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The Penciling Tutorial by sashas The Penciling Tutorial by sashas
Update: Thanks everyone for the DD. I've uploaded a higher contrast image, so you may see the text better. : )

Dedicated to my the watchers, who seem to enjoy my pencil work. :love:

This tutorial covers the materials, process, and mistakes of the penciling process, and there is even a short step by step demonstration showing how I do my pencil drawings. Although the example is anime, this can really be used for all styles and the methods and steps taken carry outside of the genre. I worked quite hard on this, so I hope you all enjoy it. This tutorial IS reading intense, but it's worth it--I promise.

Feel free to ask me a question by sending me a note. And, please do tell me if this tutorial helps you any as it encourages me to make more and it simply makes me happy.

How do I prevent smudging after I am done drawing?
All you have to do is go down your local arts and crafts store and purchase some fixative. It's like a spray that you can use on your drawings to prevent smudging. Make sure you step back away from your drawing when you spray and if you are sensative to sprays or odors, use it outside. Also, you make sure you purchase a 'workable' fixative' so that you can still come back and edit easily. You can also use hair spray as a cheap substitute^^ Don't grab the adhesive spray by mistake!! They are usually placed right next to each other in similar cans.

I make my tutorials for free, but if you enjoy my tutorials and want to donate some funds for gas, art books and such, I would appreciate it. [link]

The Lineart Tutorial ---> [link]
Make your own Tortillon ---> [link]

Tutorial by my buddy, ~leinef ---> [link]
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-06-09
KikaiSaigono said "The Penciling Tutorial by ~sashas This is a GREAT tutorial on how to do pencil shading for not only cartoons/anime, but also for realism. The artist gives an in depth look at line and shading procedures, and how to make your shading as smooth and precise as possible. This is a must for anyone who is wanting to spice up their pencil work a little!" ( Suggested by KikaiSaigono and Featured by UnicornReality )
Inferrous Featured By Owner Edited Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One of the best tutorials I've seen on this site :) Thank you so much!
Chocolate-Stencils Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really enjoy your writing!
Also, this is really really helpful.
Gonna grab my pencil now.
SarahArsalan Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much, this is really helpful ^^
PyrodianBrony Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This helped so much :D
I love well made tutorials. I absolutely love this one!
Thank you!
guuandlulu Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This tutorial has helped me a lot. It's one of my favorites.

Excalibur-T005 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
This tutorial has a lot of great things that other people never really thought to tell me - namely the bit about working from light to dark when shading. I've spent what must be eight or more years doing that particular job completely backwards, and then stepping back and wondering why my work looked really awful.
msouradeep Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
nice tutorial, thanks.
Zeeuuss Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
thanks a lot for this tutorial, it was very helpful to me, tnx again.
feministfangirl Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
great tutorial, thanks for sharing it!
QueenAravis Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Sometimes when I need to change the point of my mechanical pencils I use my art sandpaper (don't know the proper name for it) on the tip. It's just a bit more exact for a few strokes, which is nice.
whitetigerclaws Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is very helpful, thank you!
Astrikos Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Your wonderful tutorial has been featured here
Consider giving the article a :+fav: :heart:
noxpennatus Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you so much for making it, and happy new year!
Hopfield Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much! I just read a whole book on pencil drawing and it wasn't half as useful as this. I am in awe.
COla013 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
thank you a lot :D it will help me for sure :)
Makalmendra Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
This has been the most thorough and well explained penciling tutorial I have ever come across. I've been drawing for a long time and there were things here that I either didn't know (not ashamed to admit it) or had forgotten. So, thank you thank you thank you for making this!
kiakutsuke Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
You really helped me, my worst problem is actually shading and this helped me a lot. Thanks!
Caise Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really great tutorial.
HowlsByABlueMoon Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you SO much for making this tutorial that covers so much that everyone else seemed to deem useless! I enjoyed this so much and read every word! And your character looks like he belongs on Dot hack sign! C:

again, thank you!
beth193 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely amazing, thank you so much :heart:
redman1997 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Every word was worth reading.
shotgunsally613 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
honestly, this was probably THEE most helpful penciling tutorial i have ever come across. i read it word for word, and absorbed. thank you!
TheCrystalWolf100 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
omg thankies >u<
Sillygothic Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you. I really hope I can try this soon
Pereyga Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
thx for the tut =D
Jones0da Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2011
The shading on the hat looks amazing, how did you do it exactly? like seperate strokes, blended etc.
Jones0da Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2011
How do you get that great look on the hats shading there? it looks amazing, is it just like a bunch of small lines filling it?
aliciamay12 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
Hoh My Gosh .!.. You have the thingy!! D:< .. Wooo ..! Best Thing Evah!! . Thanks for this . I can improve nao :D.. -Reads all ur Tuts.-
You're an angel 8D -Flashes Eyes!- I Love Chuuu D: . :3 . -Prints- TANK YOW! :DDD
NeverFallAsleep Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Writer
Shifter91 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I've found you on conceptart ( the tutorial about perspectiv ) and then I've saw your DA profile link and come here, to see what else do you have.. Good thing!! ((:

First, I must say.. big thanks! This helps me a lot on my way of beginner! ^^

And second.. just one question about blending. In notes.. you say:
"Start blending from the darkest value to the lightest. This is because your blender mostly likely already has some graphite on it and will make marks in you lighter areas where you don't want them to be"
Correct me if I'm wrong.. but is this a little bit contradictional or it's just me making mistakes in translation? :D
The question is - Should I or should I not start blending from lighter to darker? (:
CoffeeKarena Featured By Owner May 27, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Wow...really helpful. Thank you.
UsayFudo Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Student General Artist
Lithaya Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011
Herro! :D
I'm trying pencil shading for a bit (shading makes me nervous omgomg :P), but I've got that problem with the overlaying stuff.. uhm.. like you described on the part of 'stuff I dislike'..Could you explain to me in some depth how to avoid that? It's sooo ugly ! XD
ChocoHeaven Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
wow. i think im gonna go start drawing XD
thank you. it was very informative!
dirtling Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Student General Artist
gonna start drawing right now xD greart
SeaGhost144 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have an immune disorder that leaves me very tired. Because of this, I don't draw much, and my mind is so tired I fall asleep eating some days. Do you know of a way that I can improve quickly? I ask this because I've had the same notebook to draw in for two years, so what would be quick for most will be improvement at all for me. I want to be good at something, and I'm tired of it taking me 10 times longer to do everything than normal. Do you know of any books or advice for disabled artists? I spend 90% of my day sitting, so I don't mind if the reply is long, or the book is thick. I appreciate your time and precious energy invested in this.
drawRAW Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very useful :clap:
constantie Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Faving for later usage :)
PlushieRibbon Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! This really helps me!
ArtGod77 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011
I have SUCH an urge to print this out as a little ref/guide....but it's physically impossible with how long and narrow it is :(

I'll read it when I get the chance...I can't wait, and it seems like it'll greatly help me improve :)
ErnestoVladimir Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow you do touch many points that I have learned over the "years" xD And you touch them well, in an interesting manner. Congrats on the DD, this makes a nice addition to my tutorials collection :3
Dalal-N Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I'm really interested in reading this tutorial, but a lot of the text is close together and hard to read. I hope this isn't bothersome, but would it be possible for you to upload a version of this for people like me with some vision issues?
tonyt Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
really well done and well structured. Very good advice, but the small font size is really painful to read. :/
KoalaFelix Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
This was very helpful (:
ArtisticJester Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
This blew my mind :o
startraveller776 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic tutorial! I learned so much reading this. Thank you!!
Starter24 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010
damn! i could never read this much! but i read this and i m shocked that i m still not bored :O :O :O !!
:heart: you for such an amazing tutorial! you've put more than just a lot! :D

Thanks once again!
Andreth Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The best pencil tutorial I've seen EVER. Thank you, thank you so much :hug:
Hippy-Hobbit Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010
Thanks to this tutorial whenever I make the mistake of doing the striped shady thing I always have to fix it because I imagine you standing behind me glaring. Great tutorial!
antonique Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010
A really nice turtorial ^^ I found the part about the reflected highlight interesting- its always good to learn something new:>
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Submitted on
June 11, 2006
Image Size
2.9 MB


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