Categories: Pencil PerceptionsPublished On: August 11, 20190 Comments25 min read
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This is a Top rated FAQ to Answer! What is blending? What is smudging? Why smudging is not good?Why do we encourage #nosmudging to our students of Pencil Perceptions Academy.

Blending is rendering of two tones. From Dark tone to light tone. And smudging is a practise of blending which is misleading. Smudging is nothing but excessive use of cotton, paper stumps or fingers, tissue for blending.itnis what makes artworks look lifeless

Over the years, I have seen so many Artist who send me their artworks for review on Instagram, Facebook, and other social networks. One common mistake that I have always found is, instead of blending the two tones only with pencil, the rendering is more smudged to bring a smooth effect. Have you, as an artist, always smudged graphite to create smooth, graduated tonal blends?Do you use various materials for blending such as the cotton, earbuds, piece of soft leather, piece of linen, tissue papers, paper stumps, your finger etc? If you observe, each one of this creates a slightly different result.

But the Problem is,when adding more blended graphite to achieve a darker tone; the drawing often looks lifeless and shiny, to many spots on the paper and also the realism is missing. This spoils the final study or the motto to make it Realistic. I am pretty sure you must be now thinking if not use these materials, then what to use for blending? How do we overcome this? Is a little of smudging okay? What you see in videos by certain influencers on YouTube or vimeo are misleading actually?

The Fact is, to be honest. It’s misleading your way being a “shortcut” to finish the artwork and post on social media for many. Smudging is an absolute No No. It was and still is considered to be an amateurish technique, used maximum by the Indians. Honestly, Graphite pencils should only be used for hatching and cross-hatching.The magic of portraying the three-dimensional nature in a realistic way is possible only when tonal values are depicted truthfully and skillfully. Generally smudging is used for charcoal drawings and if you see the pencil drawings by old masters, you won’t find a single artwork done by smudging technique. Proper application of pencil strokes¬† create a beautiful textures in paper and it’s proven thing that texture always looks more attractive than plain surfaces.So for blending, use the pencil only instead of cotton bud or anything else. Define the Tonal Values first to improve pencil shadind. Now to Do this, you firstly need to understand some things!

  1. Never Use a Smooth Paper to render. We highly Recommend you to use a paper that has Texture.

Now if you are wondering which paper should you buy, then it’s the Fabriano Paper which has the best texture I have experimented as per my experience. You can buy Fabriano Paper here!

  1. Instead of damaging the paper texture by smudging, take advantage of the paper texture.

You want to see how it looks when we work with only paper texture? Check our Instagram Page

  1. For Hyperrealistic Portraits, Blending tones only with the pencil is recommended. DO NOT rush to complete it, and post it for gaining attention by others. Draw your piece of art giving the time it deserves. Master the art logically and enjoy the process. More than the social media fame, yourself growth is more Important.
  2. To learn the secret techniques of rendering professionally, you need to learn from experts. We, at Pencil Perceptions Academy, provide you an in-depth explanation and demonstration of rendering techniques with FREE e-books to download. You can check our Online Course which reveals how to actually Train your Eyes to Develop your Observation as well for Hyperrealistic Portrait Drawing. Check here,
  3. A Pro Tip! Only use limited number of pencil grades. Because, minimum pencils result is maximum effect! Ideally, one can use 2H, HB, 2B 4B and 8B for making any and every type of portrait.
  4. Lastly, when you make artworks without smudging, the quality of artwork will improve definitely.

But still, if you feel that your piece of art is not as realistic as it is supposed to be, thats because your eyes play a major role in art. Train your Eyes, develop keen observation to draw hyper realistic Portrait drawings. If you are a self taught artist and you need proper guidance at your convenience, we can be your Mentor! You can join our Certified Online Masterclass, get guidance constantly by mentors and by me, Sadashiv Sawant, always.

So, To Smudge or Not to Smudge? What you think is the answer to this question?

If this blog has really created an impact and you’ve tried to make an artwork, do email us, or add up a review sharing your experience.



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