This is a study of a pine cone which ill be doing to practice for my next drawing which will have similar textures. Preparation is the best way to improve your drawings and this is one of the things that i like to do if im not familiar with textures that ill be working on. Understanding what you’re drawing will make things much easier when you start working on your drawing.
At the moment all i have is the outline and started on 2 of the scales. This drawing will have lots of detail and hopefully will help me in getting the look that i want on next drawing. I have picked up a couple of pine cones and I’ve studied them which has helped me understand their look and by feeling them with my hands i can understand why they look the way they do. Well, if you have any questions please comment or contact me.Figure 1.
The main reason behind this drawing like i have mentioned is to practice the for the textures that i will be adding on the next drawing. You might be thinking that its a bit too much to be working on a whole new drawing to practice for the next one. Most of the drawings i have done previously have been animals so i have gotten used to working with drawing hair and using the same technique. My next drawing will have lots of wood textures which are a bit different than hair and require me to use other methods. By doing this drawing and getting used to working with this type of texture will allow me continue that flow with the next drawing. It will be an easy transition to the next drawing because of the practice that i will be getting in this one. Preparation and practice are important with all my drawings and this will be the best way to prepare for my next drawing.
From my last update i have gotten used to the technique that will get me the texture that i want. The rest of the drawing will be the same technique and the areas will only differ in darkness from the shadows. Hopefully i can have this drawing done soon so i can start working on the next on.Figure 2.
From this point on it will be basically the same textures that ill be adding. There won’t be much change with that except for the shadows. I paying special attention to the grooves that run down the scales. Pine cones have a unique texture, the surface looks smooth, but when you look at it up close you can see those grooves. I’m trying to capture that texture with 6h and 4b pencil. I’ll be adding the same texture to next drawing that ill be working on. Well hopefully ill have this one done soon so i can start on my next one.
As you can see on this update im working on the scale that is in the middle. The process for each one has been pretty basic. I first cover the whole area with paint brush. This lets me add the lightest area on that scale. I also make sure that no white paper will be visible. Once i have that i begin to add the cracks that run down the scale. The texture that these scales have is that of a piece of dried wood. Because of this some areas have cracks. Once i add these cracks i begin to darken the area which will be receiving less light. In this case, the light is coming from the left side, so the right side of the scale will be darker. This will also give the drawing much more depth and realism. From here on i’ll add the dark areas around each of the scales at the bottom. By doing this i can compare the darkest area to the lightest and will give me idea of how dark i should make each scale. Its not a complicated process but it just takes time. If you have any questions, just leave a comment.Figure 4.
I was able to finish another scale and with each one im finding the technique to be much easier. Like i have mentioned before, the technique is not hard but it takes time. Layering is the secret and with each layer i add a bit more of detail. The area below each of the scales will be mostly black because of the shadows and this part of the scales are dark in color. When i have to add an area that will be mostly black, i first add a layer with my 8b pencil which is what you see on this update. After this i will blend it with my color shaper. Once i do that i will then add another layer with my 6b pencil to darken it. Why do i do this. By adding that first layer and then blending, i will make sure that no white paper will show through when it go over it with the 6b pencil. Also, by adding that first layer of 8b, it will give me a much deeper black. You can keep adding pencil and blending until you are happy with the darkness. Once i have that i will start adding detail to the next scales. As you can see I’m moving my way down. The scales are getting much smaller as i get closer to the bottom so ill try to put in as much detail as possible to these.Figure 5.
I’m finding this drawing to be really interesting, especially the textures. Like i have mentioned before the texture on the scales is a mixture of smooth and rough. Its an interesting texture which I’m having fun drawing. From this update you can see that the small details are what gives it much more realism. The black spots and cracks give the scales a dried up look, which is what i want to achieve. Its a slow process but im really happy with the results so far.
From this update you should be able to see where the light source is coming from. The lighting is very important in this one because it will give the overall drawing much more depth and dimension. The right side as you can see will have more shadows than the left side. I have to take into consideration also all the gaps that are between the scales. These gaps let light through so i have to take that into account when adding shadows and highlights. Here is a close up of one of the scales which shows the detail that im adding. This area measures approximately 5cm. I’m trying to add as much detail as possible to get the right texture. From here on i’ll be moving my way down and start adding detail to the scales below. These scales will be much smaller in size but will not lack in detail.Figure 7.
Its all coming together with each scale that i complete. The right side is throwing it off because of the scales that are not complete. Once i finish that side you should be able to see how it will all look together. Like i mentioned before the right side will be much darker than the left side. On the left side im mostly using 6h and 2h pencil, to get the light values. I find these values to be harder to get because if i go too dark i lose the effect of light being brighter on that side. The trick has been to layer and compare it to the darker side until i can see the effect of light making that area brighter.Figure 8.
As i progressing im changing subtle details to get the right effect that im going for. I want the lighting to show clearly, therefore i have to darken the scales in shadows correctly. I darkened the scales on the right side a bit to show that they are under shadow. As you can see from this update i started the next scale. This scale will be much smaller than the ones above, but they won’t lack any detail. With each one that i finish you can begin to see how the overall effect will be.Figure 9.
Im close to the end with this one. From the last update i have completed a couple of scales. The scales that are at the bottom will be much darker in the end. I will keep adding layers of pencil until im satisfied with the darkness. Im trying to put in as much detail as possible to these bottom scales but they might not be visible because most of this area will be under shadows. I added an extra scale on the right side. This scale will give the cone more form and dimension.Figure 10.
Im finishing off the last few scales on the bottom. I’m paying close attention to the lighting because i want to keep it uniform from top to bottom. The technique for drawing the scales has become much easier by now. I simply start with base by covering the area with a brush. I do this to make sure that there are no white areas showing through. After that i begin to add the cracks, followed by adding the highlights and shadow. From there i begin to darken the whole scale uniformly by layering pencil over the whole scale until its dark enough. The light is coming from the left side so the right side will be much darker. This will probably be the last update before i finish it.Figure 11.
I have completed the drawing and im really happy with the final piece. The shadow gave the drawing much more dimension and depth. I was thinking about leaving the pine cone without any shadow but it just didn’t look right. The texture for this drawing took some time to get but im really happy i took my time with it. It would not have looked like a pine cone without having the right texture.
Like i mentioned at the beginning of this drawing, this drawing was for preparation. Before this one i had done mostly animals so i was in, you can say, animal mode. With those drawings i mostly focused on hair texture and didn’t get to work with other textures. The purpose of this drawing was to help me break out of that mode and for me to practice on the the similar textures that i’ll be working on my next drawing. Now i have finished this one, once i start the next one it will be in easy transition and will just continue with the similar textures. I would like to thank everyone that has followed this progress and for the support that i have received. If you have any questions please comment.Finished.