Mike explains why contour shading prevents your drawing sending conflicting messages, and walks you through an exercise that will improve your shading and blending techniques. This video comprehensively covers the drawing of contour shading, and finishes with solutions to the most common problems.


Follow the contours as you shade to remove conflicting signals in your pencil drawings

Follow the contours

Why following the contours as you shade removes conflicting signals - and why ignoring the contours creates confusion.
Successive hatching morfs into solid shading in your pencil drawing

Hatching to solid shading

Repeated hatching and cross-hatching eventually becomes solid shading. Mike explains how the layering and blending of contour hatching can be used for smooth areas of three-dimensional shading.
Plan before you begin shading your pencil drawing

Plan before shading

Examine your subject and form a plan based on its highlights, shadows, and darkest values. Mike suggests you think of shading as sculpting, so you keep the subject's three-dimensional nature foremost in mind.
Exploring the basic techniques of contour shading

The basic techniques

A 6-step exercise walks you through the shading of a cylinder - using layers of three pencil grades, increasing the contrast with vertical shading, and finishing with a final three-stage blending.
Step 2 to 4 - using three different grades your pencil shading

Step 4: the 2H layer

Following layers of 2B and HB, a 2H extends the shading further to the right. This layer also serves to smooth and burnish the previous layers.
Increasing the contrast in your graphite pencil drawing

Step 5: increasing contrast

A vertical band of 2B increases the overall contrast, making the right-hand highlight shine with extra brilliance. Mike explains why this layer has to be free of gaps, and has to lighten as it extends towards the right.
Blending your pencil drawing in 3 stages

Three blending stages

Mike demonstrates linear and circular blending, blending dark to light, and then blending light to dark to deliberately remove some graphite for a smoother finish.
Cleaning the blending overspill in your pencil drawing

Cleaning the overspill

Advice on cleaning up the areas of overspill that can often result from blending.
Faults to look for in your pencil drawing, the errors to avoid, and the solutions

Faults and solutions

Faults to look for in your drawing, and the common errors to avoid. Mike explains why each fault occurred and how to avoid it.

Watch the 2-minute PREVIEW:

Contour Shading
Duration :
10¼ mins
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Contour shading wasn’t a new concept to me but watching a master at work was more beneficial than you know.

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