Hey, thanks so much! I’ll try my best to gather some of the things about shading that I’ve learned in the past:
- The entire shading of a drawing tends to end up being too light, so I usually start out by drawing a black part of the picture first, for example pupils (using a 9B pencil). That way I can judge the range of shades from the very lightest (being the paper) to the very darkest better.
- I work with a ton of layers. I begin with using my lightest pencil (4H) and basically just color in an entire area. There’s usually rarely a spot that stays completely white. After that, I take the next pencil (3H) and do the same thing over again. So just keep switching to darker and darker pencils, and if you feel that an area has reached the right shade, don’t add more layers to that area, but only to the surrounding, darker areas.
- Don’t use pressure on your pencils, even if you feel that barely anything changes while adding the layers. It takes a lot of patience, but even if you can’t tell right away, very thin and light layers do change the drawing gradually.
- If a texture is supposed to be very smooth (skin for example), use a tissue to smudge the pencil strokes slightly after each layer. Don’t use pressure either, just very slightly rub it over the layer. This can be pretty tricky and I only started using that technique recently (I tried it years ago and it would always ruin my drawings by leaving smudgy stains, so it takes a little practice). If you do end up with smudgy areas, which still happens to me sometimes, use a kneaded eraser to carefully lift off the excess graphite on the dark spots.
Hope this helped! If I come up with more tips later, I’ll reblog this with additional information :)