How to Get Deep Shadows With Graphite Pencil

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Getting deep shadows with a graphite pencil requires you to employ a few clever and valuable tricks. Get deep shadows with a graphite pencil with help from an experienced graphic designer and illustrator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Art
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Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Gene Shaw. I've been an Illustrator and a Graphic Designer working in the industry for over 15 years now. Today, we're going to take a look at a few techniques on with the graphite pencil and I'm going to show you how to render different types of shadows. We're going to cover specifically deep shadows. Let's get started. Alright, so, we're just using a, just a regular Prismacolor Ebony graphite pencil and let's talk about a, a couple of different types of shading techniques. And what I want to show you is how to get deep shadows. Now, I, I know in, in school there all, they are, they always tell you to use the side of your pencil and that's, that's fine. But, I, I've never really been comfortable with that technique because if you look close, it always, depending on the texture of your paper, you get all these crazy like areas where nothing happen in the center. So, for deep shadow, you can do that same thing but do it again. A, a deep shadow is actually just means a darker shadow and these are the things that are going to happen near the origin of where two surfaces meet. So, if you have say, I don't know, we'll just, you know, quickly talk about a cube and so, you've got a cube and you've got your light source here. The deepest darkest shadow, okay, is going to happen right in this area. So, this is where you're going to want to shade the darkest. If you're using ink, obviously line weight is going to be a factor. But, since we're not, you can start it off with the side of your pencil and that's going to give you a, a nice base texture. Okay. So, it's just what we're going to do here is do the little bit of side of the pencil shading which as you can see I'm not very fantastic at. But, essentially, what I like to do is get straight in there with the tip of the pencil and just very lightly, don't press, just very lightly kind of noodle it around a little bit. Okay. Just go on any, any direction that strikes your fancy, it doesn't matter and as you can see, the randomness of, of your directionality hits different edges of the surface of the paper. Now, what do I mean by that? If you picture, if we took the paper flat, so, you're looking at it in this direction, okay; the paper has a texture. So, it's not flat, it looks more like this. Okay, it got some bumps. So, when you move your pencil in this direction, the only place the graphite is left is on this edge. Now, when your'e noodling around in every single direction, you leave graphite on this edge, on that edge, on the, the front face, you leave it everywhere. So, as I'm just kind of moving in random directions here, you can see that it's getting darker and the, and all of the, the lighter areas are sort of disappearing. So, this is how I would do the deep shadows and it also gives you a little bit more control because all you have to do to fade out the shadow as you, you continue through the, the cast shadow here is just widen your strokes a little bit. So, I'm making sort of like, really lightly again, just kind of random directions here, I'm just kind of noodling around and it helps if you have a flatter area on your pencil. So, I'm just going to take and wear this down a little bit. And once you have a worn pencil, you know, you can see that you're actually darkening it there. But, here you go. I'm worn a little bit and I'm just going to noodle around toward the base of the object and as I go out, I'm going to widen my strokes and that's going to naturally faded into the light. And then, if you want a, a darker color for these, these deeper shadows, again, just go over it again in different directions. You can press a little bit harder if you want, but I still I don't recommend pressing too hard because once you start pressing hard, you lose control and get areas like this here. Now, in order to get rid of this section, I have to make everything around it just as dark as here. So, the problem is when you press hard is you override all of these area here and you just make a big flat area and you, you don't necessarily want that. It's not very good technique. It doesn't show as much control. So, there you go, there's deep shadows with the graphite pencil. Alright, so there you have it. Using those techniques you should have no problem rendering all types of shadows specifically deep shadows. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.


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