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Thread: Opinionson pencil 'strokes'

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Missouri
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    Opinionson pencil 'strokes'

    I've been paying a lot of attention to pencil drawings lately and there seems to be a lot of ways of doing it. I've tried to duplicate the methods I've seen in the image below:
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    1 is just completely coloring everything, I've seen a lot of that.
    2 is a squiggly curly kind of stroke.
    3 is just lines, I've seen more of that than anything else.
    4 is the same as 3, just sort of rubbed together, like the palette knife in AR does, I've seen that but not much.
    5 is a less organized version of 3.
    6 I know is crosshatching and used in inking but I've seen it in pencil drawing too.
    7 is just total chaos, just scribbling everything everywhere and I don't like it but have seen it.

    Is there a 'right' way? Or is it just a matter of individual preference? OR are different strokes used for different types of drawings? Or is it just simply of doing whatever works (say it ain't so)? I don't like chaotic anything.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Huntsville, On., Canada
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    5,356
    I would think it's whatever the person likes and or wants

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    3,816
    I think the most important thing about pencil work is that you have to do it with confidence, so you must practice as much as you can. Artist develop their own unique style, which is reached by trial and error ...... and did I say (?) .. practice!!

    My only comment on the different styles you have emulated is that cross hatching looks best done diagonally (diamond shaped). Right angles can look a bit too contrived, and to me, maybe just a bit ugly.

    Rotate your canvas to get those confident sweeps going!

    This is a rough three minute eye, but you might get some ideas....

    Attachment 74679
    Last edited by copespeak; 03-31-2013 at 06:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Virginia
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    Your observations are correct--i'm going to reference Claudia Nice who primarily does pen and ink but the strokes that you found are pretty much the same. You can go to the bookstore and find any of her books and just flip open to the front and you will see these examples. There are other excellent artist represented in my reply as well--all are worth studying.

    1.contour lines--these lines are smoothly flowing and form fitting--good for smooth curved objects, polished surfaces and fluid motion as well as glass and metal
    2. cross hatching--two or more intersected lines -these are good for deepening tonal value, heavy shadows, roughened textures--nice for shingles stone rusty metal (if seen from a distance).
    3. Parallel Lines-straight freehand lines that are stroked in the same direction---useful for smooth flat objects, faded hazy or misty--distant objects, backgrounds and nice for window glass.
    4. stippling--dots, these are excellent for value changes that need to be subtle, soft look, antiques dusty qualities, multi-particle appearances, brick, adobe, stucco, sand and soil, useful for rusty metal that is seen up close.
    5. scribble lines (my personal favorite) these are continuous looping freeform lines (think Brillo)--these are great for gesture drawing, quick sketching, think entangled kind of looks,trees shrubs and foliage.
    6. criss-cross lines--unlike cross hatching, these lines randomly cross each other in hair like strokes---so obviously, hair, fur, grass, rushes, great for thatched roofs in rustic type scenes.
    7. wavy lines--these are strokes that are aligned in repetitive lines---examples would be grainy patterns of wood, marble--rippling water--water as it moves around rocks.
    8. circles--for colored pencil see the work of Maggie Toole (sp.) and for graphite pencil examine the work of Armin Meersmann. Loose or tight circles overlapping to form shape OR tone. This is an interesting technique.

    these strokes apply to both pen and pencil.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    I'd "say is isn't so" to quote you in your own context, meaning it really is a matter of what you want to play with and what looks right to you. Make pictures.

    Having said that the other more detailed and illustrated responses are right if you want to understand convention and take advantage of other people's experiences.

    Rules are tools. <--- nothing more and nothing less in artistic expression (except if for whatever reason you need to set limits). If you know how to use your tools properly you have something to serve your intention. Limits are good within context, for speed, consistency, order, method and so forth. Pros use them all the time. It helps to unify and keep things from spinning out of control. Remember though, when they become shackles, you will want to toss them off until you replace them with new rules. And the trick is to know who is the servant -- you or the rules. It's can be quite dynamic and therein is the dance.

    There are a couple ways of looking at technique. It's fun and a trip and dazzling etc. But based on personal experience, I would listen to what's inside YOU. And run with that before chasing techniques overmuch except the techniques that help you get what is inside to the outside.

    There's an inherent artistic voice inside each of us. I would develop that before letting all these scads of other question marks come flying in pulling you hither and yon. I mean, sure, play around, but take care to not get overly analytical just yet. You may have a natural voice that transcends visual tricks, and if your voice is clear you'll pull in the technique to make it happen. I understand where you're coming from, being sorta new to art. But try to think in terms of making pictures. Get a vision first.

    I would recommend that you look at work that is out there in the world/on the net etc and lean into those that you like owing to the end result and try to exist in that world for a time. It will naturally evolve out from there and then techniques will mean something.

    Photography is a little different, I believe, in that you learn technique first because then you go out and find things to shoot or pull them in to the studio set up. All that is useful to the artist too, but it's a little different. And schools teach technique because they can put tools in people's hands and it's clear and measurable. Teaching to dig deep inside the artist for themselves is really tough because results tend to vary a lot.

    Hope this is of use. And all that I mention here is merely a suggestion based on where I am coming from. So take it with a grain of salt.

    Any marks can work because they're just marks. It's what it's doing on the page in context that matters.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Missouri
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    864
    Ok, well, I know what I prefer but I'll work with different ways to become proficient and be sure of what I like the most.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

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