Simple pencil drawings do exist, yes they do, and the most difficult part, of any drawing, is the construction, so to make it easy, eliminate, the construction problem. Now to be honest, if you eliminate, the construction process, then you might be thinking, there is nothing left to draw, but you will only be half right because there are two parts to a drawing, construction and shading.
If you trace the basic construction, of your potential drawing, then take the time, to fill it in, by doing the shading, you are actually reducing the work load, by at least half but still learning, how to draw. This is not to say, that you are cheating because you still have to do the shading and although, the grunt work of the construction, has been done easy, you still have to make sure your construction, of the shading is accurate. This means that you still, have to do important work, on your picture or drawing but with, less effort. The end results, are that you end up learning, how to draw better, producing very nice drawings, that are accurate, with only having to put half the work, into doing it.
Just in case, you need some further reassurance, that it is OK, to do this, then take a good look around, for information about how to draw. You will find much reference, to using a viewing grid, to help you, construct your drawing and viewing grids, are just a slightly more, difficult way, to trace pictures. Many artists world wide, use viewing grids, as their preferred method, of doing construction drawings and what they are doing in actual fact, is tracing their construction drawings, by using a grid, instead of using a picture, to trace over.
Simple pencil drawings, do exist and people do them all the time, they just don’t explain, how they are done because you never ask.
This will explain about how to do easy pencil drawings.
Easy pencil drawings are achievable, if you break it down, into the two main components, of making a good pencil drawing, these are the construction or outline and the shading.
Most people find shading easier and more relaxing, than constructional or outline drawing but the problem is, you can’t do the shading unless, you have done the outline first. This makes drawing difficult, for most people and so they never get to enjoy, doing the shading because they give up, before they have completed the outline, and it’s a pity.
Easy pencil drawings, can be achieved, it dose not have to be difficult because you can trace outlines and get them right every time.
People will say, that tracings are no good, as drawings because they are uninteresting, if they are just tracings and boring. I will agree with this but if you are, then going to complete the drawing, by doing the shading, then this is different, very different. For a start, by learning how to do easy pencil drawings, you will enjoy, your drawing more. You will find it easier, you will find it more relaxing, you will create better drawings, you will not take as long, in doing it, plus you will still learn about construction and proportional representation, the easy way.
If you learn to draw, by doing easy pencil drawings, in this way, you will also improve, in all those more difficult areas, of construction drawing, that hamper everyone’s progress, when they try to draw freehand, by sight drawing, which is drawing, by just looking. Sight drawing is the most difficult way to draw, of all drawing techniques, so it is little wonder, most people say they can’t draw because everybody try’s to draw, by sight drawing, when they start out, it’s not a good idea really. The fact is that nobody draws, by just looking, even when sight drawing. Sight drawing is just, a more difficult way of tracing, all drawing is done by measuring, comparing and struggling to get it right, making mistakes, and trying to hide them or erasing them, making your drawings and pictures messy. Learn to draw by doing easy pencil drawings and you will find that, the results turn out to be much better and a lot less messy.
Let me tell you a fact, I used to spend hours, constructing outline drawings, of portraits for people and make a right mess, most of the time. Then I used to trace that drawing, to get the outline, onto a clean drawing area, to do my final drawing, I had no choice because people want copies of photographs, not drawings, that look like drawing, nowadays. Today people want, photo realistic drawings, they want them to look like photographs, not drawings and they do not want, to sit for you, either.
So I stopped doing it the hard way and started doing easy pencil drawings. I traced the outlines from photographs to save myself at least half of the work. I was told it was not good to do this but that was what I was doing anyway but taking twice as long. I was told, my other drawing skills, would diminish and I would become less able to draw, without tracing but do you know what, it is not true because it is more enjoyable, it is so much better but I still become aware, of important learning.
Below you will find a video, of me drawing Kurt Cobain, who was once the lead singer and guitarist, with the Grunge Rock band, Nirvana. Please notice that I am not tracing and it is here, just to prove, that tracing does not take away, from your ability to draw. Perhaps I am unique and it only works for me but I don’t think so, I am just like anybody else, who likes drawing, who got good at it, through finding ways to do so. I am sure you will also by doing easy pencil drawings.
The truth is this, I got better, much better because I enjoyed it, so much more, doing easy pencil drawings but I still became aware, of the important learning, as well.
Do you know what, you need to do easy pencil drawings first, then as you get better, you can develop, the other ways, that improve your sight drawing, when you understand it better.
Hatching, cross hatching and tonal modeling basics, will help you understand shading techniques, this understanding I am going present will further enable you to develop your drawing skills, by using these simple methods.
A very basic explanation of tonal modeling is as follows.
If you draw on a piece of paper with a soft, 3B or 6B graphite pencil and make a dark line by pressing hard, then rub over the top of the pencil line, with your finger or with a piece of paper under your finger, you will see that line you made has now been smudged. Now the line that you made, will not be as well defined with the edges of it being softer and less definite or hard. This is known as a tonal modeling technique, one method of creating this tonal modeling technique is by smudging the pencil marks used for shading, to help create a more realistic three dimensional form. This is not the only way to do your tonal modeling or shading, as it can also be achieved by rubbing the pencil lightly over the paper to create a soft blended tone also.
There is also another shading method called hatching and cross hatching as well that we will explain a little later in this article.
Tonal modeling is when the pencil marks are modeled or smudged, so instead of them having hard edges, they have soft blended edges, this smudging can be done using your fingers, a paper stump, soft tissue or cotton wool. Using your fingers is not recommended because of the oils from your skin, that contain acids being left on the paper, these oils with time can cause discoloring and rotting of the paper, ruining the finished drawing, over a period of time.
When a sculptor models with clay, he creates the shape and form of the sculpture by modeling the clay with his hands, tonal modeling is when you model the pencil marks to create soft blended tones of graduated shading with a pencil, charcoal, pastel or paint, it is a process of blending tones or colors, so there is a soft graduated transition from one tone or color to another.
Tonal modeling in a drawing or painting context, is when the pencil, charcoal, pastel or paints are blended to create soft shadows, to produce the form and shape of the object, being drawn on a 2 dimensional surface creating the illusion, of a 3 dimensional form or shape.
The blending of the drawing materials, into graduated tones to create the illusion of a 3 dimensional form or shape, on a 2 dimensional drawing surface is what’s usually referred to as tonal modeling.
Below you will find an image of two pencil drawings.
1. This first image has been drawn with a 5B graphite pencil, using a hatching and cross hatching method.
2. This other second image, has been drawn with a 5B graphite pencil, using a tonal modeling method.
Both depict the shape and form of the image but the second example, is modeled, using the tonal modeling method, notice that the shadows and tones are soft, with few hard edges, unlike the first cross hatching example, with many hard edges/lines.
Essentially there are hatch marks and smudge marks, with both these types of marks having attributes, also associated with the use of charcoal, that enable you to learn to understand tonal variation better.
• Both types of marks are good and effective in their own right, as well as when used together.
• Both make excellent drawings, in their own right and when mixed.
• Both can have specific, common and preferred uses.
• Both are also used when painting.
• Both can be used effectively, with other types of drawing tools, especially the hatching marks.
Modern mark making revealed again.
Crosshatching and tonal modelling.
The above is a combination of hatching, cross hatching, line drawing and tonal modelling with only a HB pencil being used to do this.
Crosshatching and tonal modelling.
Cross hatching style drawing, of a dolls leg but although very messy looking in the detail, it is a fine example of how, even soft flowing shapes can be created with crosshatching.
Tonal modelling or blended style, with very hard edges, although you can see some of the hatching marks showing through as well.
Hatching and tonal modelling revisited.
Example of a loose tonal modelling or blending style drawing, of a face that is really somewhere between, hatching and tonal modelling because of the even marks, slanting downward to the right.
A Yorkshire terrier dog, which happily lends it’s self well to this loose but flowing hatching technique, which is highly appropriate for drawing fur or hair, as can be seen a little in image 3 as well.
A soft blending of tones creates this portrait, this is mostly achieved by smudging the graphite pencil marks, with a paper torchon or drawing stump, this is just a hard paper pencil type tool, that can be used to smudge the pencil marks.
Although some like to call this a squiggle or squrkle technique, it is actually just another form of cross hatching, this image has been drawn with a permanent ink pen.