Unlock the Power of the Tapered Stroke and Draw Realistic Horse Hair!


Jeremy Rowland: Hi everybody; Jeremy Rowland
here again with the 5 Pencil Method team. We’re back again today with Part Two of Darrel’s
series on drawing a more realistic horse. In the first video – which I recommend you
watch if you haven’t seen yet – Darrel shared some quick, easy and effective tips for adding
depth and dimension to you horse drawing quickly. And, today, in Part Two, he’s going to share
some really great tips about drawing fur. He’s going to pick a spot on the horse and
show you how to start drawing in the fur or hair – whatever you want to call it. But with
that, we’ll go ahead and head over to Darrel. Darrel Tank: Hi everybody; welcome back to
this second video. I wanted, again, to take the opportunity just to try to communicate
a few things that can help you start developing your picture maybe a little bit faster. Not
that this is a speed contest, but in the way that you envision your subject and how it’s
interpreted on the paper. There are a few things I talked about in the last video. I
was trying to give you an idea about where to start with value. There’s just a few things
that are always so good about paying attention to some of these very solid principles. And
one of them, I think, to create depth and dimension and all those things as quick as
possible is to make sure that you don’t avoid having a nice, clean edge where there is one.
To pick out some of those darkest areas and always try to see gradation even if it’s in
a very small little place. Get a little closer just so you can probably, you know, see this.
This is the one we had yesterday. And I hope you can tell, but try as best you can to see
where it would be darker. Don’t make it into a coloring book line to hold that darker edge.
But just, now, start coming out lighter, lighter, lighter. The patches exercise in my free lessons
is a real good exercise for this. It just trains your eye and trains you to use the
mechanics that help you, you know, to put a gradation from just a whole bunch of lines
stacked together and you can visually see–and this is what you should do. You should always
look to see if it is, indeed, getting lighter, lighter, lighter. Because this creates this
principle that everything gets darker when it goes to where there’s less light. It also
creates a clean edge where this can, believably, be going underneath the mane that’s hanging
down over. And, then, when you have something like this that’s going darker as it’s going
out of our sight, well then we want to be able to have the darkest point at this edge.
And we want to be able to have it be a fairly clean edge. And I mean clean edge, though
– not just fairly. I don’t want to fudge on that. But this should be a clean edge even
though this isn’t just, again, a line going across here and then we just make this into
a perfect curve. It’s a hairy edge, if you look really, really close. But everything,
we want to have a clean edge on, because that helps us create something that has dimension.
That means if there’s something past this jawline and the jaw is in front. We are able
to separate the two dimensions. So we went through, talked to you about, maybe, getting
a lighter version so you can see some of those deep places. Because, otherwise, you might
be tempted just to make it dark from here to here. And everything that’s the same color,
the same value is going to be flat. That’s the same thing with here. Real easy to have
this become almost a flat area. So just think logically. Oh let’s see. It would be darker
where there’s less light so I’m going to try to just to make this – even if it’s just very
little – a little darker as it goes down to that edge unless there’s some reflective light.
But, anyway, this helps us be able to create the dimensions. Now, there are other things
that are going to help us with, you know, the light direction. That is helping us create
a consistent, you know, mindset that we have a light direction to this horse. It really
does help us to be able to create curve, dimension, form and makes it believable. Because we do
usually have a particular light source. When we have a lot of them, that confuses the highlights,
and it can really create a conflict in your drawing if you don’t handle it right. So even
on this, I don’t see the bigger one right here. But you’ll see even some variance in
some of these places. That’s because it isn’t particularly – or isn’t completely – smooth.
It isn’t particularly flat. It is actually curved. So it’s brighter in this side and
that white blaze is darker on this side. And, then, you have in and out, in and out, in
and out. And, so, it’s really good to see these things, but don’t make too much out
of them. We want to be able to look at this fur and I–when I’m trying to do this horse
hair, I wanted to make sure that I was making the point here that we don’t want this to
be so dark that it starts overpowering the things that are started out as the darkest
things on my drawing even though they might be done with the 4H. Because I always want
to have that opportunity to continue making things darker and darker so that I can see
and determine the balance as I go along, especially towards the end of my drawing. So, I’ll gradually
put a little more value in some of these places so that they stay ahead of other things that
aren’t quite so dark. So when you see something, you want to have the ability and the awareness
not to make things too dark for what they are. When I’m doing the hair – the horse hair
– I don’t want to come in here and just do a smooth texture. So, we’ll just play around
with a couple little spots on here. And what I want to do, though, is I want to notice
the flow as you see this going around and, then, maybe it comes around again and it goes
around. All these places are undulations. They’re contours. And it goes deeper into
the contour and it comes back up and over. It’s catching the light a little bit. That’s
what’s happening here. It’s catching that light that may be shining from this direction.
And you’ll see it’s shaded on that other side of the hump. And then it catches the light
and it’s shaded down on the back side where it is getting very little light. And if you
can think about these things when you’re drawing, it’s going to really help. But when you’re
starting the hair, it’s easy to forget about this. Because what you want to do is you want
to document your hair direction, the flow. I call it, sometimes, the grain. Because if
you think about this like a current, like in a stream, and it’s going around the different
things to make its way downstream, I want to make sure I’m doing that and not concentrating
so much on my strokes for the hair that I end up by making everything straight. Because,
then, I’ve just wiped out my opportunity to have this wonderful contour as it just, again,
flows in and out of all these different places – the muscle structure, the veins, you know,
the bone structure, all those things. But what I want to do is I want to keep from making
it too refined; otherwise, I’m going to fill in my spaces so much that I’m going to end
up by having, basically, a gradation. I’ll end up by having all these so close together
that it becomes just a range of value all within a place where there are places you
can use this concept like along that jaw. You can see how it’s darker down here. We
can use that, but we’re going to use the strokes a different direction. And, anyway, I just
don’t want to get so into making the hair that I make them all like that where that’s
too close And especially when we build them up, it can become very solid just like that
it right there. And, so, I want to be able to keep something that has a little bit more
of an opening. And I’m going to use a pencil that isn’t necessarily–unless I’m just kind
of documenting and finding my way with my 4H pencil–I don’t want to come in here with
something that’s too hard because then I’m going to end up by having to use another layer
of pencil and another layer of pencil to continue making it darker. So we’re going to kind of
shortcut the process just a little bit. We’re going to go ahead and just make sure we have
some of the strokes. And I can always tap them back if I’m using my stroke right. I
always have the ability – or should – have the ability to be able to take something off
the paper. I’m not going like this like I talked to you about yesterday. But I’m using
a sharp pencil with that positioning of my hand where that helps not only if you get
it down to the mechanics of this. It not only helps you have accuracy and it has a natural
flow to it because it has curve. But, then it also keeps you from scoring the paper.
And that weight of that other half – that pointed half of the pencil – is not going
to be, you know, as–it’s not going to have a possibility of scoring as much as this would.
That point is just really going to make it hard. So, anyway–and then this helps, like
I said, keep your flow and grace. So I’m going to come through here and I’m going to just
try to document, you know, what direction this is going so that when I get a little
more committed, now, I have an opportunity to just kind of follow my guidelines. So you
could come in here with your 4H as long as you can see it, and you could develop these
places that you can see. If you look closely, you know, you can see that. When I get to
something like this – this contour here – I don’t want to just illustrate that with a
line because, really, it’s broken up. So, I’m going to really back that off. And I’m
going to come in and I’m going to use a steeper, a more condensed curve in there. But I’ll
work on that a little bit just to start creating that line or that edge. And, so, that helps
me be able to keep these things wide open to a degree. Oh I always go the wrong way.
I think I’m probably as known for saying, ‘I just went the wrong way,’ as anything else.Anyway,
I want to make sure that I keep my stroke with a little bit of an opening in here. It’s
the same thing as if you’re working on let’s just say this ear. It’s better not to have
a line – if I want to stay away from a coloring book line – it’s better for me not to have
that, and open it up a little bit. If it has a little bit of a fuzzy edge, then just allow
for, you know, a little bit of a multiple line to make up that edge so that you can
come in there and continue to develop that and come up with something that is going to
have–ah, let’s see–let’s do it this way. Oh, I’ve got it too close. Something that’s
got this hairy edge, I want to come in and open it up and make my edge like so. It may
seem like, ‘Oh, well. That takes too much time.’ But it sure does give a natural look
to it. So I would take this and tap that back so that initial sketched line – just to get
the outline of it – is there. And, then, I’d come in and I would try to look at the direction.
And I would make my edge with some opening so that I can continue developing it. I can
make this closed in a little bit more and make it more of a definite edge. But, still,
this gives me an opportunity to have a natural edge to it instead of something I’m trying
to combine with all the other detail I’m working on. Ok, so, let’s go with this here. So you
can probably see, this goes like so. And it goes out and it goes down. It goes up and
over. So I want to catch those things. I want to get a little bit of an idea so that when
I start coming in with one of those softer pencils, like my HB – maybe even the 2B in
places – I can know where I’m putting it so I’m not putting down a lot of extra stokes.
Makes it that much harder to get everything modified or off if I make a mistake. And,
yet, if I use a softer pencil because I know where I’m going because I’ve made these initial
lines, then I have the opportunity to use that extra soft lead that I’m putting on there
to my advantage. And the nice thing about the tapered stroke is that–I think I was
talking about this yesterday. I don’t want to come in here like so where I have a row.
And then I come down here and I do another row. Well, not only would I have that structure
of rows but you’ll see that they overlap every so often. That’s one of the problems with
going back and forth. Because when I try to fill the gap, I’m going to be overlapping
on that and you start seeing sections. Now, you have a whole other project of trying to
refine those and getting away from having those pieces that you put together. So if
use a–the tapered stoke, then I have the chance, you know, to stagger the ends, still
leave some openings in between my strokes, and I have a chance to kind of go back up
into it and overlap a stroke. I can do random links. I can just work in something other
than those rows of strokes. And, now, I have something that’s much more random and natural.
And that’s just one of the advantages using that taper. So it’s really good to work on
it if you can and come up with a little bit more of a natural–instead of this. Yeah,
I always think of some later. So many things to talk about. I just don’t want to have this
start happening. And that’s the other problem that you can really run into is having a very
heavy landing. So practicing that stroke is really good because then you can come in anywhere
and add a little extra value because you put a few more lines in there to make it more,
you know, of a deeper part of the contour. And if you get them too dark all over then
you can always come back in and you can start tapping back a little bit so that you can
create your highlights again. But always visualize what you’re trying to draw so that you know
the difference between this part and that part. And there’s still a texture in here.
There’s still that separation in the strokes even in a dark area. I want to go ahead and
add more as I go. So, initially, I don’t want to go ahead and put all of my strokes that
I’m going to end up with in one place and try to finish it as I go. I’m going to just
look at the general idea that this is darker, make sure that my strokes are going in the
right curve and complementing that structure, having something that is tapered, again, is
going to really help me. When I’m coming into another color here, it looks like this overlaps
that, so I’m going to do what is kind of a shingling and–to simulate that is actually
coming up here with, maybe, a little bit of a point to two or three strokes – almost like
a little triangle, a little bit of a wedge going up into the white hair. And it just
is creating the possibilities for you to be able to continue to modify that. But it also
allows me to have the opportunity to put this integrating into this as this is going over
that. And you can see these white hairs in here, you know, probably integrating into
that dark. And it could be really difficult. If you do a line through here, it’s certainly
not going to work. Then we have two confusing elements there. It’s not really a dimension
and what is a line doing there and which side is what? And, so, I like to just really make
sure that I’m allowing not only for the interpretation as I go, but something that’s going to allow
me to make a lot of alterations or progress in the right direction down the line. And,
so, I can have the best outcome that I can possibly have. Now, also, I like to use these
shorter tapered strokes, because we don’t want to just have something that comes all
the way where we’re starting and we’re going over here and we’re going down and we’re following
that. Because the hair isn’t like that. We’d be having something very similar to the mane
hair – the bangs and things – on the face if we were going to do that. Because that’s
just like a stray long hair. If we put a bunch of them on here, it’s just going to start
competing with the mane and the bangs of this mane for the horse. So, it’s really good to
practice using different, you know, length strokes. Think about your darks and lights
and give yourself the opportunity, you know, to continue interpreting this thing in a way
that it starts making more sense and more sense when you add a little more and a little
bit more. And, then, finally you are really having very few pieces to put back in the
puzzle as we talked about yesterday. I like to just, you know, get to it slowly. If you
try to do too much all at once, I think you can overcommit yourself. It can get confusing
because, maybe, something doesn’t really look right at that value or that development at
that stage. And, so, I can take this little bit by little bit and end up by having something
that is representing my drawing, slowly. And as I look at this, I’m starting to see, oh,
that’s the dark part. This is the blaze. And, later on, I can come back up in here and I
can get a lighter pencil or a lighter stroke when I’ve developed this more, and I can work
on the different contours and the light and dark values of the blaze. But I probably wouldn’t
do that until I have this developed enough that it is going to hold its own and be the
darker value of the two. Just like I don’t want to have this become as dark as the eye.
I want to keep making sure that as I get this darker and I’m assessing, oh, I’m starting
to lose the focus. I want to keep my focus on those deeper, darker places so that this
really makes sense. My brain can tell exactly how dark this is supposed to be if I keep
advancing this value. And it, surely, shouldn’t be done all at once in my–the way I draw.
I just like to really have an opportunity to take it so far and then I realize, oh,
I think that’s just right. Maybe I’ll walk away from it for a little bit. Maybe it’s
even a day or two, whatever it happens to be. And I’ll come back and I’ll say, ‘No,
I think it can stand some more value,’ or ‘I think I did get that, you know, too dark.’
So, as I’m going to come in here later, I’m going to gradually increase – or maybe put
a few more strokes. Maybe I need to use a darker pencil. I don’t want this to become
too grainy. And I definitely want to keep the spacing. Because what I’m going to do
is when I get enough on here–now, this gets kind of hard when I’m, you know, I’m trying
to do this very soon in the drawing. But I want to be able to use this brush so that
I can take that extra lead from a little softer pencil than the 4H, and I can use it to cast
some of that value into the lighter spaces. Because we don’t really have that light of
a hair there. We want the light parts of this to be, still, darker than anything that’s
in here. And this helps me be able not to have to draw so much. If I draw too much in
some of these areas, I’m going to close the gaps. I’m going to lose my coarseness. I’m
going to have something other than, you know, a little coarser hair in there. And, at some
point, it’s going to start becoming very solid. And it becomes a whole other issue of how
to get spaces back in there. You might be able to come in and, you know, take a few
things out. But, boy, how tedious. Now you have a whole, you know, other process you
have to go through to try and achieve what you’re trying to do. So, when I have an idea
of the curve, I want to make sure I keep my strokes short and I can keep them short because
I have a taper. And I’m only going, you know, so long. But they don’t look like they’re
going to be, you know, just these long draping hairs, especially if I come in here and I,
just a little bit, change directions just a little. Not having everything extending,
extending, extending. But when I change directions, it’s almost like having this little v up here.
This allows me to realize that there’s something coming over the top, and this is going into
the darker places just like we would have here where we’re going to go–have it be a
little bit darker as it goes underneath there. Well, when I have a v up here–and let me
make a little darker one just to illustrate it–I’m going to demonstrate that it’s going
under and it’s going into where there’s less light. It’s so slight, though. You really
wouldn’t want to do anything that dark or that defined. It’s a very subtle thing but,
boy, our brains are so powerful. And I just really maintain that if we think about what
we’re doing, we’ll have an opportunity, you know, to communicate it much more than you
think, especially when you continue developing these principles and all the different things
start going together to help you accomplish the overall task. It’s an incredible thing.
And, so, now that I’m having some of this build up in value, I am starting to realize,
oh, well, look at–this is supposed to be a lot darker. I’m going to come in there and
I’m going to build this up. And, like I said, this is a problem in starting in a small area.
Then this becomes more noticeable and doesn’t really let you build, overall, all you values.
But I hope you understand what I mean. Because this is something that we might have done
a little earlier – building up the value. And another thing about this is, is when I
have a line like this but the stroke is not – it’s not going to be building in this kind
of a curve – I want to be able to come almost an opposing angle to the curve of his jaw
and, yet, still have something that is going to create a pretty good edge. So, what I do
is I have a kind of what I call looping at the end. I don’t know whether you can see
that or not. I’ll try to push the right button here. And, so, as you come down, you actually
let it angle in towards that other stroke a little closer. Little wider spacing up here.
And it kind of funnels down into that finer place. And, naturally, you’re going to–you’re
not going to want to just make a funnel like I’m saying, but you can see where it can start
becoming an opportunity for you to create a little more density, and it’s going to be
a little darker there. Now, again, these strokes are a little longer to illustrate the point.But,
still, this gives you an opportunity to do something like this without having to have
a border line where you’re just drawing a coloring book edge. And this can be refined.
You can continue putting a few more strokes. Try not to plug it up so much that it just
becomes a solid color, and allow this to build over time. Because once we have everything
built up enough, we can come in here with a corner of the brush – without over-brushing
– and I can go ahead and create a little bit of value in those light areas. So, it starts
pushing it back. Highlights are real important to pay attention to because as you look at
your highlights all over your drawing, you want to make sure that you pay attention to
how bright one is compared to another. And like I said, there are highlights within this
range of value here, but none of them are as bright as that. And there are even highlights
in here, because there’s dimension to this hair. There’s hair that is on the surface,
and there’s hair that’s a little deeper. So that’s, naturally, going to be darker. It’s
getting less light. And, so, I really want to watch my values, because that gives me
a great opportunity–let’s see if I can pick up this other–I’m always covering up my stuff.
Oh here. That gives me the opportunity to start realizing what is having the direct
hit of light. You know, this is where the light is shining even though in the–it can
look like this is pretty bright, this is over on the shaded side of the face. But it’s still
a highlight because we still have contour over here. So, you see that in the mane. We
have–it’s shaded more on this side because, now, we have a reflective light shining on
the parts that are facing most towards this reflective light. And, so, it’s really a great
thing to start disciplining yourselves to pay attention to how bright your highlights
are. Because if I make this just as bright, my mind is saying, ‘Wait a minute. How come
that’s sticking up so far that it’s catching this light? Oh no it isn’t, because actually
on this side. Oh it must be–oh, but it’s on the shaded side.’ But, see, you create
conflict in your mind. And, now, you have to spend your time trying to explain why this
doesn’t make sense. And, often, you won’t even realize it’s the light. It’s the value
that you’re using to make a highlight within that set of values. So, anyway, I hope that
this will help you a little bit. I want to come in here and maybe do one more – a third
one. And maybe we can develop this a little bit further. But as far as structure, as far
as value, clean edges, making sure we complement the contour, I think there’s several things
– if you have a chance to put them into practice – that will really help your drawings regardless
of what you’re drawing. You can be drawing a rock and still have an opportunity to make
this to your advantage. And, so, I’ll go ahead and leave you for right now and we’ll see
you in the next video. And appreciate you joining me. I hope this was helpful. Bye bye.
Jeremy Rowland: Alright, hope you enjoyed that. Again, this has been Part Two of a three
part series that Darrel’s doing on drawing a more realistic horse. We’ll be back soon
with Part Three. And I will be sure to update you in your email when that comes out. And
keep in mind that we are working feverishly to finish packaging the complete Burdock – Burdock
the Horse – DVD and download collection. And we’re going to have that available to you
in just a few days. And it’s going to be heavily discounted. And there is an awesome, awesome
free gift that comes with it. So, get excited. Get pumped up. But in the meantime, enjoy
these classes and see what you can adopt and adapt to your own personal drawings. Thanks
a lot! See you in the next video.


3 Responses

  1. Jennie French

    December 1, 2019 11:54 am

    Thank you. When I draw I attempt to draw or reconstruct the texture even if it is a portrait. It helps me to not deviate or start drawing differently and it for whatever reason keeps my value in line. So your video is very encouraging and great lesson. Those that want to learn should really listen to your tutorials. Your counsel separates those who want to draw a bit to really see the motion and life. Thank you!🤗


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