Wednesday, July 01, 2009


OK, I am finally getting around to posting this mini tutorial on how I indicated the frayed and fuzzy quality of the canopy material in the last completed drawing. I've been 'stuck' on other things the last few days, and there will be more on that tomorrow, so here goes . . .

In this first image above, you can see the rough line drawing that gives me the basic 'route' to follow.

In this second shot, I have begun to lay in some basic tonal greys to sort of delineate boundaries and edges with my 'F' lead holder. You will note that the lead has a rather blunt end to it and that is so I can softly, lay in a series of cross hatches across the entire space of what will become the dark shadowy background to the bright edge of the sunlit material. These cross hatches go on an angle and then horizontally across the paper and then back on the angle so I can develop, slowly, an even tone or at least the beginnings of an even tone at this point. If you click the image and look at the enlarged version, you should be able to see that I am not following closely to the originally drawn out line of the demarcation between the material and the background. I am sort of haloing close to that line but not touching it.

In this third shot above, I have now taken an 'H' lead holder with a relatively sharp end and have gone in and started to make some separation between the line of material and the background. Again, if you will click the image and look at the enlargement, you will see that these squiggles and dashes and dots are still very rough. What I am doing here is to pick out areas that I want to ultimately define as the bright little fibers that will be 'spotlighted' in the finished work. I have also defined the underside of the edge of the burlap so as to establish the basic working area of the material separated from the rest of the background.

Here, above, is a closer view of those roughly set in dark spots that will help to define a nice separation.

Now, in this fourth shot, I have taken up an 'HB' lead holder with a rather blunt end to it and am now going to begin to darken the shadowy background to help me see where that line of separation is going to be. I am cross hatching again, first on the angle and then on the horizontal going with the grain of the Bristol Board I work on and then back to an angle line again, over and over with a very soft touch always, so the lead is just grazing the surface. I don't want any strong darks at this point because I will need to continue to build it all up to give good ultimate distance to things, making the shadowy area recede from the strongly lit material in the foreground. This is my layering technique at work. I think you can see in this image just how I am beginning to really establish large, blocky areas of grey value in a relatively short time as well as to bring the dark spots that I established in the last shot to totality with the background. To this point, from the first image, I would say this is maybe a total of a minute and a half of work. Now, this is a rough tutorial and had this been an actual work, I would be spending a bit more time establishing these tones, maybe a total of ten to fifteen minutes worth of work as on the actual completed piece that was finished on Friday.

Now, I have picked up a 'B' pencil with a rather sharp point to it. Now, I will go back over the areas that I sort of 'set aside' as the points where I want little fuzzy fibers to stick up and darken and deepen the already established break between material and background.

I this next shot above, I have gone to my lead holder with 'B' in it and a rather blunt end. I will now continue layering, building up the dark shadow by horizontal lines and angled lines and picking out all those little areas that I want to read as fuzzy fibers. This is all just a matter of going over and over, with soft strokes again so as to not set in very strong darks right off, and continuously sharpening up that separation between light and dark.

Here, above, you can see a close detail of how this layer is being built up and how the line of separation between light and dark is being defined.

In this next to last image, I again have picked up the 'B' pencil with the sharper point and now I have gone back over everything, darkening up to the point of shadow that I want in that central area and have finally gone back and really defined the little 'hairs' of material as can be seen in the close up detail of that area below.

Being a very close detail, you can see in this image that things are very fuzzy indeed. As this is a relatively small area of the sample drawing, when viewed in actual size, things tend to fill in, tighten up and become more readable as distinct separations. If you look at these next two detail shots below from the actual completed and finished drawing, you will see what I mean about the separation between dark shadow and highlighted cloth being very 'rough'. This actually helps to give that frayed appearance to the drawing and when viewed from the appropriate distance, reads very sharp.



I hope this has been somewhat informative and, Laurene, answered your query from last week!

1 comment:

Laurene said...

I can't thank you enough Terry! I wasn't expecting such a wonderfully detailed explanation, and I really appreciate the amount of work you put into it.

In your last paragraph, when you said "the separation between dark shadow and highlighted cloth being very 'rough'. This actually helps to give that frayed appearance to the drawing", I understood exactly how you approached this.

Thanks again, Terry!