Before we tackle about shading elements, let’s first learn the difference between 2D and 3D.
The letter “D” beside those numbers stands for “Dimension”.
What is Dimension?
Dimension. It refers to the total amount of measurable space or surface (like the length, width, height or depth) occupied by something. (Merriam-Webster, 2018)
What is 2D?
2D means 2-Dimensional. So basically it refers to the number of axis running from the original point. Let’s say that we have axis X and axis Y running at the same origin point.
What is 3D?
3D means 3-Dimensional. Like 2D, the number “3” here also refers to the number of axis running from the original point. We have X axis, Y axis and the additional Z axis that runs at the same origin point.
As you can see, the most noticeable difference between the two is that 2D drawing is flat while 3D drawing appears as if in relief. That’s because the added Z axis gives the illusion of depth and distance. Some 3D drawings looks like popping out from the page. I am still far from there. You can usually see 3Ds in portrait artworks.
And that’s it for tonight’s post. This is kinda short from my other post but I hope it helps you in some things.
On my last post, I mentioned something about tortillon. I look up for it and saw that you can make a DIY of it.
What is a tortillon?
A tortillon is a blending tool used by pencil, pastel and charcoal artists. It softens the edges and graduates the tone of their works. It is a tightly rolled sheet of paper that looks like a pencil shape. They say that you can use various types of paper for your homemade tortillon. But usually, the commercial tortillons are made up of loose fibre paper.
So now I am going to share you how it is made.
A4 size paper
1. Take a sheet of A4 paper and mark down 1 inch on top of one side and on the bottom of the other side. Rule a pencil line between two points and cut it along with scissors. You can make two tortillons with it.
2. Starting at the narrow end, try to roll the paper evenly and fairly tight, towards the wider age.
3. Once it is tightly rolled, hold it firmly and then push out the center with a thin stick so that it can form into a pencil shape.
4. Secure the paper with an adhesive tape.
5. Trim of the excess paper on the top.
6. Finish it up by roughing sandpaper on the tip of your tortillon. It gives softer, velvet texture. The sandpaper is also used in cleaning the tip of your tortillon.
Blending is combining of different shades together to make it look like the shades flow as one. It is typically used in colors (like paints, pastels and such) and charcoal artworks. Blends made an impression of realism. With the fill, depth and texture it made there is no question about it.
Pencil blending is one of the things that I always do with my works. It is easy and not complicated. You don’t need to have so many materials while doing this. Just a pencil and a paper and that’s it! You can now do an artwork.
Some artist use blending stump and tortillon to blend their works. To be honest, I am not really familiar with does kind of materials. I use my fingers whenever I do blendings. But they say that using fingers in blending is a big NO.
Why? Well, I often encounter this kind of things. Have you noticed that our fingers releases moisture? Our fingers is rich in natural skin oils, and whenever we touch the paper with just our bare hands, we transfer these oils to the paper making the graphite very hard to blend. The oils sticks to the graphite. It can really ruin your work.
But for a stubborn artist like me, fingers really do great for blendings. Fingers has a greater control with pressure. And if you are lazy to change the tissue that you use in blending like me, with fingers you can choose ten fingers to exchange with blendings. 😂
Well, it is up to your choice. Art has no rules. You can try both to see in which technique you are comfortable with.
Okay back to our question, how to blend using pencil?
Still remember the guidelines for pencil shading that we’ve made? You can use that for now. You can see the different levels of shades on each blocks. Start to practice your blending there.
To start, use a small circular motion (like what we do in scrumbling) with your blending tool. If you are using a finger, circular motion will kinda look messy. For this, move you finger like you are spreading something (imagine the spread in sandwiches) from the lighter to darker side. Just a flick motion.
Tip: Whenever you do shading, you must start from the lighter side to darker side. The graphite sticks on your blending tool while you are shading, and will carry up to the next gradient.
Do it in a gentle way. Don’t put so much pressure to the point that you wear out the paper. Smoothly blend the shades to the next block. If you can still see the big difference in shades in each blocks and you think that it didn’t smoothly blend well, then just repeatedly blend that area. It will eventually blend smoothly. Patience is a must here.
Tip: You can avoid smudges by resting a piece of paper or tissue on your wrist.
Okay and if your done. It must look like this. I only use my fingers here.
Tip: Apply more pressure if your going to use your fingers. Be careful. It’s kinda hot because of friction.
And that’s it for tonight’s blog post. I hope you learn something. Next time, let’s talk about how to apply blends in your work.
Last time we talked about pencil grades. Now let’s made use of the things that you’ve learned about them.
There are different pencil drawing techniques. But actually you can also use these techniques with other mediums like pens. You can practice your grips with these techniques.
Here are the following drawing techniques:
A drawing style that only shows the edges of an object. It marks the outer limit of your work. There are two kinds of outline.
Light Outline. They are best used in creating guidelines for your drawing. You can do it with free-hand and with the use of ruler. All you need to do is to reduce the pressure that you are exerting on the paper.
Tip: Hold your pencil on halfway middle part and glide it smoothly like a flowing motion where you want it to go.
Heavy Outline. They are best used at the end of your work. Just for finishing touches. It is usually drawn with free-hand. All you need to do is to increase the pressure that you are exerting on the paper. You can also use a higher grade of pencil (The ones with letter “B”).
Tip: Hold your pencil close to the tip part to gain more control over your accuracy with the lines. Be careful with making heavy outlines because erasing them is really hard.
A pencil technique that is best used in shading. Just create a bunch of small lines together to make a fill color. You can do it in lighter and darker shades by reducing or adding pressure on the paper.
A pencil technique that is best used in making darker shades. This method is just like hatching except that you need to draw lines again in the opposite direction and overlay it on top of the first layer. Just like crisscross.
A pencil technique that is best used in shading. This method is just like hatching except that the lines are smaller. They almost look like tiny dashes.
5. Back and Forth Stroke
A pencil technique that is best use in shading. All you need to do is to move your pencil back and forth at the same direction.
Tip: Do all your shadings at the same direction. You wouldn’t want your work to be unruly, right?
A pencil technique that is best used in making compact and blended shading. You just have to move your pencil in a small circular motion.
I hope this can be helpful. All you need to do is practice to master at least one technique that you can be comfortable to use and apply it in different instances.
Got to the point where you can’t choose which pencil grades to buy among those bunch of choices?
I always got into that point. They cost higher than the normal ones and buying a bunch of them will really wreck your pockets.
Let me ask you a question? Which do you prefer using, pencil sets or a single versatile pencil? It is a tough question if we didn’t even have a better understanding of the choices.
Well, this is a personal preference and each of us prefer different things. Like there are things that you are comfortable with.
Learning pencil shadings in both areas is just the same. You just have to put more effort if you go with sets because there are a lot of grades to experiment with. Unlike with a single pencil, you just have to practice with your grip control.
Tip: For beginners, I would recommend you to only use a single pencil that you are comfortable with. 2B grade is a versatile shade in pencil.
Actually there are twenty most used or common grades of pencil.
I am actually using just 5 of them: 2B, 4B, 5B, 6B and 7B. They cost a lot compared to ordinary pencils that are used at school. That’s also the reason why I recommend you to just only use one for starters.
HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B and 9B are the most commonly used pencil grades in doing pencil portrait drawings.
The numbers and letters are part of the grading system to know if what kind of lead is inside the pencil. Now I just laugh at my old me where I thought that the numbers in the pencils stands for what grade I am in. Like no.1 is for Grade 1, no.2 is for Grade 2 and no.3 is for Grade 3. Then I asked my mom why the Grade 4 students doesn’t have a pencil for them. Those elementary days really makes me embarrass right now.
So this is what they stands for:
The letter “H” means “hard”. The lead inside is hard which makes it hard to manipulate on paper. It doesn’t add a lot of lead in the paper. Making them unused in pencil portraits. The numbers corresponding the letter marks as how hard the lead inside is with being 9H as the hardest and also the lightest.
The letter “B” means “bold” or “black”. The lead inside is soft which makes it more preferable for pencil portraits. It adds a lot of lead on paper, creating darker shades. The numbers corresponding the letter marks as how soft the lead inside is with being 9B as the softest and also the darkest.
The letter “HB” is somewhat a hybrid of “hard” and “bold”. You can say that It’s partial between hard and soft. You can use it for making lighter shades. But I think this grade is still hard to manipulate in paper.
The letter “F” means “fine point”. It is uncommon with pencil portraits. I also rarely see this kind of shade at store. The lead is also quite hard but have a very fine and sharpened point.
If you are still undecided of what grade of pencil to use, you can do this easy activity here. I just saw it in the internet and find it very helpful for deciding on what shades to use in drawing.
How to create a Shading Guide:
Using your pencil and ruler, draw a light outline of rectangle measuring 20cm x 2cm on the paper.
Mark of every 2cm in the 20cm x 2cm rectangle.
Draw a line on every 2cm mark making 10 separated blocks.
Put number on each block starting from 1-10 from the left.
Block 1 must be left untouched making it as the lightest part. Put a light shade on the Block 2. Use a pencil technique that you prefer in doing this. Fill the blocks shades darker than the previous block. The Block 10 must be darkest of them all like almost black.
It must be look like this.
And there you have it, different pencil shades using a single pencil. Repeat it as much as you like to make your hands practice with the amount of pressure and grip to put on the pencil. You can use this guide when making pencil portrait drawings.
And that’s all! I hope this can be useful. Next time, we will talk about basic pencil drawing techniques.
It’s the time of the year for having a new year’s resolution. Do you guys have one right now?
Well, I am not really a fan of having a new year’s resolution. It’s like, I only think that the more you planned it, the more that it will fail. For example, having a diet or losing weight. I always have that in mind but still impossible to do it. (For years… seriously ?😆) Also, saving up money is one of the timeless new year’s resolution that we always think of. But even if you save up, it is inevitable to not spend money these days.
But this year, I am told to have one. Well its just one of my subject requirements. Our professor told us to make a poster about our new year’s resolution. I don’t have a problem with making a poster but I do have a problem with coming up a subject for my poster. For years, I stop thinking of having a dotted plans for new year and just like pop ads, we are asked to have one. Like I could put losing weight as a new year’s resolution? I know to myself that I couldn’t make it. So for this year 2018, I come up with this:
Can you guess what is the meaning of this poster?
My agony in every posters that I make is that, “Can it convey the proper meaning of what I want to convey?”. The first priority of posters is to convey the meaning without words. The beauty is nothing if the one who sees it can’t understand its meaning. That’s what I think. (Next time, I will teach you about posters.)
For this work, my new year’s resolution is to bravely voice out my thoughts in front of many people. To be honest, I am really bad with verbal communication. Like recitations, presentations or any scenarios that would make me speak in front of many people. I won’t do it unless I really should. It’s like giving me heart attack. My mind won’t coordinate with my mouth. And I don’t want to stay like that. I think I can have improvements with this new year’s resolution. Hope so.😊
Girl – represents me
Tree and Branches – represents mind
Thought Balloons – represents things that I have in mind
Gloomy Background (Black) – represents my fear
Silhouettes and laughing expressions – represents the people and their expectations
Medium: 0.5mm Gel Ink Pen (outlines), Oil Pastel, Color Pens and Oslo Paper
Hello guys! I just want to share this artwork. This is Tomoe from the anime Kami-sama Hajimemashita. I drew it also years ago and now I just found it while cleaning up my things. Well my cleaning duty hasn’t ended yet.😆 I had a lot of fun while drawing this character. I really put an effort on every detail of his eyes. I love his eyes. ❤
Medium: Colored Pencils and Sketchpad (Oslo Paper)
Hello guys! I just want to share this artwork. This is Kaneki Ken from the anime Tokyo Ghoul. As I’ve said in my last post, he is my favorite character in that anime. I drew it years ago and now I just found it while cleaning up my things. Well its the end of the year. I am just amazed of the difference in my drawings before and now. I am happy that even just a little, I’ve improved in the things that I love.
Medium: 2B, 4B and 65 Graphite Pencil, Red and Black Colored Pencils, and Sketchpad (Oslo Paper)
Christmas is all about giving. We are all frantic on what gift is best to give for someone. But somewhere down the line we also forget to treat ourselves.
For me, I don’t really plan to buy something for myself. I just saw these brushes at the department store while looking for a gift to someone. And I am just reminded that I feel sorry for my worn out brushes. Well I hope I can also post some artworks here with the help of these brushes.