Shading explained: tones and shades of portrait art drawing and sketching.
Shading Explained
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The "medium darks" are used a lot in most portraits, especially in the shadowed areas of the face. They are pretty dark, but not so dark that they obscure blacks and "dark darks." In this portrait, they are used mostly on the shadowed (right side) of the face, in the shadowed part of the eye (under the eyebrow / eye socket) around the mouth, shadowed part of the nose, etc.

 

Shading explained: Medium darks

Just as it is important to get the "dark darks" correct, it is equally important to get the medium darks in correctly. Wait until your drawing is almost complete, and you are sure that you have ironed out all the errors in it. Then bear down with a fairly soft pencil lead (2B or B) and get those medium darks in properly! You don't want the "dark darks" to look too isolated and lonely, do you?

You should make your medium darks dark enough to have some "punch," but not so dark that they start to obscure the "dark darks." Work on "building up" the tone with your pencil, working and rendering an area until you feel it has reached the desired darkness. If you feel you have gone too far and the tone is too dark, "pat pat pat" the area with your kneaded rubber eraser, to lighten it up a bit.

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