How can I perfect my shading?
I need to know how to smoothly go from one shade to the next, without showing pencil lines.
Well this is how I do it.
Say you are shading using a 3B pencil, obviously the greatest point is to not press hard and build the shading up slowly to control flow from dark to light. I find it is best to work from dark to light going lighter and lighter, till you are barely even touching the paper with your pencil.
Then once you are happy with that, take say a 2H pencil, it must be a hard type pencil, doesn't reall work with you B pencils, and what you do is go over the shading in a slighlty different angle and make like a glaze over it with the 2H pencil. If you can understand what I mean by that.
That will then fill many of those little white (or whatever colour your paper is) spots making the gradient a lot smoother.
Hope that makes sense and helps a little.
I don't know specifically what type of look you are hoping for, but you can certainly put down clear definitions from one shade to the next and use a tortillion or blending stump to smooth out the gradiation. Unless your surface area is pretty small, you should still maintain the shade differences.
If that isn't what you had in mind, Mythlin's response pretty much answers your question.
Do it in layers. Draw the lighter tones first by holding the pencil with your thumb and index finger and lightly let the pencil rest on the paper while you shade the detail. Then repeat this process with each time pressing the pencil on the paper a little bit harder to get the darker tones in.
Mythlin way suggests to go dark to light shades, that is ok too. I guess it is up to you.
There are extra tools you can use. You can use a soft cloth or tissue to further smudge any pencil lines you can see to make the gradient smoother. But this can also provide a problem because you can see the smudge marks on the dark areas. So this technique would suit rubbing the white/lighter areas.
Use a "tortillion!" It's also known as a "blending stump." They are remarkable. Check out some of my drawings here. I use tortillions all the time. You can get them at any art supply store.
PS I also have many drawing tutorials here on hub pages, talking about blending and etc.
You can perfect your shading by your constant practise and the type of pencils you use. There are various range of pencils starting from 10H to 10B. I will try and list them as they move towards soft area. Hard(H) pencil is good for sketching, while Soft(B) pencils are for shading. Here is the list below.
(HARD RANGE) 10H 8H 6H 4H 2H HB 2B 4B 6B 8B 10B (SOFT RANGE)
After shading your work with a soft range pencil, you can create a blurring effect with your thumb greased with a little of your saliva. This should help reduce the line strokes in your drawing.
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