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What Do You Use

Discussion in 'Getting Real!' started by Graywolf, Dec 29, 2015.


  1. Graywolf

    Graywolf Guest

    Hey gang I've been trying to do a portrait of my late mom and dad for the rest of the family and when I use a projector to layout the image the pencils that I have are way to dark for the lines and so on even with me letting it rest on the foam boards that I'm wanting to do these on and at this point I'm just about ready to pull what little hair that I have left out. On this one pencil it has a 2 HB if that means anything but this is basically my second time trying to get this right without any lines lefted over. The first one came out so so but my mom was able to see it before she'd pass away now my sister has that one with her before I could take pictures of it. But as always Thanks in advance and Happy New Years
  2. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Use an eraser so you can barely see the lines. I sometimes paint up to a line then erase it and then continue
  3. haasje dutchairbrush

    haasje dutchairbrush Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Not sure what the question is.

    Depending on the technique used darklines don't have to be a problem. When using layers and erasing just make sure all lines in the lighter areas are removed during erasing phases, in the dark parts paint will cover it.

    Another option might be water color pencils as they will disolve in the paint. A light ocher for color portraits works nice, and a light grey could be used for monochrome (though I'd rather stick with erasing and covering there as this might give some discoloration which can stand out when painting in only one color).

    On a side note when doing a portrait that acualy has to resemble someone I find it easier to make a print the size I'm going to paint it, and cut a msak for initial guide points, building a scetch from that. This way your reference is exactly the same size as your painting which makes it a lot easier to check shapes and forms and prevents you from having to translate the size of shapes a smaller or larger reference image.

    When you can't get around to using a beamer I'd advice to stick a piece of paper on the board you just made your scetch on and coppy the image again. That way you atleast have a reference at hand on which the size corresponds with your painting enabeling you to check stuff when needed.
    doc1 and splasha like this.
  4. Greg Geilman

    Greg Geilman Detail Decepticon!

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    I think he was asking about whether to use a softer pencil.
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  5. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    I use mechanical pencils but apply very little pressure and as H had said they get painted over or erased when doing the work.
  6. ad fez

    ad fez kind of a big deal = Admington

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    Yes but on foam board the slightest indent and you will not be able to erase foam board is a pig to work on for this reason, it looks great, nice and smooth etc etc but I think it's really geared for techniques where we add paint rather than take it away (same goes for pencil lens too), you could try with a very soft eraser like a knead able eraser which may find its way in to the crevases
  7. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    Good point
  8. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I paint on foamboard occasionally. Ive often wished it was more dense.
  9. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Easy solved...Don't paint on foamboard LOL...Its not the only issue with foamboard, try some primed MDF or another type of substrate, you will enjoy it much more..But the 2HB is just pencil hardness (Its in the middle of the range)..I'd suggest getting a HB or 2B graphite pencil...Much softer and won't dint the foamboard as bad as a standard cheap leaded style pencil and only hold the pencil by the extreme end..personally I wouldnt erase on foamboard that early in the process as it does show through later as paint will adhere to that erased area differently..foamboard really shows that up...But if you do go to dark, there is no harm in dulling it down with a new light base coat of white or whatever base color you plan to use for the early portrait layers, just keep basing with a reduced paint until you can just see the lines still poking through....But yer, i'd mainly suggest a different surface as ad fez says, it looks good, seems like it will do the job then it excrements you LOL..It can give intersting texture though as the paint will be inclined often on foamboard to group rather than evenly disperse..but that depends a bit on the paint too..best of luck..
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  10. Spritz

    Spritz Double Actioner

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    I have found that if you use a soft lead like the 2 HB it will be dark, that's why they want you to use that number for tests in school, fill out lotto cards and other things where a computer is looking for a dark mark. If you want a light line you need to use a very hard lead like a 6 H or harder pencil keeping the tip very sharp or a comparable lead for a mechanical pencil with a 0.2 mm size . Most can be found in an office supply or art store. I posted a hardness and darkness chart to help you out some.

    Attached Files:

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  11. Kim McCann

    Kim McCann Triple Actioner

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    That used to drive me nuts too. What I finally worked out to do, was use whatever pencil I wanted, usually a 2H, make my drawing, then use a drafting paper cleaner, wipe everything down firmly. If you don't know what that is, it's basically a small, slightly porus sandbag filled with powdered eraser. As you move it over the surface it kinda bleeds tiny bits of eraser particle through the cloth, and as you wipe, picks up any smudges, and really, really lightens lines. The end result is lines so light that even transparent paint completely hides it.

    You can get them from drafting supply places and they are cheap and last forever. I've had mine for almost 20 years. If they get too dirty, you can wash them with soap and water and let them dry out for a couple days.

    I got mine locally at a drafting supply place, but you can get them on amazon. Search for "Drafting Cleaning Pads". They are anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on size, and as I said, they last forever.

    The result is that your drawing is transferred well enough to see, and light enough that painting over it leaves no trace.

    Best $5 you'll ever spend. :)
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  12. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I use red graphite paper for portraits.
    The more it is used, the better it gets.
    If the lines are too dark, you can stick tape over the line, and pull it loose again so that some graphite comes off.
    A Kneadable eraser works on some surfaces to clear the lines. Better than a regular eraser.
  13. Spritz

    Spritz Double Actioner

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    Hi Kim, That is one very good idea. It has been so long since I did drafting in Jr. High, I totally forgot about those little bags of wonderful. All I did remember were the pencils and how light the 6H and 9h were. those are what I use now. Thanks for the great idea and reminding me of them.
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  14. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I was taught that you do not make your outlines/sketch lines darker than the colour that will be filling in with. So after I trace/mark out by design, I just erase to the pont where they are light enough.

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