I have never taken a ‘proper’ art class, so I often find myself wanting a tool or medium that I am not even sure exists or even how to articulate what I want if I was in an art store. There are many techniques that I wish I knew and sometimes just learning about one little tool can open the flood gates for creative opportunity. That’s what happened the other night while I perused a Skillshare class and the teacher was using a tool that looked like a piece of paper tightly rolled up and shaped like a pencil, what was this curious item? I needed to find out more. After I saw how she created some kind of magic with it, I ordered a set of ‘stump’ and ‘tortillions’. Basically the stump is for smudging large areas and the tortillian for smaller areas to create shading and depth. I have been on a kick lately trying to figure out what art supplies would be the best fit for me, the only caveat is that the supplies have to be simple, portable and affordable. I have been loving working with graphite (pencil), because I love to erase, I mean really, really love to, but I felt like my drawings were missing something. After discovering the stump, I have been happily experimenting. I don’t think I am doing it exactly the right way, but I am enjoying the results thus far. If you want to try out a stump on your own graphite drawings just know that you will need to use with drawings created with a soft lead. I have exclusively been using 4B for my soft lead, why? Because Michelle used it on a couple drawings and they turned out fantastic and I was hoping I’d have the same results (extremely scientific here), for my harder lead I have been using 3H (most yellow pencils are HB). The 3H is good for creating a really light outline and fine detail. I am currently using a hard cover sketchbook because I am trying not to tear any pages out, I am doing this so I can document my progress, I am sure I will cringe that I posted this pigeon but this is all about learning, right?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret I am learning, if you want to learn how to draw the best thing you can do is (drum roll)–draw! Seriously, I have been drawing everyday for almost a month now, in 10-15 minute stolen moments a day and I can’t even believe how far I have come! I am doing this purely for enjoyment, not for any ‘real world’ outcome, but I do have some drawing goals. One of them was to draw a bird that looked like a bird so I think I can cross that off my list. It’s the little things…
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Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog.