This project works best when using the materials shown below. These items can be found in the ArtSkills Premium Artist Case!
Varying Degrees of Firmness
Graphite can be baked and compressed into different degrees of firmness. A pencil's mark will be lighter or darker depending on how the graphite is baked and compressed. The softer a pencil's firmness, the darker of a mark it will leave; similarly, the firmer a pencil is, the lighter its mark will be. Use the chart below as a quick guide to your pencils' levels of firmness and darkness.
Using the Tortillon
A tortillon, also known as a blending stump, is used to "smudge" or blend marks made with graphite pencils. Push lightly to gently soften your marks, and smudge harder to blend them together seamlessly. Rub a graphite-covered tortillon over a white area on your page to create a light, smooth shade. To clean a tortillon, simply peel off the outer layer of paper.
Charcoal is a messy medium. It smudges and smears easily, so it's important to keep your work area and your drawing surface clean and tidy. Keeping a paper towel or scrap paper under your drawing hand will help protect your artwork from your skin's natural oils, which can cause excess smearing and smudging.
Use the techniques you've learned to create your own Playful Hummingbird. Download the project sheet and use it for an up-close reference as you draw!