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Learn to draw: Rendering Realistic Portraits in pencil graphite charcoal and carbon: 1 Drawing an ear
Lend me an ear
Steps - click for full viewClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tutorial - Drawing an ear.
This is an example of one of the tutorials that are included in my book, "Rendering Realistic Portraits in Graphite". I am releasing the contents of this book in a drip-feed on my art blog. You can download the posts and compile the book for personal use.
The construction lines that you see in the photo of the unfinished artwork are what I call 'strategic lines'. These are lines which are important in the composition and proportion. I usually draw one which follows tangental to the jawline, and one above, below and through the eyes. Almost none are vertical or horizontal. There will, at some stage be more about this in my blog.
However, right now, we need an ear. They looks like difficult shapes to draw, and they are in fact difficult unless you use the method of negative drawing. Then it becomes easy.
Here are the steps
We need to draw 'in the negative'. This means that we draw light instead of shadow. Since the paper is white - this is difficult. So lay down a very light scribble of quite soft graphite. Don't press hard or it will damage the paper. We need to be able to erase it very easily.
Then, take a kneadable eraser or an electric eraser, or even a normal school eraser that is cut to a point. Use it to draw the folds of the ear that catch the light. This completes the negative drawing.
Prepare some 8B graphite dust or carbon pencil dust by taking a scrap of paper and vigorously rubbing one spot. The carbon pencil works best for this. There will be some dust produced that can be picked up with a small modeling brush.
Use the graphite or carbon dust to 'paint' in the shadow areas.
Identify the deepest shadows. This is likely to be under the top fold because the light is likely to come from above . Obviously this could be different. Directly, and lightly use the carbon pencil to draw those shadows, and then blend it in with the brush.
Finally, all transitions need to graduate light to dark to light in a smooth transition. Do not draw lines. I normally use a very sharp 0.3mm HB and 6H and a technique called circularism to blend these transisions.