Description: For this tutorial I used HB, 6B, and white charcoal. It's possible to follow along with regular graphite pencils if you don't have charcoal. Just use HB and 6B graphite and an eraser in place of the white charcoal.
Description: Start out with a light basic sketch of the stag, I used HB charcoal for the sketching portion of this drawing. Start with the head by sketching out basic shapes and guidelines. I find it easiest to start with a circle then build around it.
Description: Here I used a 6B charcoal pencil to sketch in a background. Your background can be anything you want it to be. As you'll see in the next step, it doesn't really matter how clean your background lines are, most of them will be covered up soon.
Description: Here I went crazy with sticks of 6B charcoal and blocked in my background. Basically everything in the background that wasn't sky got covered with charcoal. I also used white charcoal on the fragments of sky that are visible. You can clearly tell the difference here between the white of the paper and the whiteness of the white charcoal.
Description: Using white charcoal draw in the highlights on and around the deer's head. Play around with the white charcoal to get a hang of it. If you press lightly enough you can use white charcoal to blend you shading.
Description: Finish up the antlers by smoothing them out and define their outlines with HB and 6B pencils. After your stag's antlers are satisfactory start roughly defining your background. I used white charcoal here to roughly sketch in the foliage in the background. You can compare this step to step 12 to see where I'm getting my ideas from.
Description: Build up your background a bit by adding more white charcoal to the sky and using 6B over the darkest areas to make them a bit crisper. I concentrated on the top left quadrant of the drawing for now.
Description: In order to make the stag pop out a bit more, I decided to blend in the background a bit using a blending stump. add more white charcoal and 6B charcoal where needed. So, this drawing was an experiment for me. I've never really used this exact technique before and I wanted to see what I could accomplish with it. Let me know if you like this look and you think I should develop this technique some more. As always, leave your comments or questions below!
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