Shading, Blending & Detailing Tools for Sketching -Article II

Shading, Blending & Detailing Tools for Sketching

Hey, here we are coming now with second part of our previous Article that was on Grid Method for Sketching. In our previous Article we discussed about making the outlines for a Portrait sketch using Grid Method. Hope that was useful to you. In this Article we will be discussing about the Tools that are used to do Shading, Blending & Detailing while making Portraits.

If you are new and reading this Article for the first time than I request you to please check our previous Article at below link that will help you!

Article - Grid Method for Sketching

Shading Tools

Shading is done with Pencils. You can use different grades of Pencils. Now you have to identified first the darkest and the lightest areas in you reference picture. All the other shades lies between these. I preferably use 2H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B pencils for shading sometimes 10B also for the Darkest areas. These grades generally works like below

  • 2H – Grids, Outlines
  • HB – Grids, Outline, Shading for light areas, Face Shading
  • 2B – Darker than HB, Face Shading, Beard, Moustache
  • 4B – Slight Dark areas, Beard, Moustache, Clothes
  • 6B/8B/10B – Darkest areas, Hairs, Dark Clothes
  • Mechanical Pencils – 0.3/0.5mm – Grids, Outline, Shading

                                                                                Pencil Grades

We can achieve slight dark tones in our sketch by doing multiple layer shading as well by a single grade pencil such as HB, 2B. But for the darker & darkest areas like hairs & dark clothes we have to use 6B+ grade pencils. (We will discuss Shading, Blending Techniques in next Article)

Pencils we can use for shading

For beginners below are affordable pencils and of good quality

  • Faber Castle
  • Artline
  • Camlin Mechanical Pencils 0.3/0.5mm

If you are good enough to use and having a good understanding of how to use pencil grades for shading the you use can below, these are very expensive but of best quality

  • Steadtler Mars Lumograph
  • Tombow Mono

                                     Steadtlers - Faber Castle - Camlin Mechanical Pencils

I do preferably use Steadtlers, Faber Castle, Artline Pencils & Camlin Mechanical Pencils.


Tools for Blending

We do shading with pencils but it is not enough until & unless we are making a portrait with no blending technique. Blending means to smudge the graphite or charcoal onto the surface with help of any of the below tool. Blending is very important to produce realistic effects in our sketch. Whatever we have shade is necessarily to be blend up.

Below are the Blending tools

  • Painting/ Makeup Brushes
  • Tissue Paper
  • Earbuds
  • Paper Stumps

                                Painting Brushes - Tissue Papers - Paper Stumps - Earbuds


Tools for Detailing

Detailing is very important in any portrait to looks like realistic. What details exactly are in a picture? What exactly we have to identify? Details can be identified by keeping a closure look on the reference picture. For e.g. the white shine in the eyes, the white lightening on the hairs, glow on cheeks & chin etc, are considered as details. To notice the direction of light falling on the character in reference picture is important for shading and detailing. It is good practice to not to touch white areas of the drawing while you are shading on the surface, so that you don’t have to erase them later. Although detailing is important to produce fine realistic effects.

Below are the tools for Detailing

  • Erasers
  • Kneaded Erasers – for very fine areas
  • Mono Erasers – for very fine areas – expensive – not recommended
  • White gel pens – to highlight on very dark areas, eye balls

                                          Eraser - Kneaded Eraser - Mono Zero Erasers

I do not use White Gel pens for highlights, instead off using these I prefer to leave the white areas as is and if needed use fine erasers (corner of eraser) to highlight them with less pencil shading. Also, Mono Zero eraser are expensive I didn’t try them yet but mentioned here as these are part of detailing tools.

Below are some examples that I have drawn using above tools.

So this is all about the Tools for Shading, Blending & Detailing. Hope this Article is helpful to you. We will discuss about Shading & Blending Techniques in our next Article. There we will discuss how to use the above tools and get good realistic effects. Stay Tuned!

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For more, you can check my profile on Instagram @mohittharwan

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Thank you!


Source : NewsOnFloor

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Comments (1)

  • - Neha Tomar

    Fan of your work

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