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Get Started in Drawing with Charlotte Baker

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Learn basic drawing techniques with Hobbycraft Artisan Charlotte Baker. By following along with this step-by-step guide you'll be able to draw and shade a flower!

Drawing is a great mindful activity, which allows you to escape reality.

Project and instructions by Charlotte Baker

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Drawing is one of the fundamentals of art and artistic expression. Capture your surroundings or unleash your imagination on the paper! Drawing can be a source of mindfulness, with an unlimited amount of drawing materials you can use. You can draw using anything from pencils, paint, ink, charcoal, wax, food, drink, cosmetics and more! In this guide we will be looking at pencil, but experiment and find your favourite drawing medium!

Since the first pencil was created in the mid 1500s, they have been developed with artists in mind, allowing people to create a variety of marks using a wide mix of materials.

Graphite pencils are the standard pencils, comprising of a mix of graphite powder and a clay binder to obtain different grades of pencils. You can find graphite pencils of all shades from 9B, the darkest, boldest pencil, to 9H, the lightest, hardest pencil. By using a wide variety of pencils in your work, you can obtain the most striking results. This chart gives an overview of the different shades of pencils.

from top to bottom: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B

 

Mark making is a big aspect of drawing. There are a million and one ways to make a mark using a pencil to illustrate the texture, tone and shade of what you are drawing. When drawing think of how best to use these marks to best represent your subject.

Nature is one of the biggest inspirations and drawing outside can be a fantastic source of subjects. Follow our step-by-step guide to draw a flower.
 

Step 1

Draw out your flower using a HB or light pencil. Think of the flower as a clockface to work out the positioning of the petals.

 

Start by drawing all the petals that are in front first, as we cannot see the whole petals behind. Every flower is unique and it has individual petals, so try to refrain from making each one perfect.

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Step 2

Sketch in your details on your flower. Make sure your lines are going in the direction of the curve of the petal to capture the shape.

 

Tip: Make sure to always press lightly when sketching out; it's a lot easier to erase if you make a mistake!

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Step 3

Start shading! Add the darkest bits to your flower using a 3B pencil or something dark and smudgy.

 

Don't start adding in detail yet as we're going to smudge next!

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Step 4

Add a mid tone to your flower by smudging some of your pencil out. A mid-tone is not a shadow or a highlight, but a level of shading in the middle that lets you separate your subject from the paper. It also just gives a great base to work on top of and allows for a sharper contrast of highlights later on.

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Step 5

Add in more shading to your flower using 2B and HB pencils. Look at the darkest parts again and pop in different levels of tone.

 

We want to show a wide range of tones/shading in our piece, to capture the real flower's form. Shade in the direction of the shape of the petals and blend out using very light amounts of shading.

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Step 6

Use dark pencils such as 4B or 6B to add in darker detailed parts such as in the centre. This will give your drawing a large amount of tonal contrast.

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Step 7

Pop in highlights using a rubber. Putty rubbers are great for this as you can twist and squeeze them into the exact shape you need.

 

Tip: Putty rubbers pick up the top layer of pencil so use a normal eraser if you need to rub a section out completely.

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Step 8

Add in details! Add in veins, wrinkles, pollen, and everything you can see in your flower.

 

Remember draw what you see! Have a look at our mark-making ideas chart to help you identify what sort of marks you could make to add in more detail.

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