Thursday, July 14, 2011

5 Supplies Needed for a Pencil Portrait

Find out what are some of the standard drawing supplies needed in portrait drawings and what are they good for.
 1. Paper 

The quality of the drawing is given from the start by the paper you are using. The paper that contains no acid is best because it will not be yellowed in time and will better preserve your drawing. What I usually prefer is thicker paper because it is not only more resistant but it can also be more resistant when erasing a lot or applying heavier layers. Besides the thickness of the paper you can also choose the texture. A paper with a more pronounced texture will give you a rougher result and can take more graphite while the one with a polished surface gives a smooth result but wears out faster.

2. Pencil

Having figured out what is the right paper for your work, you will want to try out different pencils. There are a number of common used pencils. The graphite ones look like your average writing pencils but come with a variety of lead hardness that will influence the darkness of the mark they produce. The good part about graphite is that it can be handled easily it doesn’t smudge as much and can produce very fine details. The downside is that it can reflect a lot of light when it flattens the paper teeth. Another popular medium is charcoal. Due to its softness, charcoal can be very messy and you can end up ruining your drawing if not careful. Unlike graphite, the finished drawing tends to have a more dynamic look, with fewer details. A plus using charcoal is that you can achieve very dark tones and it does not reflect light as much as graphite, thus you can have a mat black.

 3.  Eraser

While you can use an ordinary eraser for deleting parts of your drawing, you will also want to try a different one, specially created for drawing. The kneaded eraser helps you pull the tones you want to lighten, without erasing the whole part, due to its sticky surface and malleable properties. You can do this by gently tapping the surface you want to adjust. One more important usage of this eraser is that you can mold it into a sharp tip and create tiny hair strings, or other fine details.

4. Blending tools 

If the traditional appearance of a pencil drawing is not suited to your taste, you can use blending stumps to give it a smoother look. For larger areas you can use soft tissues or pieces of cloth. This will give you a better transition between tones. You can either use blending after you have already covered the area, or use the blending material to pick up charcoal or graphite and draw directly on the white paper, thus blending at the same time. One example where you might want to blend you portrait is when you are drawing a baby. Babies have soft smooth skin and a rough portrait might give them the appearance of old and wrinkled skin. You can also use blending to achieve certain effect, such as a glowing effect in a fantasy drawing, the impression of clouds, smoke or mist.

 5. Fixative

As much as it is important to create a well drawn portrait, it is also vital to preserve it in the best possible conditions. Best way to do this is by getting a special fixative spray from a local art supplier. When buying your spray you should test it first on the type of paper and medium you are using before you apply it to a finished drawing, to make sure it is of quality and does no damage to your work. A good fixative should not leave any marks, keep the same colors and tones of your drawing and should not create a glossy layer.


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