Sketching a Shell in Graphite and Carbon – Finishing it off

In this series, we will be creating a rendered drawing of a broken shell using a mix of graphite and carbon pencils. In this final session we will be refining the texture of the shell and make some final adjustments to the tonal relationships.

You can download the same reference I’m using here:

Here is a rough materials guide:

  • Paper
  • Old bristle brush for blending
  • Graphite pencils (mix of hardnesses)
  • Carbon Pencil (mix of hardnesses)
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Begin by shading in the background behind the shell.
  • This will ensure that the highlights on the shell are the brightest parts of the drawings.
  • (Leaving the background white would make the highlights stand out less).
  • Then use a mixture of the graphite pencil and carbon pencil to add more specific textures to the shell.
  • This may involve softening transitions or it could mean adding contrast in some areas.
  • Finish by punching out the darkest parts with carbon pencil and erasing the highlights.
  • This will make the most of tonal range available.
  • That’s it!