# Introduction to Pencil Shading

• 01 of 08

## Point and Flat Shading

The first step to successful pencil shading is to control the movement of your pencil, making sure that every mark you make on the paper works towards creating the shading or modeling effect that you want. The following pages offer a few tips to get you started. To begin with, decide whether you want to use the point or side of the pencil to shade with.

The example at left is shaded with the point, at right, with the side. The difference doesn't show up clearly in the scan, but you can see that the side shading has a grainier, softer look and covers a large area quickly (a chisel-point pencil will also give this effect). Using a sharp point to shade allows you more control, you can do much finer work, and get a greater range of tone out of the pencil.

Experiment with both to see how they look on your paper. Try shading with hard and soft pencils, too.

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• 02 of 08

## Pencil Shading Problems

When pencil shading, the first thing most people do is to move the pencil back and forth in a regular pattern, with the 'turn' at the end of each movement roughly parallel, as in the first example. The trouble is, when you use this technique to shade a large area, that even edge gives you a dark line through your area of tone. Sometimes it is only subtle, but often it looks very obvious and spoils the illusion that you are trying to create with your pencil shading. Let's look at some ways to fix this.

• 03 of 08

To prevent unwanted banding through a shaded area, change the pencil direction at irregular intervals, making one stroke long, then next short, overlapping where needed. The example at left shows an exaggerated example of how this effect is begun; at right the finished result.

• 04 of 08

An alternative to regular 'sideways' pencil shading is to use small, overlapping circles. This is similar to 'scumbling' or the 'brillo pad' technique, except that the object here is to minimize texture, rather than create one. To do this, you need to use a light touch with the pencil and work an area in an irregular, overlapping pattern to gradually build up the graphite on the page. A particularly light touch is required for lighter areas to avoid a 'steel wool' texture developing.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
• 05 of 08

Direction - don't underestimate it! Here's a really rough change of direction: with two coarsely shaded areas side by side - there's no missing the difference! Drawn like this, it is screamingly obvious: one has a big horizontal movement, the other vertical, and the edge between the two is very clear.

Now, if you are shading an object, even if your shading is more even and the pencil marks less obvious, this effect is still there - just more subtly. You can use it, to create a suggestion of an edge or a change of plane. But it will also suggest a change of plane even if you don't intend it to. You don't want to randomly change direction in the middle of an area. The eye will read it as 'meaning' something. Control the direction of your shading.

Try shading an object in various ways: using no visible direction (circular shading), one continuous direction, few big changes, and many subtle changes.

• 06 of 08

## Using Lineweight in Shading

When using directional shading, you can vary the pressure on the pencil to create light and dark tones. Controlling it very precisely can allow you to model smooth forms. A more relaxed approach to lifting and re-weighting the pencil for a fairly continuous line is useful for creating highlights across textures like hair or grass.

• 07 of 08