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Frequently Asked Questions for Hyperrealism Sketching : The AKM Version

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Rad Educators is a 1-year program intended to help beginner artists learn step-by-step techniques from professional artists across different mediums. This is in no way sponsored or promoted by any particular Art Brand.

Amit Kumar Meena is Rad Educator for Sketching - Charcoal.

1 ) How to achieve the light and dark tone with charcoal ?

- When we are using charcoal powder as our medium, we have to make sure that we are taking less amount of powder for lighter effect.

While blending charcoal powder with your brush or any other tool, make sure that you are putting too much pressure on your tool.

The more the pressure, the darker the tone will become, of course you will have to take more charcoal powder to achieve the dark tone but you have to apply more pressure on your tool while blending the powder on the paper.

2) How to draw the portrait proportionally?

- Use grids to make the outline of the face. You can easily make grid lines on your reference picture, using grid maker apps.

After putting the grid on your picture, make sure you make the grid lines on your paper with proper measurements.

Start focusing on one grid at a time, make the details of one grid and then move on to the next grid, like this, you will have to complete the outline.

3) How to choose the perfect paper?

- There is no perfect paper as such, it depends on the artwork you are going to make. If you want to make something look smooth, go for a smooth paper, minimum 150gsm thickness and maximum 250-300gsm.

The thickness helps with the quality and the artwork’s life becomes more.

Similarly, if you want to make too many details in the portrait, slightly textured will make it look better.

I usually suggest slightly textured, 170 gsm, white paper. The brand does not matter a lot. Scholar, Burstow and Strathmore are some of the options you can explore.

4) Which one is better? Graphite or Charcoal?

- Both are different mediums. Like acrylic & oil paints. It is about your convenience and interest. Both almost take equal amounts of time to make a hyper realistic art.

The techniques are slightly different but almost similar, we have to make lighter & darker layers on top lighter layers, in both.

Charcoal gives the pitch black effect easily, compared to graphite, which makes the artwork look matte black instead of the shiny black that we get with graphite.

5) How to achieve Patience?

- If you have read all the above FAQ's, then I’m sure you have patience.

Patience will come if you actually are determined to make a detailed artwork. No matter how much time it takes, even if it’s not going to get sold, you have to decide to make your artwork perfectly for your satisfaction.

Once you tell yourself that you are doing this improve your skills and to achieve a set goal, you will not get annoyed and you will have the patience to make your artwork properly.

6) How to not get demotivated?

- When you make an artwork after working on it for a lot of hours, you have to set almost no expectations to get famous with that piece of art.

Your goal has to be decided before starting any piece, it can be, you trying to improve your skills or you trying to gain more attention on social media platforms.

Make sure you know why you are making art and after getting done with it, try to present it to the world in a professional way. Even one good response should be enough. If you don’t even get that, make your art better with practising or by taking online classes/workshops.

Once people start appreciating your work, motivation will automatically come.

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