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Pencil Portraiture- Materials by Alene Pencil Portraiture- Materials by Alene
I've been asked so many questions about the materials I use that I thought I'd put this together, and try and answer as many questions as I can within it.
And anyway, I haven't seen many tutorials dealing with materials around, so perhaps it will come in useful for someone. I hope so!
It deals with very basic things, but these are things I had to find out for myself. I figure I should pass them on, and save someone else the trouble.

All in all it took me about 2.5 hours, and was put together in Photoshop CS. I did all the drawing, and took all the photographs myself.
I'm sorry it's so big. There was a lot to put in, and I didn't want to make it too cramped.

Inspired by 's wonderful tutorials, which deal with all sorts of things, rather than just being walkthoughs.

Enjoy =D
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:iconashigaru:
ashigaru Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is a wonderful tutorial as well as giving great information on the tools you use! Why I hadn't already had this in my tutorials collection is beyond me, but it's there now! Thanks so much for sharing this information! :D
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you! I found I was often being asked about what tools I used (even by people who could see me drawing live =P) so I thought it would be a good subject to tackle. I'm glad you like it, thanks for the :+fav: too! =)
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:iconashigaru:
ashigaru Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
I like how you incorporate your techniques in this as well; it's more about how you get the subtle details in your work than the tools, and you give a glimpse into your processes. Very inspiring!
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you! I think it's good to provide a bit of information on what tools do, otherwise you're still a bit in the dark as to how to use them and what to use them for. =)
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:iconwwhimsical:
wwhimsical Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2008
This is lovely! Definately an amazing find. ;p
This is incredibly useful. I had no idea you could use a paintbrush to dust. That would really help me. :XD: Yes, your anecdotes are b-e-a-utiful.
And alos the comments above, especially the one about the use of cotton balls, have been useful. Thanks guys.
THANK YOU for doing this. I :heart: it.
But now I want a kneadable eraser. :lol:
Reply
:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008  Professional General Artist
Oh, what a lovely comment! So sweet of you. =) I'm glad this is useful for you! (And thanks for the :+fav:!)
You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a kneadable eraser. Art stores stock them, and I also often find them in newsagents or office supply stores. And they're nice and cheap, too! =D
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:iconwwhimsical:
wwhimsical Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008
:XD: Ah, you are welcome!
I'll locate one this weekend, I think I'm going in that general direction. Oo
But I have a niggling feeling that I'll just play with it all the time. :lol:
But yeah! Cheap definately is a bonus. :love: :heart:
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008  Professional General Artist
They are indeed good to play with! One of my arty friends would mould them into all sorts of tiny sculptures when she was bored. =)
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:iconwwhimsical:
wwhimsical Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2008
:O That is so awesome.
I really really want one now. :XD:
:hug:
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:iconroccobertucci:
RoccoBertucci Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2008  Student General Artist
Very cool! I use some of these but will have to look into the rest! Thanks!
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2008  Professional General Artist
My pleasure! =)
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:iconsashas:
sashas Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent work.
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thankyou! =)
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:iconsting2:
Sting2 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
lolnice
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner May 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thanks. =)
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007  Professional General Artist
That's really clear and detailed, pretty much everything a beginner needs to understand the function, pros and cons of the tools! I hope it's the start of a series ;)
And thanks for the unexpected plug at the end!
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007  Professional General Artist
I decided something like this would be more use than the sort of tutorial that just covers everything step-by-step. I've a few of the more expensive art books that cover this sort of thing, but I hadn't seen any on DA. ;)
I'd like to do more, but I have to work out *how* first - and exactly what to cover in them. I am, though, currently saving screenshots of my latest digital painting, so I can make up a simple walkthrough. I'm using Painter, and I've found the lack of Painter tutorials and walkthoughs out there highly frustrating, so I thought I'd put something together. =D
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:iconmasteroffortune:
masteroffortune Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2007  Student
I have been needing a tutoral like this. I am in need of a good eraser...I use a mechanical pencil, with the eraser attached...or I get a simple eraser from a simple store. I'm trying to be good at drawing, and someday be very good with art, and this tutoral will help me alot. Thanks!!
Reply
:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2007  Professional General Artist
That's good! I was hoping it would be useful. =) Thanks for the :+fav:!
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:iconmasteroffortune:
masteroffortune Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2007  Student
your welcome! yes, it is very helpful. This is the stuff I need to know about.
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:iconlizarts:
lizarts Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007
Thank you very much. Excellent tutorial. Every bit of advice is appreciated!
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2007  Professional General Artist
My pleasure! I hope it would come in useful! =D
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:iconsixstringer:
SixStringer Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2007
For blending, I've found cotton balls indispensable: they possess the softness of Q-tips (aka cotton buds, cotton swabs), but they cover a greater area and can be used with more force if needed (whereas a Q-tip stick will bend). An especially useful technique is to save the used cotton balls as they become coated with graphite and then use them as a sort of brush for applying graphite directly to the paper. This works well with either charcoal or graphite application, but of course never mix the two or allow both onto the same cotton ball. I always keep all charcoal and graphite supplies segregated.

Speaking of charcoal, it seems to be missing from your list!
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
There's no charcoal here because I can't stand it! =P I've never got on well with charcoal, and so I do all my portraits with only graphite, and as this is a list of the things I use myself, I left it out.

In regards to your cotton balls, I do roughly the same thing with tissues and cotton buds. I've never tried using cotton balls, but then again, I do have long fingernails, and would probably gouge the paper if I wasn't careful while using them. I find a tissue will give me pretty much the same effect, especially if I use a circular motion when blending. =D

Thanks for the advice!
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:iconsixstringer:
SixStringer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2007
The beauty of cotton balls is that they don't tend to disintegrate like tissues. They're probably the most effective and versatile blending tool I've used so far.

I'd strongly recommend giving charcoal more of a shot since you can do things with it that graphite can't accomplish, at least with any ease. For me, at least, charcoal's different properties also tend to encourage different stylistic choices. While it can be used with precision, its extreme darkness and tendency to come in relatively large, blunt delivery media have encouraged me to work in a broader, more dramatic style, creating some of my best pieces.
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:iconsixstringer:
SixStringer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2007
The beauty of cotton balls is that they don't tend to disintegrate like tissues. They're probably the most effective and versatile blending tool I've used so far.

I'd strongly recommend giving charcoal more of a shot since you can do things with it that graphite can't accomplish, at least with any ease. For me, at least, charcoal's different properties also tend to encourage different stylistic choices. While it can be used with precision, its extreme darkness and tendency to come in relatively large, blunt delivery media have encouraged me to work in a broader, more dramatic style, creating some of my best pieces.
Reply
:iconkodaprn:
Kodaprn Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2007  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thank you so much for making this! One of my biggest problems lately has been figuring out what supplies I need to buy for my drawings. I think I know a little more now, especially about pencils and erasers. I didn't even know electric erasers existed before reading this.:D
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
I'm so glad this is useful to you - I hadn't been getting much response to it. ;)

I find that expensive drawing books usually have a section like this in - but if you haven't access to them, you have to ask around (and I've been getting asked so often, I decided that a link to this in the description of my pieces would save time and trouble all round!=))
My supplies are pretty simple, too, as I like to take my sketchbook around with me, so most of them fit into a very small pencil-case, so I thought it might be a good run-down for a beginner. I daresay one could get all the essential things for around $15, which isn't too bad.

Thanks for the :+fav:! :hug:
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:iconlucatedde:
LucaTedde Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:clap: very nice! By the way, I use an electric eraser too.. but it's not a sakura so it costed me less than 5 euros :D

You did a very good job assembling pictures and writing the text. It's all so neat and easy to understand.
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:iconalene:
Alene Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2007  Professional General Artist
I had to get mine from America, so I thought it best to get the one that had the most favourable reports, and was therefore (hopefully) less likely to die on me. ;)
I'm glad you think it easy to understand - that was, after all, the object. I thought that this would be more efficient, in the long term, than writing long descriptions of things for everyone who asks. It always takes much longer to describe things when you can't use pictures. =)
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:iconlucatedde:
LucaTedde Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah I should do the same. You have a question? here's the answer - - LINK :D it's fast and easy.. yeah.. I should really write a FAQ section :D
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