This comprehensive video covers the techniques of Layering graphite grades, Burnishing with harder grades, and compares layering to blending. Mike explains, in easy to understand ways, how patchy shading is harming your drawings. Two exercises help you explore the way layering can greatly increase the solidity and intensity of your dark values, and smooth lighter values.


Why low contrast drawings look flat

Low v High contrast drawings

An introduction to Layering that shows the difference between weak, low contrast, darks and strong contrast. Solid and intense darks add impact and increased three-dimensionality to your work.
Why gaps in pencil shading weaken the intended values

The effect of gaps in shading

Mike explains why and how gaps and holes in your shading will decrease the perceived strength of the values you intended to create.
Mixing soft and hard grades of pencil

Mixing soft and hard grades

How your paper accepts soft and hard grades, and why they behave differently. Knowing this will help you layer different grades successfully.
Layering hard pencil over soft to increase its strength

Layering - Exercise 1

An exercise to help you understand how layering a hard grade over a soft grade smooths and solidifies the softer grade. Strong darks are important to the success of your drawings and layering increases the strength of your darks.
Why you should layer hard pencil leads over soft leads

Soft/hard layering order

Why you should always layer hard grades over soft, and the drawbacks of reversing that order.
Burnishing and Layering with hard pencil grades to smooth softer grades

Burnishing and Layering

Another exercise to help you explore the full benefits of Layering, and the Burnishing effect hard grades have on softer grades. They will smooth the shading and visually darken the perceived strength of the overall value.
Blending pencil compared to Layering

Blending compared to Layering

Mike compares Blending with Layering, noting the benefits and drawbacks of both methods. Both have very useful features but one can harm the realism of your drawing if used inappropriately.

Watch the 2-minute PREVIEW:

Layer and Burnish
Duration :
10½ mins
Downloads are superior high-quality HD videos
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Wonderful stuff, Mike!
Maggie Stull
Not only can I now make my darks, darker using layering but I can do it without smoothing away details. Love it!!

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