Pencil Types and Photo References (Easy Hands)!
I recently had someone by the name of to ask the question about the pencils I use. It was a good question and upon answering her question I felt the need to show what I was using and where it was applied! But first let's take a hands on look at how using references from your own photos can really help tighten your illustration - especially for those hard to do poses from any part of the body.
In this case we'll focus on the hands (hands are a pain in the ass to draw right?)
I started out with a quick thumbnail of 's commission (featuring his friend's character ). I had a solid idea at the time and it only required a couple of thumbnails to solidify my idea - it was a matter of choosing which orientation would best capture the moment between the two characters Art and Cooper.
Now I'm pretty confident with my figure drawing by now but I still need some extra help with hands. So I took them myself with my brother's Lumix camera. Here are some shots I came up with to match the idea I had based on the thumbnail.
Great, so I had dome my prep and research, now let's do some sketching...!
Not bad huh?
So after I've laid out the framework it's time to render it fully, this was how it looked like:
Not too shabby at all! Now then, let's giveyou guys a little exercise, which of the numbered photos matched the hands on the illustration?
Well I'll make it even easier for you and show how it compares and matches from photo to illustration:
So what's the lesson here? DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE REFERENCES!!! Encourage yourself to put in that little bit of extra effort on research cuz it'll go a long way in the long run.
Now then back to our earlier inquiry about the type of pencils I use for this commissioned illustration - trust me you don't need any smancy-fancy to create stunning graphite drawings. Just go to your local art store and buy some graphite pencils, any brand you like - they'll do the job, seriously.
If you really want to know what I have been using then it's the standard 'Goldfaber' Faber Castell GRAPHITE PENCILS - the horizontally striped ones that has blue and gold coating on it. Yup you can get it at your local office supplies or newsagent, they're cheap and reliable.
You can get yourself the whole range that comes conveniently in a box - i.e. 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, and 8B but that's a lot of pencils that you don't really need if you're just starting out. Try out a few of the basic ones first like H and 2B, then when you want to get more technical with your rendering then it is advised to purchase more types of pencils that range outside the H and 2B
On this project I used 3H, H, HB, & 4B. Really that's all you need. Something really soft and something really hard in value.
Also important when it comes to adding arsenal to your graphite drawing tool collection are MECHANICAL PENCILS. God damn they will come in handy for the more pin-point stuff you need to draw for lines. If you want precise and clean strokes, you'll be thankful to have purchase some. And because I can afford some smancy-fancy stuff I paid a little extra to get myself Engineer/Draftsman/Architect quality mechanical pencils - they are much more durable, holds your leads tighter than your cheaper brands and they look sexy. Go on, spoil yourself, it's worth the extra. I bought three sizes - 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm (thinnest, thin, thicker lines).
I decided to grab all of my tools in one hand to show you what it looks like while I was working on Cooper's commission the other day. Why? Because I can.
Now here's the fun part, now that you know what type of pencils I use on the regular for graphite illustrations, let's take a look at which specific pencils have been used on certain sections of the illustration - I take into account the LINE-ART and RENDERING. Go and have a wander and observe carefully - you may learn something useful!
And that's it! Hope you'll gain something out of this mini behind-the-scenes.
Remember my article on how awesome it is to have three screens? Well here's how it looks like for my next quick project (my client being ):
And once again I'm using the same set of graphite and mechanical pencils like my previous projects.
Anyways it's adios from me! Now go out there and start drawing! Get the right tools, get inspired and tighten your illustration work! Good luck! *thumbs up*