Shading practice
4mo
Carl Joshua Jayme
Hello everyone! I've been watching Sherlock and I did this portrait of Moriarty. I'm kinda uncomfortable with the shading on this. I use graphite (7B, 8B, and 14B) and charcoal powder, applied with a brush. Should I finish it first, or am I doing something wrong? Also, if there are problems with proportions, feel free to drop em' :) Happy studying everyone.
1
Reply or ask for help
Drop images here to attach them to the message
All posts
Newest
Gabriel Kahn
Hey there! Great work! Don't be afraid to use higher contrast. Make your darks darker, and your lights lighter :)
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
squeen
I love Moriarty in Sherlock and I think you captured him very nicely. This is great shading technique practice. One thought about the eyes that Stan makes is that the eyeballs are "balls" so even the whites get shaded like spheres.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Sketcher Ameya
I think you need to focus on propotion and if you are trying to draw freehand , don 't do that . Try loomis method or grid method . It is a good techniqe to make a really difficult potrait
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Alec Brubaker
Hi Carl, I think a lot of the challenge you're having comes from you're reference photo being so flatly lit. This is often the case with modern portrait photography because it is more a flattering look than achieved with harsher lighting, but it is not an easy thing to study from. I converted your reference to black and white, adjusted the levels to increase value contrast and posterized it to give you an exaggerated example of the shape/value information you might want to look for or even invent here. (The left is unadjusted, the right is with my levels tweaks.) Hopefully this helps you see how subtle the original image is in terms of value shapes, and what that information actually is. It's a good idea to plan your value structure as best you can going in to a study. If you had 4 values to draw this with, what would they be? what shapes would those values take? You do not have to execute your art in a posterized fashion, but thinking in that manner will prove itself to be extremely powerful. Hope this helps, and keep up the good work!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Moonfey
Hello! I think this is looking really good! The only thing I see then it comes to proportions is that I think that the face in your drawing is just a little bit wider then in the photo, like the eyes for example looks to be placed a bit farther apart than in the reference picture. I understand it can be difficult, but I like the picture you choose to work with. I think he has a very interesting and intense look on his face and those strong but still subtle vertical white highlights makes me think of the bars of a jail cell, which fits the character well to! I would be careful to keep those highlights and maybe as you continue on with the drawing you could make them a bit more visible than you have at the moment, but that is just my personal preference. Good luck as you continue on, you are on to a really good start!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Scott Lewis
Oh man, I love that show and Andrew Scott is amazing as Moriarty. He plays a very convincing sociopath. I would echo what Izak is saying about photos but will add a bit more explanation. Color photos are difficult to copy for light and shadow because of the differing values of cooler versus warmer colors. When you are working with only tonal value, what comes forward and what recedes is determined only by the relative contrast of values next to one another and the shape they lie on the suface of. When you look at a color photo, most of the perception of depth is calculated by your brain based on many factors instead of just value. Value is part of it but also hue, intensity, etc. So it is much more difficult and two different colors can have the same value when converted to gray but are perceived completely differently when seen in color. This is why converting a color photo to grayscale doesn't really work. If you see a photo that is taken on black and white film versus a color photo just printed as black and white the color photo that is converted will often look flat or muddied. The high and low ends of the value spectrum get lost and everything becomes "middle value". Copying photos is a great way to practice shading but I think what Izak was saying is to find true black and white photos that have a full range of values. You can tell if you have a good black and white photo if it has details in the darkest shadows. True tonal photos won't wash the shadows out to solid black. The only other thing that jumps out to me - and this is the one I struggle with the most with shading as well - is the outlines. When we are doing the lay-in of a drawing you have to start with outlines, but I usually have to do two versions because I forget to make my lay-in as light as possible so I don't look like I'm filling in the shadows in hard outlines. Your outlines are not "hard" but they do compete witht he transitions from light to shadow. With drawings like this the details around the eyes, nose, and lips are crucial and this is where outlines can flatten out the drawing. This is a great start, though, so keep working it. If you use a kneaded eraser, maybe just dab the outlines around the eyes and try to get the thickness of the folds of skin of the eyelids with the light hitting the top fot he insde of the eyelid. Stan has a great video on drawing eyes (two actually, structure, then step-by-step) that is easy-to-follow. https://youtu.be/TtrqSIhZR_Y Cheers. I hope this helps. Keep up the great work.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Scott Lewis
Another approach you could take just as practice is to forget the outlines altogether and try to use the side of your pencil lead to paint-in the shadows. It isn't important that it be exact but just do some 60-second exercises to try to layer-in the shapes of the shadows. When you get one that is close you can lay-in the outline of the face on top of that. I have noticed that a lot of the really good protrait artists take an almost painter-like approach to doing charcoal, conte, and pencil and they focus more on layering the values from lightest, middle, to darker values and details in an iterative style. I admit I'm not very good at it yet but they make it look easy - ha ha.
Reply
Adam Wiebner
@Carl Joshua Jayme this is fantastic start. The only things i notice to consider are really tiny but here goes- on the right side of the paper the exact shape of visible white of eye and exact shape of iris doesn’t match the reference exactly, and also on the right side of the paper the cheek feels little off because it has not been fully modelled/ shaded yet and of course the right ear isn’t there yet to help frame right side contour of cheek. Awesome drawing and will be great to finish!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Art Anderson
I would say you need to keep going. When I get to this stage I always dislike my portraits.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Izak van Langevelde
I think you're doing fine, although I wonder what your goal is. You are basically copying a photo, which does not necessarily teach you about light and shadow. Next time, find a picture which has a clear separation of light and shadow, where it is easy to distinguish concepts like half tone, core shadow, reflected light and highlight. Proko has good videos about the basics of shading, so I suggest you spend some time with these, and possibly shoot your own references...
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Carl Joshua Jayme
Oh okay, I see. I initially did want to copy the photo, which I thought had good information on shading. Thank you for telling me this.
Reply