To continue the Secret Pencil WIP… It isn’t secret anymore! I finished and gave it to my chiropractor, and he loved it. Mission accomplished.
After the last step, I just kept on shading. I hadn’t laid out the darks and lights of the roos in my planning. I just shaded the round forms as if the light was coming from directly overhead and slightly diffuse, just like an office.
I started on the upper left, then went down and then over, since I’m right-handed. This helped me avoid smudging the finished areas.
This photo shows the lovely side-effect of working in graphite – the shine! Once you put down enough layers, the graphite starts reflecting light. The thicker and softer (i.e. 4B, 6B pencils) the layers, the more reflective it gets. You can use charcoal in those dark areas to avoid the shine, but once an area starts shining, it’s hard to lay down charcoal on top of the slick surface. Luckily, the shine disappears with a layer of fixative.
Since I hadn’t planned everything out before I started, I often went back into finished areas to darken and lighten things to balance contrast. The further I went, the more I could “see” the finished product in my mind.
I generally eyeballed the edges, but with the top of the table, I used a ruler. You can see in this shot that I’ve shaded just the very top part of the table base. I held a ruler on the line and scribbled up against it with a dark pencil. This kept my edge nice and sharp.
I had a tough time shading the dark shirt and the light shirt properly. I was trying to convey “black shirt” and “white shirt,” including shadows and highlights, all while balancing the composition and values. The focus is supposed to be on the chiroopractor and his hands.
This is nearly finished. I still need some adjustments to the floor, since it is too darn light. I also need a few final touch-ups. Sorry for the blurry picture…
The Chiroopractor by Meg Lyman
11×14″ pencil on bristol board