Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Drawing: Part 2 - Finishing a drawing

Finishing a drawing is the best part of the process. You get to watch your work come to life right before your very eyes.

To see how to start a drawing, click here or scroll down.

We last left the drawing fully outlined. No shading had been done yet.

Now is when the fun begins. Take your ebony pencil, or soft graphite pencil and start filling in the drawing with lights and darks. If something is very dark in the photo, press hard with the pencil. If it is pure white, leave it completely blank. The trick is to get your drawing to have the blackest black and the whitest white in your drawing. That's what really gives it depth.

I always start at the top right of the drawing and work across the paper. That way I leave less smudges as I work, and I won't smear pencil after I finish a section.

In this next section, you'll find I use the word smudging a lot. I'm not exactly sure if this is a good professional term, but it's the best word to describe what you will be doing.

When you get to a good stopping point, find a tissue. Yep, a tissue. My cheapest and most important drawing tool.

Wrap the tissue around your finger and begin smudging the graphite. This will create a much softer appearance, and makes it more realistic. Round objects look much more round when they are smooth.

After smudging, be sure to go back with an eraser and define your highlights. You may even want to go back with your pencil and darken areas that may have lightened when smudging.

Continue to do this with the rest of your drawing, by first creating shadows with the pencil, then smudging them in.

Don't worry about going past your border or making a mess beyond the drawing. We will cut off or erase those marks later.

WHEW! After all that hard work, here is the final product...

But wait! You're not done yet. We must put credit where credit is due, so don't forget to sign your masterpiece!

Cut of your messy edges or erase unwanted pencil marks. Spray the drawing with a fixative to make sure your smudges stay put, and you're FINISHED! Ready to send it to a special friend, sell it to an eager buyer, or frame it and hang it on your own wall.

**This particular drawing is a tribute to a wonderful woman who holds a special place in my heart, as does her daughter who ordered the drawing**

Now go make something, and enjoy the day!


  1. this is beautiful amy!

    even with your great tutorial i don't think i could EVER draw like this. it's just so realistic. and gorgeous!!

  2. I can't get over how talented you are, Amy. I know I've told you that so many times but you are SO artfully gifted!