The idiom “practice makes perfect” is the act of rehearsing a behavior again and again for the purpose of improving or mastering it. So the idiom applies perfectly to drawing and painting too. The more you draw, the better you are. Good thing about drawing is that you can draw anywhere. While waiting to be served in a restaurant, waiting for the LRT to arrive or any other idle time. I used to scribble in a boring group meeting during my 9 to 5 days. Our sketches are just mere expressions of things linger in our mind at that particular time. It’s often meaningless and incomprehensible to some extent. But who cares, nobody is going to mark your scribble.
This is my typical scribbling while waiting for something. The victim will be my sketchbook, notepad, serviette, white space on tabloid, wrapping package or any other materials identified as paper that belong to me.
Well, the serviette will eventually goes into garbage bin, but believe me the skill stuck with you. I strongly advise you to start this habit but hey…please don’t vandalise. If you really want to practice in respond to emilayusof tutorial, your mind will naturally came up with subjects to draw. Let it be shades of an apple, tall post, orang lidi, whatever it is, just start sketching.
In this tutorial I will talk more on basic shading and tool in use is still pencil and pen but guess what, we are going to practice on more complex object, not just cube or sphere like in the previous tutorial.
And this is what we are going to sketch; a cup of coffee.
Before we start, lets take a moment to analyze the subject. First, look at the light source. It’s from right and casting a soft shadow to the left. Look at the shade too, (The edge of the cup is bright, the coffee is darker but the outer side of the cup is much less dark because the cup is white….. etc.).Â Now look at the line and shape that makes the cup. Proportion of shapes to one another. Just memorise the whole scene, so you don’t have to juggle your attention too often.
On your drawing pad, start sketching the most prominent outline. Don’t hesitate to use eraser to redraw the line. At this stage I prefer to use HB pencil which is less contrast.
With darker pencil, start shading the dark area. Well, how much you practice on previous tutorial will obviously be reflected here. The coffee is darker than everything else, so extra pressure on that area. Yes, whatever your eye perceives, make a mental note.
Before you proceed, erase unwanted excessive outline. Add some tone for the background to make your subject outstanding. Smudge with your finger to get smooth effect. Enhance darker area with smoother stroke. When you feel that you have achieved good contrast, smudge with your finger or cotton bud in the area between dark and light to smoothen the tone.
Finally recover the bright area with eraser. You might need to trim your eraser to get finer tips. All the subject involved is reflective in nature. (Spoon edge, coffee surface, cup) Pay extra attention on the reflection and try to get it right. It will certainly make your sketching more realistic.
Two important things to remember:-
One, since you allow yourself to use eraser to erase any mistakes, it doesn’t mean that your sketches will be better finished. Often your sketches will look dirty, badly bruised and an uneven paper surface if you happily stroke and erase . Limit the use of erase just for recovering and enhancing bright area. Try to stroke right the first time.
Two, smudging with finger. Don’t be happy-smudging too. Smudging with finger often eliminate pencil characteristic although it produce smoother shade. In this sketching I only use finger for the background, shadow area on the table and the side of the cup.
Well, that’s it. Try it out. Use your own set of cup and spoon. Look for a spot in your home where it’s a bit dramatic lighted-up, I’m sure there is one. Get comfortable and start sketching. And if you think your sketch is worth the watch, post it over and share with us!
Do you feel that you do have the talent and need more? Try with a pen. After what you have been through with pencil, this should be easier.
Have a nice creative day.