We will be starting adding pencil to the bottom section first. Again, we will continue using the same layer strategy. Starting with lowest layer, it allows us to build it depth from the bottom up. Since the bottom area has lots of dark hair under shadow, we will be using a Lyra water-soluble graphite stick. These sticks are amazing. They are really dark and waxy, so you don’t need to put so much pressure to put it down on paper. As you can see, I’m using just a stub. this size is great because i can lay it flat and cover a larger area.
So the purpose of adding the pencil now is to bring out the indentations along the edges of the layers. By running the pencil along the edge of the top most layer, you will separate the top layer from the bottom, in this case, the darker hair versus the lighter hair above. The image below shows how I’ve outlined the edge. From this point on we will slowly refine the edges by blending the pencil. We will be doing this using a trusty q-tip, but first here’s the drawing with pencil.
You can see the individual hairs that we added when we first started indenting. These will be darkened with the q-tip by blending the surrounding graphite. You can also see the edges that i mentioned previously. We still need to define them as we blend more of the pencil. Let’s start blending. At the moment we will blend the whole middle area together, even those individual hairs. We can highlight those in the using a kneaded eraser in the end. You can see from the image below how much of a difference that blending made. You can begin to see the layers of hair. Again, from this point on it’s all about building up those layers by darkening the shadows with a 6B pencil.
Looking back at our reference we can see that we need to darken the right side a bit more. To do this we will just add more pencil with 6B. We will keep repeating this process of blending and adding more pencil until we are happy with the way it looks. Remember that the hair in this area is mostly black hair so we need to make sure it looks like black hair. But, you should also know that black hair is not completely black. Light reflects of its surface and sometimes it becomes visible because of that light bouncing off it. We will add these small details in the end. Let’s keep darkening this area. You should have something that looks like the image below.
Let’s now begin to outline the next section of hair. This next area will be above the layer we just finished working on. For this section we’ll be using a q-tip. We’re just running it along the edge of top most layer and bottom layer like the image below. This will help us separate the two layers and it will make it easier to add the shadows.
Here’s a tip. When using a q-tip, rub it on the Lyra graphite stick or a regular pencil,preferably soft pencil such as 6b and up, to get some graphite on it, so you can then use it on the paper. This gives you much more control over how much graphite to add and you can darken an area layer by layer. Sometimes you may not have any pencil on the paper to blend, so this neat little trick can be helpful. Ok. After darkening the edges with the q-tip, you should have something like this. It’s hard to see from the images, but the purpose of this step is to see which hairs are above and which are below by revealing the indentations. Knowing this will allow us to now start adding the shadows. As we progress, it will all start to come together.
From this point on we will be using the reference image as just that, reference. We will not be copying it exactly. We will be adding shadows and highlights where we want. I’ll explain the reasons why i’m adding these shadows and highlights as i go along so it makes sense as to why they go there. We will start adding shadows using a 6b pencil, starting from the bottom and as we move up the shadows will get lighter since less light gets to the bottom area. This next picture shows what we are trying to accomplish. The white lines represent the hair and the black parts are the area under all that hair that gets no light, hence the dark shadows. Later on we will darken some of those individual hairs to further give the illusion of layered hair. I hope you are beginning to understand the concept and what we are trying to achieve. I’ve mentioned before that this drawing technique is a bit different than anything else you have seen but i hope it becomes a helpful in your art. Drawing pencils aren’t the only tools that will give your drawing a realistic look, sometimes you need to be creative.
Just by looking at the image above, we can pick out which hairs are below and which are above. Recognizing these patterns will make it so much easier when we start darkening the individual hairs. It will come naturally as you use this technique more and more. Here’s a tip, turn the paper 90 degrees, so that that the tip of hair is pointing up. Doing this allows you to see the image from a different perspective and will let you see things much more clear. You’ll be able do recognize which hairs are above and you will know where to add the dark shadows much more easily. Continue finding these shadows and darken them as you move up. By the top you should end up with something like this.[Part 3]
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