In this tutorial I will show you how to shade a face with pencil from beginning to end.
If you haven’t read the in-depth shading tutorial, please click here before you continue on. I’m not going to talk a lot about shading techniques in this post because it’s already covered there.
For this tutorial, I recorded the full drawing process by scanning a whopping 213 images which took over 35 hours in total just to scan! I’ve carefully selected a group of images for each step which clearly shows you how I got from a white piece of paper to completion, backed up by explanations, tips and techniques.
If you have the patience and dedication to sit through it all, I PROMISE you will walk away with a handful of value!
This is going to be a very detailed and lengthy post where each step covers a specific area of the face. You can skip to any area by using the links below, but please do not skip the first 2 sections!
Lighting the Face
Preliminary Outlines + Shadow Lining
Shading the Nose
Shading the Mouth
Shading the Forehead
Shading Cheeks and Smile Lines
Shading Jawline and Chin
Shading Neck and Ears
These are Amazon affiliate links, so anything you purchase through them will support RapidFireArt :)
- Pencils: Derwent HB, 4B, 6B and a 4B Ain Mechanical Pencil
- Bristol Paper
- Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser
- Blending Stump
How to Shade a Face Step 1: Lighting the Face
Proper proportions aside, it is highly important that you figure out the lighting situation for the scene before you shade the face to identify patterns of light and be able to apply the right amount of value where appropriate.
To do that, you can create a planar head/face of your subject, add a light source and shade the individual planes using solid tones or gradients relative to the direction and intensity of the light(s). You can take this a little bit further by adding cast shadows as well.