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Helpful Drawing Tips and Hints

Here is a list of drawing tips that I have assembled together. Some are things I learned myself and some are helpful tips that other artists have given me. I hope you learn something from these tips.

-when working on a drawing, compare tones with other tones

-if a highlight needs to be more prominent, this can be achieved by making the surrounding area darker

-never touch an area of the paper that will recieve graphite. Your skin has oils in it that will show up after you touch the paper, much like dusting for fingerprints.

-remember to make smooth gradients when shading. In most cases, dark tones do not flow directly into lighter tones, there are alot of midtones in between.

-the whites of eyes are not white, they will always recieve tone and will often have highlights.

-teeth are not white, they will always recieve tone and will often have highlights

-there should be very few, if any, hard lines on a portrait. Portraits are made with tone gradients, not lines.

-hair should not be drawn with lines but drawn with tones.

-blu-tak or any adhesive putty works well to pull out tones as an eraser

-make sure not to blend over highlights. keep them clean for best results.

-if you are right handed, work from left to right, top to bottom so you don't have to rest your hand over finished parts of a drawing. vice-versa for lefties.

-fly-away hairs can add to the realism of a portrait

-all highlights aren't white

-focus can add to realism. Making your subject sharp and focussed and the background blurry can add alot of depth to a drawing

-keep an object's edges sharp and polished in most cases

-to achieve a dark background with a minimal glare, use a mechanical 3B graphite pencil. A sharp mechanical pencil breaks in the fibres of the paper, diminishing the glare that a wood pencil would most likely create.

-after a drawing is framed, the glare from graphite will be less obvious behind glass

-regular kleenex tissues are good for blending

-spraying fixative on a finished drawing will add protection against unwanted smearing and will diminish glare

-the sky is the limit with drawing if you are willing to put in the time and practice

-patience is key, take your time

-if you cut corners and work quickly, it will show in your drawing

-be careful with hard pencils (5H, 2H). Pressing down hard on them will dent your paper and ruin the fibres

-dark is not always black and light is not always white

-work one small area at a time

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