Uniform shading: exercise

Today I visited the childrens’ park near my house and found a nice model, with a good proportion of light and dark areas. It is a turtle made of wood, the size of a big dog. Children were playing all around, and even chalked a bit of the turtle!

Here it is:

Wood turtle

I didn’t draw everything as I got tired and the cirrus clouds took away some of the light; anyway I am quite happy with the result as it is.

This time I didn’t use hatches as I wished to practise uniform tones. My pencil is not a fancy one, it is probably a HB pencil. I like to use it for a few minutes with the same inclination, so a small flat area results from usage, makes the stroke larger and more uniform. I periodically rotate the pencil when I want a darker tone, that comes from the pressure on a smaller area, or a finer stroke.

The process of choosing how dark to fill an area is not unique. My way is to observe the whole subject and find which areas have the same amount of darkness. Then I try to see the contours of these areas. If there are not, as it is in many cases, I try to see where there are abrupt edges like the ones of the lower parts of the turtle, in full darkness, that emerge from light background. Then I start making a uniform tone of the lightest shadow, all over the dark areas, leaving out only the lighter areas. I then repeat this process with darker tones. Usually three iterations are enough. Finally, I make the continuous transitions and some smaller details.

Have fun with your own drawing!

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