Toad Hollow Studio's Drawing Tutorials And Classes by Carol Rosinski

Graphite Pencil Shading Technique - Advanced

This advanced shading technique gives you more control over details than Basic Shading, and creates a smoother texture that can be used to draw any subject.

  • To shade smooth subjects with this relatively rough texture, like flower petals or glass, shade the entire subject with the same method so that it looks unified.
  • Or add more interest to a drawing by creating different textures. Try using "side of the pencil" shading (as described in Basic Shading) to draw rough looking areas and "tip of the pencil," or a combination of the two, to draw smoother looking areas.
Basic Shading Example

Side of the Pencil Shading

The shading to the right was created with the side of a soft pencil, held in an overhand grip and at a low angle. (See Basic Shading)

Tip of pencil shading

Tip of the Pencil Shading

The second example was made with the dull tip of a soft pencil. This time, the pencil was held in an underhand grip. That's the way a pencil is normally held when writing.

You can see that it creates a smoother texture than that created with the side of the lead.

Tip of pencil plus side of pencil shading technique

Combined Shading

The third example combines both of the shading techniques explained above.

When "tip of the pencil shading" is added over "side of the pencil shading," the texture looks a little smoother and darker. Additionally, this type of shading is easier to control so you can use it to shade small areas and to create finer detail.

The paper's texture will effect this type of shading tremendously, so make test hatches on a few different kinds to find a texture you like before you begin.

Flower shaded with advanced technique

Practice the Shading Technique

The flower to the left was shaded using the combined technique.

To practice this technique, draw the flower by following the steps on the next page.

Save this flower image and print it, or open the next page in a new browser window so that you can look at it as you work through the lesson.

Carol Rosinski
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Drawing Made Easy, Getting Started by Carol Rosinski
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Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999