The following is a repost from my Wordpress blog.
I finished a new piece! This one is called "The Knitting Lesson". It shows my Aunt Roz and her knitting instructor, Danique and I took the photo while visiting my aunt in New Jersey. It was done in graphite on 11x14 Strathmore 400 series drawing paper.
I did the outline using an 8h pencil, which is practically invisible. I've started shading going in the same direction. For this piece, I mostly started with the lightest shades and built darker ones on top of them. It's a lot easier to layer a darker shade on top of a lighter one than vice versa
Here's Danique's hair. I converted my reference photo to black and white for this piece. It really shows me how dark the hair really is. If I hadn't converted the photo, I would never have thought to my 8b pencil or charcoal stick. This is a trick I learned from Lisa Clough of Lachri Fine Art. This is my first time using a kneaded eraser as a drawing tool.
Shading this cloth was one of the most challenging but enjoyable parts of doing this drawing. A lot of the work we do as artists is done with our heads, not with our hands and I was really reminded of that here. It's all about making the right shapes and getting them the right distance from each other. It sounds simple, but it takes a lot of patience to execute.
Not including the hands was of course, not an option. Hands are something you really need to take your time on but they can be really rewarding to get right. What I've learned is that they should be approximately the same size as the face.
Creating texture in the couch was a matter of making short strokes close together.
I used a compressed charcoal stick, which gives me the darkest possible shades, to fill in Danique's sweater and then used the vine charcoal to create the nubs. Afterwards, I blended the compressed charcoal with my finger to make it nice and smooth.
Danique's blouse is a series of pleats. I'll admit, I didn't want to put in all this detail. I added in the different tones as closely as a could to how I saw them, then I used kneaded eraser to make separations. Sara, just do it. That's what I need to say to myself in these situations.
I used a vine charcoal stick to create depth in the shelves where the balls of yarn were. For the balls of yarn themselves, I started in the center of each one and made curved strokes going outwards until I got back to my starting point.
I used a graphite shading stick to shade the background. I'd been wanting to experiment with shading sticks because I felt they could cover large areas faster than a pencil.
I didn't outline the other side of my Aunt Roz 's glasses. Instead, I used shadow to show where it ended.
For her hair, I mostly used my vine charcoal stick, but was careful to leave some parts unfilled. For those pieces, I used a 6b pencil and an 8b pencil.
Drawing Aunt Roz's clothes required a lot of consideration and looking back at my reference photo. I was very proud of the effect I was able to achieve by running my vine charcoal stick over the bottom of her arm.
Nothing in this drawing is shown by line, but by shadow. By adding darker shades either on or around something, I make it visible. To create the look of deep folds or wrinkles, I use my darkest shades such as my 8b and even my charcoal sticks.
That's all for now. I'll see you guys next time.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife