Sketch Outline, Critique wanted plus tips for shading :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Sketch Outline, Critique wanted plus tips for shading :)

Here is the reference picture for the current drawing I'm doing (sorry for the shiny patch :P):

Start of the sketch:

Sorry it's not amazingly clear, hope you can see it ok though!

I desperately need some tips for shading! I'm always terrified I'm just going to completely ruin my drawings!

Although I'm quite proud as I'm quite sure it's already a marked improvement on my last drawing (so it's kind of a before and after the help/critique of the horse forum!)


Also if tiny has a look at this thread, maybe I could use some water colour pencils instead of shading? I dunno, I think they look good but have never used them before!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!

Last edited by ElaineLighten; 01-16-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:25 PM
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Please don't think I am being a know it all, but I have taken a lot of art classes and have done A LOT of pencil pieces.

It is a very good start, but I think a grid may help you a little bit. Have you ever used one? The proportions of one ear and the mouth are just a little bit off, using a grid a few times really helped me keep things in proportion.

Regarding your shading, try charcoal pencils and chalk pastel pencils, combined with a kneaded eraser. I loooove my kneaded eraser. You can take pencil/charcoal off one layer at a time and shape it exactly the way you want it. Sometimes all you have to do is touch it to the paper.

Remember that for every darker shaded spot there is the opposite, a highlight. For instance, look at the horse in this link.
picture horse running - Bing Images
You can see the coppery highlights AND the darker sorrel shadows of the muscles on the chest, shoulder and rump. It just gives the drawing more realism. One last tip, always decide where the light is coming from in your drawing and shade according to that direction.

You definitely have talent! Don't be discouraged, I think the old adage "practice makes perfect" is even more true for drawing and painting than other hobbies,lol.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmama View Post
Please don't think I am being a know it all, but I have taken a lot of art classes and have done A LOT of pencil pieces.

It is a very good start, but I think a grid may help you a little bit. Have you ever used one? The proportions of one ear and the mouth are just a little bit off, using a grid a few times really helped me keep things in proportion.

Regarding your shading, try charcoal pencils and chalk pastel pencils, combined with a kneaded eraser. I loooove my kneaded eraser. You can take pencil/charcoal off one layer at a time and shape it exactly the way you want it. Sometimes all you have to do is touch it to the paper.

Remember that for every darker shaded spot there is the opposite, a highlight. For instance, look at the horse in this link.
picture horse running - Bing Images
You can see the coppery highlights AND the darker sorrel shadows of the muscles on the chest, shoulder and rump. It just gives the drawing more realism. One last tip, always decide where the light is coming from in your drawing and shade according to that direction.

You definitely have talent! Don't be discouraged, I think the old adage "practice makes perfect" is even more true for drawing and painting than other hobbies,lol.
I seriously love this forum for art tips! I don't think you're being a know it all, you're educated in the subject and I ask for an opinion ;)
I think I'll invest in some charcoal pencils. How many different shades do you think I would need judging by my reference picture? :)
Can I just ask which ear you think looks a bit off? :)
Thanks!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:41 PM
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Look at the muzzle. The lower lip on yours is too big, the nostrils on yours are too small. The rest of your head is very nicely in porportion to the reference photo. Just the muzzle.

As for shading. Look at the darkest areas first, softly "outline " them , very softly, like a "paint by number" picture. Then start shading the lighter areas, go back to the dark area and shade it markedly darker. Then blend the edges if necessary.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Look at the muzzle. The lower lip on yours is too big, the nostrils on yours are too small. The rest of your head is very nicely in porportion to the reference photo. Just the muzzle.

As for shading. Look at the darkest areas first, softly "outline " them , very softly, like a "paint by number" picture. Then start shading the lighter areas, go back to the dark area and shade it markedly darker. Then blend the edges if necessary.
It's funny the only bits people are pointing out are the bits I got frustrated with drawing (constant erasing then redrawing then erasing etcetc) and eventually went "awww screw it" I will definitely be editing the little bits people have mentioned before I shade though
Thankyou for the shading tips!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:48 PM
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When looking at the picture the ear on the left is a little off. On one hand it just looks like it's in a different position than in the picture, more cocked to the side. I have always thought ears are kind of shaped like almonds, maybe just make it a slightly more narrow almond:)

Personally I don't use a huge array of charcoal shades, I do a lot of layering. That way I don't have to really struggle to get the charcoal off if I lay it on too thick, I am a little OCD and can't stand when there are "shadows" all over the paper,lol. I have a set of 4, and a few different drawing pencils. Everyone has a different method, but personally I am covered in pencil and charcoal by the end of a piece because I use my fingers to smooth out the shading in a picture. Lol, sometimes I can use the dust on my fingers rather than a pencil to add a light shadow.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:51 PM
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You've got the overall feel of the hrose. He seems to have a heavy muzzle and smallish eye, but that could be that the photo was taken from an upward angle, which would make the perspective create that look.
When in doubt, I always err on the side which makes the horse look a little nicer. I know that's cheating, but I give it the benefit of the doubt that the photo might not be the very best one.

If you screw up, use tracing paper to copy the good parts, make adjustments, the take the tracing paper off, turn it over, and use a pencil or graphite to darkent along the drawn lines (on the back of the paper) so then you turn it back to rightside up, place iton a clean piece of paper and draw over the lines again. THsi pushes the graphite on the backside of the tracing paper onto the new page, transferring the image. Then you get another go at it.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmama View Post
When looking at the picture the ear on the left is a little off. On one hand it just looks like it's in a different position than in the picture, more cocked to the side. I have always thought ears are kind of shaped like almonds, maybe just make it a slightly more narrow almond:)

Personally I don't use a huge array of charcoal shades, I do a lot of layering. That way I don't have to really struggle to get the charcoal off if I lay it on too thick, I am a little OCD and can't stand when there are "shadows" all over the paper,lol. I have a set of 4, and a few different drawing pencils. Everyone has a different method, but personally I am covered in pencil and charcoal by the end of a piece because I use my fingers to smooth out the shading in a picture. Lol, sometimes I can use the dust on my fingers rather than a pencil to add a light shadow.
Ah yeah I see it, it's pointing up instead of forward with the other ear :)
I'll look at some almond pictures on google for reference haha!
I get paranoid that i'm going to smudge my picture up if my hands are really messy!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
You've got the overall feel of the hrose. He seems to have a heavy muzzle and smallish eye, but that could be that the photo was taken from an upward angle, which would make the perspective create that look.
When in doubt, I always err on the side which makes the horse look a little nicer. I know that's cheating, but I give it the benefit of the doubt that the photo might not be the very best one.

If you screw up, use tracing paper to copy the good parts, make adjustments, the take the tracing paper off, turn it over, and use a pencil or graphite to darkent along the drawn lines (on the back of the paper) so then you turn it back to rightside up, place iton a clean piece of paper and draw over the lines again. THsi pushes the graphite on the backside of the tracing paper onto the new page, transferring the image. Then you get another go at it.
I'm going to make a few adjustments to the muzzle, ear and maybe make the eye a little bigger and will post another picture :)

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-16-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Adjustments complete! Thankyou for the critique guys :)
Might adjust the "hidden" nostril a bit more

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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