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Old 01-23-2007, 04:04 AM
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DianeWright DianeWright is offline
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Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

ROCKS
While I haven’t had the opportunity to draw many rocks in my landscapes (yet), they can certainly add interest to any landscape. I consider them just one more opportunity to add a different texture to the scene.

There are different kinds of rock formations. From sandstone, shale, limestone, volcanic to boulders. Each one will hold different textures and ‘feel’ to them.

This lesson will be very specific and we are going to study the drawing of a close-up view of rocks. Our goal is two fold. 1) To understand the how to create the shape and depth of rocks and 2) to learn how to create textured, realistic looking rocks.

Materials Needed:

F and 2B .5 mechanical pencils
4H and 2H clutch pencils
blu-tack or kneaded eraser
battery operated eraser
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Smooth paper

Homework – Optional

If you are lucky enough to own Mike Sibley’s “Drawing Line to Life” book, I would recommend that you read Chapter 19 – Drawing Textures. His techniques on drawing bricks can be easily translated to drawing rocks. Mike's techniques differ from what I will be explaining but is an excellent base to understand.

If you haven’t purchased Mike’s book yet, save your pennies and purchase it as soon as possible. This book is THE BIBLE to drawing realistically. Not only is it a masterpiece with all the wonderful illustrations and renderings, but it will teach you techniques that will take your drawing skills to the next level.


So let’s get started….
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Last edited by DianeWright : 01-23-2007 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:06 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Homework – Extra Credit

Sketching… Never underestimate the power of just sketching. I seldom just sit and watch television, but when I do, I usually have a folder full of photos and I just sketch. Here is a sketch of a group of rocks….

Find some photos of rocks and sketch them. Don’t let the rest of the landscape intimidate you as you sketch the rocks. Pick out the sections that interest you and just sketch.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:07 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Creating 3-dimensionality and form

At first glance they seem to be easy to draw. I find they a bit more challenging than that. They beg to have 3-dimensionality and form. Light and shading play an important roll in drawing realistic rocks.

I find the best comparison to make is to use a cube. In order to create this 3-dimensional form we have to use light and shadow. The plane with the most direct sunlight is the brightest. The plane with the no sunlight is the darkest. With a strong light, the shadow will be short and dark.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:24 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Let’s relate this concept to a grouping of rocks. These rocks are drawn to emphasize the angles and planes of the rocks. The light source is to the upper right.

The second sketch softens the edges of the rocks but the planes are still very visible, creating solid 3 dimensional rocks.

I find most tutorials stop at this point when explaining how to draw rocks. Do you see the problem with this? Will these sketches really work in a realistic landscape? What’s missing or rather what is there too much of?? White. There is just not enough tone or detail to.

So let’s keep going….
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:28 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Here is the reference photo in both color and grayscale that we will be using for the rest of this tutorial. I like to draw and study from both images. The grayscale helps to match the tones, but color helps in the details.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:29 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Step 1

We are going to draw the large boulder on the left. I start with a 2B pencil and sketch in the darkest areas. The lighter areas are sketched in using a F lead weight. Using short random marks, I concentrate on the indents and shadowed areas. Be sure to draw in all of the darkest areas in this step (I will explain further in the third step)
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:29 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Step 2

Once you have the preliminary details drawn, use the clutch pencil with a chisel edge to apply a smooth even layer over the surface. The lighter areas I use the 4H and use 2H in the shadowed areas. Remember the planes and angles for lighting.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:30 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Step 3

Now the fun starts! Using a softer lead in the mechanical pencil, start creating the texture! I use random short marks to create pits and a rough surface. That’s right ,use a softer lead over the harder lead. We all know that using softer lead over harder lead creates a very uneven surface. But what it works wonders in creating a random, uneven texture for rocks.

The chisel edge is important as it creates a flat wide mark. To create a chisel edge, use sandpaper, angle your pencil and scrub!

Using these harder leads may be new to some of you, but they create wonderful light values that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve.

Continue building and layering. Use the blu-tack to create subtle highlights. Press the blu-tack onto an area and lift the graphite off. Use the battery operated eraser to create small strong highlights.

I mentioned in step 1 to be sure you have all your darkest areas drawn BEFORE you proceed onto step 2. The reason should be obvious. Once the harder lead is laid down, you will not be able to achieve those rich blacks!

The second image is the completed study....
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Last edited by DianeWright : 01-23-2007 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:31 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Assignment 1:

Practice on paper the technique of layering soft, hard, soft. Work on creating a ‘rough’ texture. Post your attempts!

Assignment 2:

Use the image provided in the steps and draw the grouping of rocks. Or find your own favorite grouping of rocks and DRAW!! Post your drawings.

A .pdf of this lesson can be found on my website at the bottom of the rock tutorial!

Diane
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Last edited by DianeWright : 01-23-2007 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:29 AM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Fantastic detailed lesson Diane! Thanks so much!

Can't wait to start!

You Rock!
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:46 PM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Great lesson!! Thanks Diane!!

Say if my clouds look really hard can they count as rocks?????

Joe
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:42 PM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Hi Diane

Glad WC! is back online!

I did have trouble with the electric eraser- maybe I should put in a new eraser-though the last one was never used. I got nada with it as in highlights -so I just used my eraser in the click holder.

I am lucky to have Mike's book too. I adore it! Worth every dollar everyone! So I read the textures section and did a lil practicing there.
Also the rocks. I was really suprised how the soft-hard-soft technique worked! Love it! I am on your waiting list for your book too!
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:07 PM
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Smile Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

Great lesson,I learned alot from your cloud tutorial too.
Will give this a try, and post. Thanks!!!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:13 PM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks

hi diane...couldnt get online this afternoon ...finally got to read your tutorial..and am most anxious to try this soft hard soft method..as i am a hard time with being light with my h's....thank you for all your help...tyree
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:54 PM
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Re: Basic 102 - Class 10 - Rocks


not setting any standards with this one, a first exercise. Should I keep working on it, or move on to the next one? Failed or unfinished, cannot decide.
Told the kids it was a potato and they did not protest... ouch!
took long enough, though, but hopefully by the end of the week, I will create a rock!
Diane, thank you,
frieda
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