This is part two of my 3/4 face drawing series on my Drawing Channel over on YouTube! If you missed the first episode, go ahead and start here so you can draw this girlie along with me!
Today we're doing some EASY pencil shading techniques to add drama to our three quarter portrait face drawing! I used the same photo reference as I did to sketch my drawing. Even though this is a whimsical face, I feel it makes a HUGE difference in my work if I use a reference photo to tell me where I should add in shadows, and how dark they should be.
One of the fun things about drawing in a whimsical style, is I can mix and match reference photos for my work and use them in different ways. For example, I really LOVE the dramatic shadows and highlights in this image (below). If I'm shading a face in pencil, I feel like it's super helpful to use a black and white shading reference like this one...
In my How to Draw and Find Your Style book, I talk in depth about how to take advantage of the value scale when you are shading. because it adds so much more depth and dimension to your drawings and sketches. The more tones you incorporate into your drawing from the value scale like bright white highlights, and dark black shadows, the more sophisticated your work will be.
In today's shading tutorial I'm using one of my Blackwing pencils (TOTALLY unnecessary, but I SO LOVE THEM!!!). This one is equivalent to about a 4B, but you can absolutely use a simple #2 school pencil, so don't stress about your supplies! I start applying graphite by looking at my reference photo for the darkest areas first. When I'm shading, I often use the side of my pencil to begin. My initial layer of shading is very light and almost scribbly.
After I have a light layer of shading down, I use my blending stump to "moosh" the graphite around. In this particular reference photo, the model is very light skinned, so I actually use the cleaner side of my blending stump to work my shading in and around the face. If I lay down too much, I simply pick a bit of that graphite back up with my eraser and moosh some more! For the darkest areas, I use the super dirty side of my blending stump.
When you're starting out with drawing and shading, I think it's SOOOOO much easier to practice in a whimsical drawing style. It just takes the pressure off and keeps things light and fun! And if you're having fun...you'll practice more, and if you practice... your skills will only grow and improve!!
When my first layer of shading is done, I go back for a second layer of shading to really punch up my details that could have been lost while "mooshing" my graphite around with my blending stump. This is where the drama starts to come in!! Sometimes it can also help you to look at a reference photo with squinted eyes. It may sound funny, but doing this can often help you see darks and lights a bit more.
The objective of shading for me is to use the WHOLE value scale. So you'll see me use a black colored pencil for the darkest darks - found in the crease of her lips and in her pupils. Additionally, for my brightest white highlights, I will typically carve out some of the graphite I already put down with an eraser.
I hope you have fun with this face shading practice!! Please stay tuned for next week's video. I'll be shading another 3/4 portrait using copic markers.
Have a great week!!!!