Lesson 1

Artistic tools seem unending. “The Artists Illustrated Encyclopedia written by Phil Metzger quotes “tools, techniques, material and terms” From abaca fibre to zinc white. (A reference book worth looking into)

Today, I would like to focus on the basic tools and techniques that will help you build your skills. We want to develop how to acquire and create depth in our drawings. This requires we look at the first and important tool, the pencil. We are familiar with pencils and paper, so today I would like to introduce the importance of shades and values that pencils create. If you look below you’ll see a chart and blank squares in a row.

Good quality pencils are a must for an artist. You’ll notice that the pencil grades start at 9H and travel to the right to 9B.

The H stands for hard. Yes the graphite in these ones are harder and so they create a softer and lighter value or grade. The B stands for black. These are a softer type of graphite. The soft graphite helps the artist to make gradual darker aspects to the drawing. Each pencil has a different value or shade.

The exercise is to train your eyes to see the subtle changes in the shades or Values. Start with at least four of the H pencils and four of the B pencil. Create as many boxes according to the number of pencils you have. Start in the upper left corner of the box start shading very softly and then press harder as you get to the other corner on the bottom to the left.

Have fun. Let me know how you did!

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