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pencil drawings and sketches
pencil drawings and sketches
pencil drawings and sketches
 

 

     
 

Pencil Drawing Tutorial & Advice

 
     
 
  I'm living proof anyone can draw. You don't need to be born with the gift. You certainly don't need to undergo an extensive education. What you need is desire, along with the discipline to sketch what you see with your eyes, as opposed to what you think you should be drawing. And of course, sketching materials that perform to your satisfaction, though these need not be expensive art supplies.
 
     
 
  While I was born with a natural propensity towards drawing, I was never taught a single technique - not even throughout 13 years of the U.S. public education system. I ended up developing my own techniques around the age of 40, when I began to heavily invest myself in drawing and was not satisfied with the results. Below is what I wish I had been taught.
 
     
 
Proportionate Sketching of Interior Features
 
     
 
  Drawing is simple when your reference is printed it out to the exact size you wish to sketch, removing as much distortion of proportion as possible through mere eyeballing and guesswork.
 
     
 
  Fold a sheet of white cardstock in half and cut it down the middle. These sheets can be utilized under your drawing hand to prevent smearing your work.
 
     
 
  You can also cut such cardstock into makeshift rulers, lay them across your printed reference and record accurate measurements. By doing this, you can record the distance between two features, such as your subject's eyes. With extra marks, you can record the width of each eye from corner to corner and the width of each pupil. And with even more marks, you can record where the sides of the face exist, as well as hair.
 
     
 
  Now that you have the exact proportions of the eyes, lay your makeshift ruler on blank sketch paper. Transfer your marks from ruler to page and begin drawing the eyes. Once outlined, work your way outward using further recordings of the distance between eyes and chin, chin and top of the head and so forth.
 
     
 
Proportionate Sketching of Outlined Shape
 
     
 
  If you want to trim some time away from drawing your outline, take the reference you printed out and likewise trim it with scissors. If your reference is of a person's portrait, trim away the background. Lay your modified reference on your sketch paper and create a light outline in pencil. This may save you pehaps 30 minutes of having to construct your outline a segment at a time using your makeshift ruler.
 
     
 
  Is this the same as tracing and thus cheating?
 
     
 
  No, and, no.
 
     
 
  Sketch paper of any decent quality is very difficult to see through and use for tracing. And because of that difficulty, anything you attempt to trace will always be distorted. What cheating exists if you have make adjustments to your lines afterwards? Tracing is actually more of a headache, which is why I never recommended it.
 
     
 
  What I just recommended allows you to capture your outline in a similar way that takes the guesswork out of recording an overall shape. You still have to populate it with features and shading.
 
     
    And it might be considered cheating to some artists.  
     
 
  Truth is, many artists today use techniques that could be considered cheating if you were to classify drawing as a contest of skill.
 
     
 
  I know of one artist who creates amazingly beautiful figure drawings by projecting a photograph onto a large sheet of paper tacked to a wall. He captures all the line work he needs in this fashion. His proportions are extremely accurate. His drawings are visually stunning.
 
     
 
  A simple search on the Internet will reveal a whole slew of what appear to be breathtaking drawings that you would swear were black and white photographs with a quick glance. Guess what? Most of these are usually the end result of artists slaving away for anywhere from 10 to 40 hours on humongous sheets of graph paper to ensure accuracy in proportions.
 
     
 
  When large drawings are scanned into high resolution images that appear on the smaller screens of monitors, smart phones or tablets - of course they look amazing! You can make virtually any drawing appear as if a masterpiece in this fashion. However, the illusion ends when viewing the actual artwork in person.
 
     
 
  So, is there any actual cheating when it comes to drawing in these modern times?
 
     
    Sadly, Yes.  
     
 
  It is a Three Step Process. 1) A photograph is converted into a drawing-like image using the filter of a computer software program and this is printed onto sketch paper. 2) The creator of such draws over the printing, concealing it with added personal touches. 3) The creator of such attempts to sell such without informing the buyer it was largely constructed with the aid of digital technology.
 
     
    At least forging the painting of a celebrated artist still results in an actual painting by someone.  
     
 
Creating Pencil Drawings That Look Like
 
 
Pencil Drawings Rather Than Photographs
 
     
 
  Most of my drawings of a single pet or person are accomplished in anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours. Usually the latter if there is lots of hair and coloring of clothing to contend with. Multiply this time by the amount of subjects appearing together. For example, two persons would take 7 to 10 hours for me to complete.
 
     
 
  They look like pencil drawings because I use 11X14 inch sketch paper for commissions ( and sometimes 8.5X11 for myself ).
 
     
 
  In order to become a better sketch artist, one needs to forego the idea of creating the so-called masterpieces often witnessed on the internet in blogs or Pinterest, which as previously explained, are mostly optical illusions.
 
     
 

  This is what you have to do if you want to

  - become skilled at drawing in a sketchbook that actually fits in your lap and that you can easily take anywhere you travel.

  - become skilled at drawing portraits or figures in a reasonable amount of time, allowing you the time to create more drawings in week, month or year.

  - sell your drawings at a reasonable price, while earning a decent hourly wage for your efforts.