This exercise looks complicated but it’s not, so don’t panic. Work slowly and spread the steps out over a few days if you want to. Nothing has be be perfectly done, and your drawing skills will get a good workout no matter how this turns out.
You’ll need 2H, HB, & 2B pencils, a sharpener, and a kneaded eraser.
Make The Beginning Line Drawing
Draw a few horizontal lines an equal distance apart.
Draw a few vertical lines.
Now draw diagonal lines through the points where the horizontal lines cross the verticals.
Then draw diagonals in the opposite direction.
Fill each triangle with one value using one pencil in this pattern.
To keep the texture consistent, make all of the hatching with a flattened pencil point. Make a flat tip by first sharpening the lead and then running it back and forth over some scrap paper. To use it, bring the flat point directly down to the drawing without shifting your grip on the pencil.
Your drawing should look similar to this after you’re through. You can see some depth beginning to form, but the drawing is still pretty flat overall.
Crank It Up And Feel The Burn
Using the same pencils, gradate each side of the pyramids with the darkest part at the bottom, but this time use a sharper lead. The smaller point will fill more of the paper grain than the flat point did and that will darken the hatch.
If you need to lighten a dark blotch or smooth out the gradation a little, pinch the kneaded eraser into a point and “tap“ the hatch until it lightens. If you rub the graphite with the eraser, it’ll smear the texture and there’s no way to fix that.
When you’re done, you should see some very developed form that makes the pyramids pop out of the paper. If not, go back and darken the bottoms of the gradations more and don’t pull any punches this time. Timid shading leads to washed-out drawings.
Since this drawing lesson has remained one of my most popular, I’ve decided to combine it with one of my most commonly received questions, and that is how to build a good starting drawing kit. It includes the things you need for this lesson, plus another good all purpose eraser.
I’m linking to Dick Blick because they’ve been my art supply store for an embarrassingly looooong time. I’m their affiliate now and get a bit of money when you buy from my links. If you do, Thanks! But, honestly, you can find something similar to these simple and inexpensive supplies fairly easily. But I use these brands myself, and here’s what I suggest for your first kit:
Carol’s Starter Drawing Kit
Derwent Graphic 2B
Derwent Graphic HB
Derwent Graphic 2H
Canson Classic Cream Drawing Pad
Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser
Alvin Vinyl Eraser
Kum Long Point Pencil Sharpener
Stay strong, draw well, enjoy,