The part of an object which has either less or no light upon it is in shadow. Details are muted or lost, and the tonal range within the shadow is limited. You can exploit this fact by paying close attention to remove unwanted highlights in a shadowed part of your drawing. One of the challenges with a pencil rendering is to prevent the pencil from shining. Try blocking out an area of white paper with a soft pencil by pressing hard. Hold it at an angle, and it will reflect light. You don't want this. The techniques in this book describe ways to prevent or minimise this. If you apply the pencil to a shaded area and leave some of the white paper showing, then it will not look like a deep shadow. Again, the techniques given in this book will show you how to avoid this.
If you are drawing on white paper, then the brightest highlight will be the paper itself. Most paper is slightly cream coloured, so it's a good idea to shop around to try and find paper which suits your needs. Once you lay down graphite onto the paper, it is very difficult to remove all of it. This means that you need to plan ahead by identifying your brightest highlights and avoid drawing in that space until the very last moment. Usually a highlight should not be completely white, except a very bright point that you might find on the corner of a shiny object, or the highlight in a wet object. Even then, the edges of the highlight are likely to be graduated rather then a definite line. In some cases, you can use an eraser to lift graphite from the paper to create slightly subdued highlights. We will talk more about this legitimate drawing method.
(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.