Author Topic: AARRG! Texture!  (Read 2103 times)

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Offline Baako

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AARRG! Texture!
« on: July 19, 2008, 10:30:05 am »
This is me making a plea to any experienced artists, I have decided to start practicing my real life sketching (from photo's) but I am finding texture to be incredibly hard to get 'right', I would be grateful for any tips/techniques which would make sketching realistic texture a little easier  ;)

I am a novice when it comes to sketching (or any art at all) so I may get confused if any complex techniques are involved :D :P


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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 11:55:54 am »
There are many ways to add texture, but what it all comes down to is the medium you are using. Sure, Georges Seurat used pointillism with paints (and created the best known works using the technique), but I, myself, would go mad if I used this technique with paints. However, pointillism, cross-hatching, and any application of little lines to make up a texture is something I find useful when using pens. For pencil work, I think it is important to use a variety of lead hardness, tortillion stumps, and whatever line strokes best reflect the texture I am emulating. If you working in Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Gimp or a similar program, you can make good use of certain filters and rendering effects. If using a fluid medium, such as paint or colored inks, you can use small brushes to bring in texture, stippling tools-either sponges or rigged dry brushes, or even mix in another media. For example, mixing in plaster of Paris with acrylic paints can offer some grittiness and thickness not normally seen in that medium. Overall, mixing media can add great texture. It may be interesting, if you are creating scales, to have the media you use for the scales be different than the rest of the piece. Have the scales raised up on the paper or canvas by using a medium such as oil pastel or paint that has been thickened with plaster. Itico knows a painter in the UK who incorporates tile grout into her art to add some textural variety. I hope this helps.
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Offline Baako

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 12:15:34 pm »
well atm I'm stuck using a HB (I lost all my graphics pencils x_x ) Ideally because I love smudging for shading I would like some B pencils, 1B or 2B would do, but are there any newbie techniques I could employ while using a HB?


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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 02:24:43 pm »
I have so many extras of different graphite pencils, I could likely send some your way. You can PM me if you would like about that. I just tend to go to the art store and forget what I am looking for, so wind up buying more than I need LOL!

With graphite, smudging is really one of the easiest and best means to shade. You can make your own tortillion stumps out of newsprint paper. They are nice to assist in the smudging, but it is really such a racket, what stores charge for them. I have to make a batch of stumps myself soon as the store bought ones I have are getting a lot of abuse lately ;P

Anywho, I find that making short, irregular lines, and cross-hatching them, can add interesting texture. For scales on dragons, I think that sketching each individual scale looks very nice, however it is very time consuming. I have a texture study around here somewhere. If I find it, I will scan it in and post it.

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Offline Baako

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2008, 02:30:34 pm »
wow grats on the iPod win  :D

As for texture... how about fur? I'm currently sketching a fox photo.... but the fur turned out to be a little out of my league :D


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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2008, 02:34:53 pm »
I found this tutorial that might be helpful:

http://www.dueysdrawings.com/shading_tutorial.html
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Offline Baako

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 02:39:28 pm »
haha wow It talks in that tutorial about using different materials to use for shading... I always used my finger with differing levels of moisture depending on what shading I want, I might try some of the techniques here though, there is even one on fur ^^


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Offline Sheeta

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 03:13:45 am »
Textures are one of those techniques that once you learn how to do them, it seems as if you've "leveled up" so to say.  It adds a bit of tangible realism to your art.

First lesson...BE PATIENT!   ;) :D  Textures can take a while to do depending on what you're doing.  The first time I tried to draw realistic fur, I thought that there was a shortcut around having to draw all of those single strands...man, was I wrong.  I found out that the best way to good looking fur (for me at the time) was to sit down and draw what I saw, strand for strand.   Now I've learned some better (and faster) methods that I use frequently.

Now at this point you may be saying "DUH" to that, but believe me it's a bit harder than one may think.  An exercise that I do from time to time is to grab pictures of fur, scales, skin, etc. and actually study them to see what makes them look real.  The layers of texture, the gentle gradients of colors or tones, the little imperfections--those all make for a good picture, and an even better drawing.

Here's an example of a piece I did a while back--



The fur was done strand by strand with different hardnesses of graphite pencils, and I literally sat for hours doing single strokes ( I have a LOT of patience--lol).  After I'd finish a section I'd lightly shade over it to give the skin underneath some tone.  The non-furred skin of the face was done with the same pencils, and I got the darks and lights by altering my pressure.  I also used small circles to shade as opposed to a "crayon coloring" motion.  AND...this was done on a simple sheet of 18 x 24" drawing paper, so any texture you may see was drawn in.

There's no single way to get to a finished product, so try some different things.  Good luck to you, and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!  :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 03:18:16 am by Sheeta »
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Offline Baako

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 06:53:21 am »
wow thats some great texturing, I started off with the fur texture strand by strand, but I got frustrated as its an irregular pattern (fox fur is surprisingly hard to do :D )


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Offline Lightstep

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Re: AARRG! Texture!
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 10:19:38 pm »
haha wow It talks in that tutorial about using different materials to use for shading... I always used my finger with differing levels of moisture depending on what shading I want, I might try some of the techniques here though, there is even one on fur ^^

Eeegg... I can always tell when someone shades or blends using their fingers rather than appropriate tools. Your fingers, no matter how clean, are always producing oil. These tend to 'grab' at the graphite, and can make smudging look messy, and even give it a weird tint after a while. Definately invest in something called a tortillons. They are paper-like tools that resemble pencils with no lead. These really help with creating even tones, softening up lines, blending very very finely, and so much more. My friend CanisMajor suggested it to me a few years back, and it really gave me confidence in finishing my sketches.

Sheeta is so right. Patience is key to doing good textures. If you rush it, or get impatient, you can ruin it before you even realize it. That's why it's a good idea to just practice without pressuring yourself (Aka: Not finishing up a sketch you spent hours on, etc). The more you try and experiment, the stronger foundation you will have. And don't be afraid to use that kneaded eraser to lighten up your paper if your graphite goes on too dark. I found that happens a lot when I'm trying something new and focusing on it a little too hard  x_x
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