Draw large areas in seamless sections. Draw complex areas one small section at a time. This video comprehensively covers the drawing of tapered lines - why you should use them, and how to form them. Mike explains, in easy to understand ways, how to teach your hand to draw lines with tapers on one and both ends. A four-stage exercise will help you explore your new-found technique - and expose any faults!


The problems of blunt-ended pencil shading

Blunt-ended shading

Mike explains the inherent disadvantages of using blunt-ended, or zig-zag, shading. Banish unnatural blunt ends from your shading and teach yourself, with Mike's help, to draw tapered lines.
How to taper lines for seamless pencil shading

Seamless shading

Mike explains the fundamental mechanics of tapered lines that lead to the drawing of seamless shading.
Blunt-ended versus Tapered pencil lines

Blunt v Tapered lines

Mike shows two similar drawings and explains why one (with blunt ends) looks rough and unnatural and the other has flowing lines and smooth three-dimensional form.
The 3-step approach to drawing tapered pencil lines

3-steps to tapered lines

Drawing tapered lines is a three-step process: a beginning, middle, and end. Practice each individually. Avoid the frustration of trying to taper both ends before your hand has learned what you want it to do.
How to train your hand to effortlessly draw tapered pencil lines

Training your hand

Magicians call their sleight of hand "muscle memory". Just like magicians, you learn by practice until your hand draws tapered lines without conscious thought.
Demonstration of seamless graphite pencil shading


A simple demonstration of seamless, tapered line, shading. Mike shows you how to lay down an area of solid tone, and then a second adjacent area that flows seamlessly into the first. Suddenly, shading large areas has become so much simpler!
A 4-stage Exercise - tapering lines with multiple pencil grades


Try out your new-found technique using multiple grades. Mike walks you through an exercise that only needs a taper on one end of each line.
Tapered lines - Common faults and the solutions

Faults and solutions

Mike stops you during the exercise to make sure you're not making one of the three most common errors. He explains why the errors arise and the solutions.
Exposing faults in tapered pencil lines by blending

Exposing the faults

The final result of the exercise is blended to expose any faults in your shading - and discovering there are faults is, without a doubt, the first step to improving your shading.

Watch the 2-minute PREVIEW:

Tapered Lines
Duration :
9½ mins
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Tapered lines are now so easy and really smoothed out my shading after watching this video.
Really useful - thanks!

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