Here's a step-by-step look at the progress of my Rain Tern Waterworks drawing. Click on any jpeg for an enlargement.
Whenever possible, I don’t do much sketching before I begin a drawing- I’d rather sketch on the fly, exploring options, fleshing them out, revising, refining as I go.
Initially, I sketch with a kneaded eraser, lifting shapes from a gray background of charcoal dust. Elements established this way are more easily revised than if I’d drawn them with a pencil, and highlights that work well need less cleaning up than if they’d been defined by a pencil line at their brightest edge.
In the scan above, I’ve begun laying in darks with a soft charcoal pencil, blending tones, softening texture with a Q-Tip.