Shading Tips With Pocahontas

I working only in graphite on my Pocahontas drawing and I’m keep it very soft with no hard edges so I felt it fitting to talk about shading tips.

Shading with graphite on super smooth paper is very delicate. Just the slightest pressure with my pencil will change the value drastically. This is why shading technique really matters here.

Normally I shade my drawings with a side to side motion. But for this drawing I was noticing that this method was leaving darker lines on the edges of the patches I was shading. To fix this I switched to moving my pencil in the same direction for every stroke. It takes a bit longer because you have to lift your pencil off the paper for each new line but the result is much more subtle.

Watch the video for a demonstration.

Pocahontas Drawing in Graphite

Previous Pocahontas Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


Group Gestures

The purpose of the two minute group gestures exercise in the The Natural Way to Draw book is to see a multitude of objects as one cohesive unit. It’s easier to draw each figure as a separate entity but when dealing with a unified composition artists must see the whole while at the same time see the details.

What I also really like about this exercise is that it forces me to start figures differently than I normally would if they were alone. Habits are easily formed and many times unconsciously, such as always starting a figure with the head. But when drawing a group and treating it as one unit I find myself entering into each figure from different places for each gestures.

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

The day is not near done today but I learned a little bit more today about shading and I really happy to share the tip with you.

What needs work? What did you learn?

Focus is great, I have a ton of energy, but it’s easy to go into excess for me and move into anxiety.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

Make sure I oscillate through out the day. When I’m working be on 100%, but when I’m at break, relax completely and don’t worry about what is next until it’s time.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.