Drawing Pencil Grades

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					                                      Drawing Pencil Grades
                Extremely Hard - 9H to 7H Very Hard - 6H to 5H Hard - 4H to 3H
                Medium Hard - 2H to H        Medium - F to HB       Medium Soft - B to 2B
                Soft - 3B to 4B              Very Soft - 5B to 6B Extremely Soft - 7B to 9B

Shading Techniques
Shading is a drawing technique that adds dimension to your project. Shading changes your drawing from flat and
lifeless to a 3-d work of art. There are 2 main shading techniques that artists use – hatching and crosshatching.
                                                  THE RULES
                                            It won’t hurt to go over them
      Objects appear smaller as they move back away from your eye and equally objects drawn larger appear
      Lines and surfaces are their largest closest to the picture plane.
      Lines or edges that are parallel appear to meet as they recede from the picture plane. (vanishing point)
      All vertical lines are parallel when using one point perspective (the viewer is not looking up or down at the
      Objects drawn in front of one another appear closer (overlapping!)
      Images further away will appear lighter, with less contrast and detail.

              Cross Hatching
Cross Hatching is ideal when creating a ‘light map’ for your piece. By ‘light map’, I mean the paths in which light
takes across your subject. By using different directional strokes, you leave an indication of the different light
sources and their strength. Using a compact and meticulous crosshatching technique one can create breathtakingly
realistic art. When the individual lines are tightly woven they can be undetectable, and the overall impression
smooth, realistic and accurate. The closer the lines are, the darker the value you add to your drawing. The pencil
you use also affects whether the area of the drawing appears dark. 2H pencils are good to light shading; 2B is
good for medium shading; and 6B create a dark shading value.

Hatching is an easy technique to learn, you just need to practice to gain confidence. Practice with different pencils,
various distances between your lines and the pressure you use while holding your pencil and you will see a full
scale of shading values. Hatching is great for creating realistic linear textures – wood, hair, fur, etc. Crosshatching
lines can be straight or curved. You can mix short and long lines. You can get very creative with crosshatching.

             Circles and Scribbles
Are wonderful techniques for loosening up your drawing hand. The movement itself is relaxing. Circles and
scribbles are a great method for making a distinction between objects of similar tone, by creating contrasting
textures. The overall effect is dynamic, with its unique texture and energy. The technique is wild, and inspires you
to release your creativity by using intertwining and overlapping circles. And best of all, it’s simple!
          Contour Lines
Give shape and volume to your drawings using simple lines! Contour lines follow the hills, slopes, curves and
edges of your shapes and are a great way to explore the scope of the space, and the dimensional capabilities of
your paper. Creating a contour line sketch can greatly aid and enhance your definitive work by planning the
direction of your pencil strokes.

            Smooth Shading
Apply continuous tone, varying your pressure gradually to create smooth shade. Create a ‘wash’ with your pencil
and make the transition from light to dark in one continuous stroke, using the side of your pencil may help in the
initial coat. At random, vary the stopping and starting point of your strokes to avoid unwanted bands running
through an area of shading. Repeat the action, until the values are dark enough, and you have shown the most
delicate, subtle areas of tonal change with different pencils. Start with your lightest pencil, as it is easier to make
your drawing darker than to make it lighter but do not force the pencil to make values out of its limits. Pushing
your pencil to make darker shade will create a metallic sheen, very undesirable in areas of shadow or could cause
dents in your paper. Smooth shading can use combinations of circular shading and contour lines to bring more
depth into your drawing. Practicing this technique is imperative to create realistic shade, and allows you to use
ultimate scope of tonal values with the highest degree of accuracy.


Stippling is a technique used in drawing where the artist uses dots to add texture, shadows and tone to a drawing.
The dots are denser where darkness is required, and the dots are sparse to indicate highlights or a smooth surface.
To learn how to use stippling, you should practice drawing simple objects. You can use stippling with pencils, pens
and markers. Stippling is a technique using a series of dots to create an image. It takes time, and loads of patience,
but the results can be incredibly impressive! When using Stippling to shade, you need to think about values. It’s
important to have a range of values to give your drawing enough contrast.




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