Sunday, September 23, 2007
More of The Same part 2
For me —and this is a disclaimer I feel necessary because what works for me may not work for you and viceversa, there is no definitive way to achieve a particular outcome but there's a rule of thumb here and there— the "trick" lies in rendering the whole thing with the least amount of broad strokes, applying pressure at the beginning or at the end of the stroke, following the form thus creating instant volume. I usually start from dark to light, holding the pencil, as I've said before, like a stick of charcoal, pushing hard and lifting as I glide the pencil.
After a very basic underdrawing I start rendering, making every effort to establish a wide range of values by bearing down and lifting, applying varying degrees of pressure. I don't worry too much about getting it perfect, the main thing is to lay down this "foundation" sort of speak.
Next, I adjust the values by finding the darkest and lightest parts of the figure, this is when I draw the hair and 'frame' the face. Once the darkest values are down the rest of the drawing will seem light by contrast, this helps me figure out where I need to darken.
After experimenting with many different brands, I found the best paper to be used with Col-Erase pencils for this purpose is the 60 lb. Strathmore Sketch 400 series, premium recycled, acid free a few reasons for this: it has a medium tooth, enough to achieve a nice texture, is made of recycled materials so it's not ultra white, this is important for me because once I scan the drawing into Photoshop I can pick up more highlights digitally if need be, using the 'Dodge' tool, it's also reasonably inexpensive, the 100 page 11"x14" sketchbook only costs $6.59.
Col-Erase pencils are not like charcoal, the wax builds up and if you press too hard you'll end up with a "satin" finish and that can make it difficult to obtain the darkest value possible, save the satin finish for certain areas such as the lips, shiny nose or glassy eyes which you could define later by applying short and thin strokes, holding the pencil as if you're writing. The general idea is to retain some of the texture by gradually applying "coats"of pigment.
I finished the sketch by picking up highlights with the eraser and drawing in the fine line details and edges.