Drawing a Detailed Urban Scene: Rendering Part 2

In this series we will be creating a detailed pencil sketch from an urban subject. In this session we will be finishing the drawing.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/IMG-0536-scaled.jpg

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Eraser

Process

  • As in the previous section – you want to keep it quite focused and avoid the urge to move around the whole drawing as this can be distracting.
  • You also want to continue to look for sharp and softer edges.
  • For example – the fire escape needs to be a lot more contrasty and sharper than the soft shadow on the wall behind. This will help create the impression that the escape is sitting in front of the wall in space.

Drawing a Detailed Urban Scene: Starting the Rendering

In this series we will be creating a detailed pencil sketch from an urban subject. In this session we will begin redenering a specific section of the drawing.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/IMG-0536-scaled.jpg

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Eraser

Process

  • Begin by selecting that part of the sketch you want to render.
  • Try to keep it quite focused and avoid the urge to move around the whole drawing as this can be distracting.
  • Look for useful architectural elements to divide the bigger shapes.
  • Pay attention to the nature of different shadows; some will be harsh whereas others will be much softer.
  • Capturing these variations will add a lot of visual interest to your drawing.
  • Once you’ve added as much detail as you want, take a step back and make final larger adjustments to ensure that everything is cohesive.

Drawing a Detailed Urban Scene: Blocking in Tones

In this series we will be creating a detailed pencil sketch from an urban subject. In this session we will be laying in general tones to start arranging the values across the drawing.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/IMG-0536-scaled.jpg

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Eraser

Process

  • Begin with a few very general passes based on the general fall of light across the scene.
  • In this case the light is coming from the top left so the buildings get generally darker towards the bottom right portion of the scene.
  • After laying these general tones you can start to differentiate other larger tonal differences (such as the doors, windows and the fire escape).
  • Try to do it gradually as this approach will afford more control.
  • Keep going with this approach until all the major parts of the scene are roughed in.

Drawing a Detailed Urban Scene: Laying In

In this series we will be creating a detailed pencil sketch from an urban subject. This first session will be spent lightly placing all the major elements of the scene in an easy manner.

You can download the reference image here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/IMG-0536-scaled.jpg

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Eraser

Process

  • Begin by selecting an element of the scene and sketching that in.
  • I chose the horizontal section of the fire escape.
  • Working from this anchor point you can then place elements in relation to it.
  • It’s best to add in parts that are closer to the anchor point before working your way out.
  • You don’t need to elaborate much – just get all the elements in place relative to one another.

The Basic Principles of Form

In this exercise, you will be creating a sphere, but the same principles apply whenever you’re drawing or painting any form in a representational artwork. 

Use the diagram below or watch the accompanying video lesson as a guide when you create your own sphere.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Pencil or charcoal
  • Eraser

Process

Determining the Light Source

1. Draw a circle on the page or canvas, this will be the basis for your sphere. Then draw an ellipse on the ground plane, this will be the shadow cast from the sphere and determine the direction of light.

2. Draw the ‘bedbug line’ (the line that divides light from shadow) onto the form.

Establishing the Shadow

1. Fill in the the shadow shape with an average shadow value (about a 7 on the value scale). 

2. Next, fill in the cast shadow on the ground with a similar value.

Adding Variations to the Shadow

1. The shadow isn’t usually evenly dark, because in most cases, light will be reflected into the shadow after bouncing off other elements in the scene. This will cause the centre of the shadow to lighten, becoming darker towards the bedbug line (the ‘core shadow’).

2. The shadow will also become darker where two forms meet one another (like where the sphere meets the ground). This is called the ‘occlusion shadow’, it is dark because neither direct light or reflected light reaches it.

Adding Halftones and Refining the Form

1. Begin adding halftones from the bedbug line, these are the ‘dark halftones’. As the halftones move further away from the bedbug line they will receive more light, and begin to lighten as a consequence. 

  1.  If you are painting on a toned panel, at a certain point you will reach a value that matches the canvas. When this happens you should stop adding dark halftones and start working out from the lightest values. You will find these values at the part of the sphere that faces the light source. Once you’ve added all the lightest halftones, they will meet the darkest halftones.
  1. If you are drawing your sphere you can just keep adding halftones gradually. The further that halftones are from the bedbug line, the lighter they will be. At some point you will just leave the white of the paper.
  • In stronger, direct light, the transition from the bedbug line will be more harsh.
  • In weaker, diffuse light, the transition from the bedbug line will be more gradual and softer.

2. Now that all the halftones have been added you should have a roughly correct sphere. At this point you should spend time correcting value relationships and neatening up your painting or drawing.