1.2.40 Fringing and shadows
If you hold an object against a light source, then you will find that its perimeter does not look like a solid and abrupt transition from light to shadow. Light leaks around the edge because the edge is not perfect. I call this fringing. Consequently, the shadow that is cast by the object does not have a perfectly hard edge. Therefore, you should not draw hard edges in shadows - partly for this reason, and mainly because of reflected incident light
Additionally, light sources are not infinitely tiny. They have significant dimension which means that a light source sends rays of light past the object from a range of angles. This means that the intensity of shadow is greatest where the most light rays are blocked, and becomes weaker as you move away from that spot.
In the same way that you use multiple layers of paint to protect a door or produce an oil painting, multiple layers of graphite will improve your drawing. You might put one layer down as dots or circles in HB, followed by a glaze of 6H, then some dots or strokes with B, then strokes with H followed by some lifting and more layers. The result will be much more interesting than a single layer of graphite. These techniques are presented in detail in this book.
(C) Jeremy Lee 2010, all rights reserved.
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spOOk's art is owned by Jeremy. He has practiced drawing and painting for about 40 years, and might get good at it one day. spOOk's art is focused on graphite portraits.