye and eyelashes a light shading with a 2B pencil.

For the iris, take the kneaded eraser and squish it making an edge, and erase highlight strokes along the lines in the iris made in the previous step. Don't overdo it, just erase enough to give some highlights.

Give a graded shadowing around the white of the eye with the 4B pencil, noting that it is slightly darker around the edges. Also, give shading to the iris area which meets the eyeball. All this will give the eye a lifelike roundness.

The shading around the eye can be achieved using the method performed in Step 3; using a 4B pencil, scribble on a scrap piece of paper to get a liberal amount of graphite on the surface then rub a finger into it, then apply and blend it around the eye, as shown above.

I welcome any comments, and I am happy to answer questions!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Necessary Materials for Drawing

Basic Drawing Materials

Basically all you need is a pencil and paper!

You can start drawing with 2B pencil and copy or typing paper, which I find is suitable for practicing and sketching. I am of the mind that you shouldn't have to spend loads of money on materials to draw, although I am sure there are artists that would disagree with that.

Other things you will need are (preferably) a kneaded eraser, if that is not available, a school-type eraser will suffice. Also, it is good to have a portable pencil sharpener. You should try to keep your pencils sharpened as much as possible.

Vine charcoal is suitable for drawing; and is sold in boxes or containers depending on how much you want to have on hand. Vine charcoal is a thin stick, hence the word 'vine' in the name, each stick is about six inches long. You can find vine charcoal at any art materials store and hobby shops, or online through Dick Blick at the link below.

If you are a beginner, I believe the minimal expense for materials is the practical way to go. If in the future after you develop your skills and wish to take a more serious approach, there are many high quality drawing instruments and materials available.

If you are just beginning or just doodling and practicing, it makes no sense to use high grade art materials for such purposes.

If you develop drawing ability beyond the "doodler" to a more serious enthusiast, I recommend Dick Blick art materials, at Funny name, but great products for the artist!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In The Beginning...


As this is the first post, it seems necessary to lay out what this blog is and its objectives, as well as to introduce myself.

This blog will feature step-by-step tutorials on pencil and charcoal sketching. Various subjects will serve as the basis for each tutorial, that is, each post will detail how to draw all manner of animals, objects, people, and even fantasy subjects.

Also, other media will be explored; in addition to charcoal and graphite, tutorials in using colored pencils will be posted somewhere down the line. The drawing which appears at the header to this blog is a personal colored pencil rendering. In the main, however, this site will specifically focus on charcoal and graphite sketching.

I am beholden to the more aesthetic; that is, I love the pencil and paint brush with the natural art these traditional instruments create, as opposed to the more mechanical methods of creating artwork, such as digital illustrations done with computer software and the like. As such, there will be no content on this blog exploring art of a digital nature.

As this is the commencement of this site, there are no tutorials as of this time posted. But rest assured that in the coming days and weeks, there will be plentiful subjects for the student or enthusiast of drawing to choose from!

The best part of this blog is that it is free!

I am a college-educated graphic designer who loves to draw in my spare time. It is my joy to share it with you!