Drawing a Diamond with Pencil and Charcoal
Drawing complex objects like diamonds may appear daunting, but with the right approach, it can be as easy as drawing simpler subjects. The key is to understand that the process is essentially the same, regardless of the complexity. What sets them apart is the time and attention required to capture the details.
Reflective and transparent objects, such as glass and shiny metals, often fascinate both artists and observers. Successfully depicting them in a drawing comes down to mastering the fundamentals of observational drawing.
In this lesson, we’ll explore just how effortless it is to draw a “difficult” object like a diamond. You’ll discover that anyone can do it; it’s not about talent but rather about patience and knowledge. So, let’s get started!
Here’s a glimpse of the final drawing:
Materials and Surface for Drawing a Diamond
Before we begin, let’s briefly talk about the materials and surface you’ll need for this drawing. Though seemingly trivial, these elements play a crucial role in creating the desired illusion.
To start, we’ll be using gray-toned drawing paper by Strathmore. Opting for a gray surface provides a neutral, middle value. Starting from this middle value enables us to work with lights and darks, resulting in a drawing with a full range of values and a more realistic appearance.
Since we perceive the world in a wide range of values, from the darkest darks to the lightest lights, it’s essential to replicate this range in our drawings. By working on a surface with a middle value, we can easily add lighter values with a light drawing medium and darker values with a dark drawing medium.
For lighter values, we’ll employ white charcoal. Despite its name, white charcoal is believed to be made of calcium carbonate. It behaves similarly to compressed black charcoal, allowing for easy blending and smudging with a blending tool.
To achieve darker values, we’ll utilize graphite. In this lesson, we’ll be using an H, HB, and 2B pencil, but you may need to go darker by incorporating a 4B or even a 6B pencil. If you struggle to achieve the desired darkness, using a darker pencil will certainly help.
It’s important to note that charcoal and graphite are two distinct mediums that behave differently on the drawing surface. Therefore, we must consider the order and technique of their application.
Graphite pencils will generally cover applications of white charcoal, but the reverse is not true. White charcoal does not easily cover graphite applications. To overcome this, it’s crucial to preserve areas where lighter values will be added by using white charcoal before progressing with darker graphite applications.