Drawing Tips- (Charcoal and Pencil) Drawing of a Glass of Water

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Published 19 Jul 2009
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Hint number 1 is to see things as shapes. I like to analogize drawing with assembling a jigsaw puzzle becau...
Hint number 1 is to see things as shapes. I like to analogize drawing with assembling a jigsaw puzzle because in both you look for shapes to fit together Hint number 2 is to pay close attention to the edges of what you are drawing. Light and shadows can do funny things and in almost anything that you draw you will see a disparity between the qualities of each edge. Hint number three is to develop your drawing like a Polaroid photograph. Polaroid was the company that innovated instant photography. After pushing the shutter button the photograph would come out of the camera and develop before your eyes. What I want you to know about this is that every part of the photo would develop at the same rate and that is how I want you to try to draw next time. In other words, move the drawing tool around, dont get stuck in a favorite spot. Alright, lets slow it down. What you are seeing me do here is pay close attention to the form and the proportions. In other words, I am comparing the sizes of the different shapes and making sure that the placement of each line is correct. I am using vine charcoal a HB pencil and an eraser. I started out with the vine charcoal because it is easy to erase and move around. You will see later in this video that after I am satisfied with the placement of the charcoal, I will hatch over it with a pencil to keep it undisturbed. I am also trying to be aware of the edges of my shapes and I am especially cognizant of the highlight on the top because that will require me shading the areas around it and using the white of the page as a representation of the strong light. Now when I look back at my reference, I notice that the tone of the background is much darker than the white of the page. I use the side of the charcoal to darken the mid tone of my drawing. This step will make it easy to draw in the highlights with an eraser a little bit later. Now I am folding a piece of paper towel to smudge in the charcoal. You will get a very similar result with a blending stump (also known as a tortillion) but the towel will smudge the charcoal more quickly. To be perfectly honest, many teachers that I have had have told me not to use a blending stump, fingers or anything that comes in to contact with the surface of the paper. I partially agree. Oil from fingers when combined with pencil or charcoal leaves a stain that is tough to work around. Notice that my hand is resting on a sheet of paper. Artists call these slip sheets, but it is just a sheet of computer paper. I like working with the blending stump and the paper and this process works for my needs. It would be dishonest if I changed my process for the sake of making a video. Before, I mentioned the term hatching. Hatching is the short name for the drawing technique of cross hatching. It is simply putting a series of lines next to one another with a drawing tool. These lines usually follow the shape of the object that is being drawn. Once I am done adding pencil marks, I take the blending stub to burnish over my hatch marks. This gives my drawing a more smudged look and possibly my former art teachers a heart attack. I like to smudge the pencil and charcoal because it also gives me a surface that is smooth in tone. Hatching can be layered and I usually stop using the blending stump after the second layer. I once did ten layers of hatching in a pencil drawing. Lets recap and take this to the end of part 1. My focus, over the course of any drawing that I do from observation, is to see a simple pattern of shapes on my reference and to accurately render these shapes, on to the piece of paper that I am drawing. After I get the shapes aligned correctly, I attempt to build up tones with charcoal and pencil. When I am building the tones, I am very aware of the nuances of the edges of each shape, because they are usually different. My focus is also on building the tones of my drawing in a similar manner to how a Polaroid photograph develops.
In part 2, I will teach you a way to add color to any pencil drawing. Thanks for watching the video and please let me know if this helped.
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