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

Getting Started With Layers And Value Maps

Technique Instructions For How To Draw A Horse

Drawing Style

The drawing style I teach in this lesson is worked in layers. You'll learn how to build up values and details slowly, layer after layer, to create a realistic likeness.

Correct Values And Pencil Hardness

Use the right hardness of lead for the value you're trying to create. If the lead is too soft, it will leave behind notes that are darker than the value you want and the notes will be hard to blend in.

Drawing paper texture makes a difference in how the leads behave too.

  • Rough paper = hard to control values and a rough drawing.
  • Smooth paper = more control over values and a smooth drawing.

The lead hardness, or grades, I refer to in my instructions are for Berol Turquoise Eagle Drawing Leads used on Strathmore 500 Series Drawing Paper. If you don't have the exact leads and paper I'm referring to, take note of which grade of lead makes each value on your paper and then substitute those lead grades.

Detail is worked into the drawing layer by layer, with an eye to hard edges and soft edges and how they relate to each another. The level of detail in your final drawing is up to you. Stop anytime you feel your drawing is done, or challenge yourself to do more.

The Value Scale and Map

I'll refer to a "gradated" value scale with numbers from one to ten in my instructions. "One" is the white of your paper and "ten" is the darkest black you can create on your paper without squashing the grain.

I put these value numbers in a line drawing "value map" that you can use as a guide as you draw.

Download the value scale and map from the printable drawing tools page.

Carol Rosinski
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Drawing Made Easy, Getting Started by Carol Rosinski
My book Drawing Made Easy; Getting Started

Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999