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Comment posted Feb.3rd, 2013, viewed 26 times

Hi Sarah, Fantastic work overall, you are creating some very nice tones andyour smooth shading technique is looking really good:) The paper you purchased seems to be working well for you:)

Here are a few suggestions to help you improve even more...

Smooth shading technique- Very, very good:) You are creating some really nice areas of even tone... superb, but in a few spots there is some patchiness. I think what is happening is every once in awhile you are just using your wrist to shade:) which results in patchiness. (See at the letter A) Keep your wrist stiff as you slide your entire hand up and down the page, the underside of your arm should wiggle:) In the darker tones, where you pressed harder to darken, the strokes are noticeable because the tones in between are lighter. Try to keep your strokes close together so the white of the page or lighter tones don’t show... use even pressure. Resting your little finger on the page will give you more stability. Make sure you put a clean sheet of paper under your hand though so that you don’t smudge your work. I use a clean piece of tracing paper... and when you reposition it, lift rather than drag:)

Value scale- Beautiful, the tones all get darker gradually and i love that you have achieved a rich level 6. You could perhaps gently darken the level 3, 4 and 5 each just a bit more by adding a wee bit more graphite ( just stroke the page a bit more) but otherwise this is fantastic!

Shading the curves exercise- Fantastic... well done on shading each of the curves to the correct tones. When trying to shade small areas like these curves, try preparing your pencil with a chisel point. It makes it easier to get into the smaller areas or close to edges. If you go past an edge, you can just use your putty eraser to gently wipe away any excess graphite. At the letter b- I can see a lighter tone between the strokes here, try keeping your strokes closer together.

Gradation- Excellent effort:) however the tones need to transition more smoothly from one tone to the next. Compare to Fig 12C on page 20. As you enter the lighter tone you just need to ease up on the pressure. Keep your strokes close together and your wrist stiff. Gently stroke to blend the tones seamlessly and subtly, as they go from one tone to the next.

Soft edge- You have the right idea Sarah! The edge at the letter C could be softened a bit more. Take your 2b and straddle the graphite part over where the 2 tones meet and run it up and down the full length a few times. At the letter C:), the tones transition too quickly because you shaded a bit too far out into the level 2 tone. Next time, after gently shading over where the level 6 and level 2 tones meet to create the soft edge, make your way gradually out into the level 2 tone but don’t go out as far, only just past the area where the two tones meet.

Hard edge- beautiful... well done on shading right up to the line... be careful not to go past it:) To get right up to the line with a 2B or 4B pencil, you can lift it up on more of an angle. You can only do that with these softer pencils, with the HB, you will need to prepare a chisel point tip. Great work!

Excellent work overall, Sarah, just a bit more practice with the gradation and the soft edge is needed. These 2 tonal changes are so very important so I would like you to have another go at them and then resubmit:) so that I can help you more.

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Feb.3rd, 2013