In­tri­cate pen­cil art

Miles John­ston on val­ues and edges.

ImagineFX - - Contents -

Every­one has drawn in pen­cil. For most of us it’s prob­a­bly the first draw­ing tool we ever used. When I was a be­gin­ner and I would find out about a new artist, I was al­ways at­tracted to their pen­cil draw­ings most of all.

Since then I’ve stud­ied oil paint­ing, worked as a dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tor and tried out many dif­fer­ent me­dia, but I al­ways feel the pull back to pen­cil call­ing. I think it never hurts to see what you can get out of pen­cil and pa­per. There’s a sat­is­fy­ing pu­rity to know­ing the only thing be­tween you and the end re­sult is your imag­i­na­tion and your skill.

Over the past few years I’ve set­tled into a work­ing method with graphite that’s pretty ef­fi­cient for the kind of re­sults I was in­ter­ested in. Now I’d like to share with you my method for cre­at­ing this il­lus­tra­tion, from the tools and tech­niques I use, to an outline of my work­flow and sketch­ing process. Lim­i­ta­tions can be cre­atively lib­er­at­ing, and work­ing around the re­stric­tions of graphite will im­prove your abil­i­ties as an artist.

I’ll try to cover how to cap­ture a strong sense of light us­ing the com­par­a­tively re­stricted value range of pen­cil. I’ll show you how to mas­ter sim­ple tools to achieve var­ied mark-mak­ing, com­bin­ing smooth blend­ing and hatch­ing tech­niques. Th­ese will en­able you to de­velop ex­cit­ing edge vari­a­tion and gain pre­cise con­trol over your ren­der­ing. I’ll also re­veal how you can use dif­fer­ent kinds of con­trast to cre­ate sat­is­fy­ing com­po­si­tions.

Pen­cil is mostly seen as a sketch­ing medium, but I’d like to show you that by fol­low­ing some sim­ple guide­lines it’s pos­si­ble to pro­duce pol­ished fin­ished pieces out of pen­cil that can stand along­side other work in your port­fo­lio. Miles is a free­lance il­lus­tra­tor born in Eng­land. He now lives in Swe­den, where he’s a part-time in­struc­tor and artist in res­i­dence at the Swedish Academy of Re­al­ist Art. See his art on In­sta­gram: @miles_ art.

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