In this article we will look at the fundamental principles of painting black and white graphite pencils graphics and recreating them in computer vector graphics made using the Adobe Illustrator vector program.
Part 1: Drawing with graphite pencils
- Before you start painting on the pencil sheet you should have an initial idea of what you want to draw.
- Do a Google survey, what exactly comes up with writing keywords for your idea. To be original, your idea must be unique, like a story and a message.
- Take out reference pictures to guide you in case you have difficulty visualizing some details in your imagination yourself.
- Consider how to place objects on the sheet
- Apply a rough sketch of objects, such as volume and composition on the sheet. Share the perspective of the objects as you would with a camera. Choose a viewpoint, a viewing angle and a wide-angle, normal or long-range optics. Determine correctly the distance and distance between the objects – how many meters the action in the picture is developing. Sketch with 9H to 4H pencil.
- Schematize the proportions of the object / person / figure. Youtube has many video tutorials about the proportions in different angles of the human face and figure. If a figure is schematically rough with a hard pencil stripped with leading lines and circles. If you paint a human face in a close-up, it is the same – a rough sketch of circles and lines, roughly covering the eyes, nose, lips, jaw, ears, forehead and hair with hard-pencil.
- When the person / figure already acquires the character and the radiance you want to give, you can proceed to thickening lines with pencil B and delete the leading lines and circles. Apply more details, the contour of the eyes, nose, ears, lips, hair and jaw should be more categorical. If you paint a human figure, put on the clothes over and delete the leading lines and circles with pencil B.
- Circle the picture with pencil B to the smallest detail. Try and repeat until your results are satisfied.
- After the contour is completed, the shading follows. It is good to use soft pencils – from 2B to 9B. In shading, you must match the color of the objects with their difference, such as compatibility in black and white scale density. You also have to keep in mind the change in the density of the face and objects according to the direction of the light – where there are bright places and shadows. To achieve this, visualize your picture as a black and white photo. The stroke is applied to the direction and shape of the object, i. if we hatch a circle, we should not shuffle flat with straight strokes, but oval according to the curve of the circle to reach the shape. In order to float well and do not have very sharp limits, use the special blender and burnisher pencils, and for some paintings you can try realistic sponge- fungi techniques. It is good to have a contrast in a graphic, ie. absolutely white and absolutely black details. Do not cover the white with a touch, and black apply with charcoal – this is the most solid black material you can apply. Pencil 9B is not so dense, the charcoal is pure black. Attention! Apply the characoals at last when the graphic is completely finished because at the smallest touch with the hand or palm it is blurred.
- Fix the picture with a protective spray from a distance of one meter, about three or four times with circular motion and a few more times only on the charcoal. Leave two hours to dry after fixation. Even fixed, be careful when transporting the chart. Carefully insert into the folder between two sheets and gently pull out with the fingertips, because, despite the fixation, the charcoal is still greased, though more difficult.
Part 2: Adobe Illustrator Vector Graphics
- Shoot professional black and white graphics. It is important for the light to be even and equally distributed over the entire area of the picture.
- Convert the RAW file at the exact color temperature and sharpen focus with the RAW converter itself. Convert at full resolution.
- Insert the file into Adobe Photoshop. Make a channel mixer layer, check the monochrome beaker and select blue channel priority. Then adjust the slider channels to finalize the image, but be careful not to lose details.
- Make a new file on Adobe Illustrator – A3, RGB without compression.
- Open File, Place and load the photo file above and lock the layer.
- On a new layer, repeat the contours of the graphic pencils (I’m doing a custom brush, a clean black without a contour with the ellipse tool, pulling it to become a line.) It becomes fine with nice curved corners so the line looks visually great. After creating this brush object, drag it into the brush menu and load it into the menu and it can be choose it now, make Art Brush with a 5% pressure level). It’s important for creating computer graphics to have a graphic tablet. I use Wacom Intuos Pro and I am endlessly pleased. I will give you a little know-how: when we zoom out, about 16% of total, very long contours are made very easy, and when it happens to twist a very zigzag stroke, the program automatically aligns the line – we do not have to be good artists to handle, the program is intelligent. Of course, for smaller details, we need to have more or more zoom in. Where we have ideal shapes – circle, square, etc. use forms or pen tool. After building the strokes, inspect each loop and make corrections by dragging and moving up, down, left, and right. Finally lock the layer.
- Once the strokes are ready, make an invisible layer of black-and-white graphics from the graphite pencils so that only the contours remain. Layer with strokes should always be at the top in the layout of the layers. Following is the coloring. First, use the pen tool to select each object, choosing to be colored in its natural color. You can also use live paint for coloring, but it works only if the strokes are closed. Where necessary, color with gradients, blooming objects and shapes.
- After the rough application of the main colors we have to apply the shades. First, the darkest, then the average dark, the medium-light, and finally the brightest. For example, the person must be in at least five tones. It is important to consider the angle and direction under which the light falls to get it right. It is very important the sequence of the layers and their layout (one advice – name each layer so that you do not confuse and lock each layer after you finish working on it).
- After finishing with all the light shades comes the final stage with the background. It should be at the bottom, but before black and white graphics. You can choose color, gradient, figure, and so on. I sometimes use a photo that I vectorize in 16 colors or less. Before that, we can blur it on Photoshop.
- Export the file in a format that we need according to its purpose – PDF, EPS, TIFF.
AUTHOR: ALBERT BARUCH