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Advice on a materials,or technique.

1089 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  joeygn72
Hey everyone,I know that results vary from person to person and ways of achieving certain results are a matter of personal experience and personal preference. Here's my situation. I have a picture that I need to get 2 medium sized areas very dark. when I begin to darken an area I get a "grainy" look to the graphite. I've tried several different hardnesses of pencil,different shading practices including layering the graphite and varying the amount of pressure I use. I am using Strathmore 400 series paper. What practice,paper or something have you used to avoid this. I know alot of people will probably say try different things and use what you like best,I agree with that completely I just need someone to point me in a direction.....Thanks so much for any advice.
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I was hoping someone (profusely) more talented, experienced and capable would reply to this query, but perhaps they are too busy being awesome to reply.

Alright.. here goes my suggestion: charcoal pencil or pastel. In other words, mix the media!

Just take a look at stanya's guy with a dog. You'd think a higher end artist like that might have conquered the 'problem' but no...right there (whether the image was scanned or photographed) in the jacket of the man or the shadows on the dog etc. are the 'graininess' you speak of (opinion: although he's a better artist than me in his style, I could [gulp] "crit" that had he used his pencil strokes to simulate animal fur/cloth respectively, the strokes, even the resulting shine of the graphite could have worked for his overall *impressive* masterpiece [hope I don't earn ire here for stating that]). Now, (not knowing which Strathmore 400 paper you're using [it's a series], but) the 'graininess' is apparently the result of the pencil strokes, not the paper. Add to that the characteristic properties of graphite (it's petroleum-based, semi-solid..oily), graininess is kinda unavoidable. Pastel (not the oil ones) or charcoal is drier and can be applied to paper in much more uniform, 'grainy-less' fashion if applied thickly enough (because otherwise, pastel is transluscent and will reflect the paper/surface it's applied to if not applied thickly enough).

However, if you're a pencil purist who refuses to compromise in mixing mediums for the sake of your vision...I don't have any other suggestions; I've worked with pencil over 30 years (which probably really doesn't mean anything, lol except I was around when the lead in pencils was really lead!) and I haven't ever been able to render a dark region of a drawing in 'grainyless' black...probably why I I'm (almost) all digital now!

My opinions, not expert facts. Good luck and keep drawing!
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