Shading Rocks with pencil?

How would one realistically shade the rocks that appear in this photo?

I need some hints (or maybe some art sites that teach this technique). This is for an art project at school. Maybe someone here has some good method I could use. This is a graphite project (No 2 pencil actually)

It might help to convert the image to greyscale. Not sure if turning the image upside down (edit: turning it upside down when you draw it, from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) helps with stuff like rocks, but the idea is to get the idea of “rocks” out of your head and force you to draw only what you see.

Let me know if you want more help or examples.

Good advice on turning it to grayscale. Another thing you can do is to squint so that the image get’s blured. That helps you to only see the big shapes and not worry about the fine details, in the same way that you don’t draw every hair and eyelash when drawing a person. Just draw the big shapes and the eye can take care of the rest. As long as it has the shapes and value (what shade of gray) of rocks, then it will look like rocks, even if you can’t tell if it’s sandstone or granate or marble by the fine texture.

Just try and simplify the shape, and get the right shades of gray for the lighting on those simified shapes. After that it will look right.

I have a greyscale printout as a hard copy reference.

Thanks for the suggestions. . . I’ve been fooling around a little with the shading, but my attempts seem so fake.

I will try turning it upside down. Might give a new perspective (fresh view) of the drawing. Good idea . . . I like it.

Metsys, I have terrible eyesight already. I just need to take off my glasses . . . I no need to squint. :smiley: I will try this one too. I might also try both suggestions at the same time.

My rocks aren’t exactly like the photo, but they are very similar (ie small waterfalls . . . rock shelfs . . . etc)

Heh, yeah, you can squint, or just close one eye and put the other one out of focus, like when you focus on a close object (some people might find this hard to do). That way you don’t have to take your glasses off :).

If you want to post what you have done so far (or PM if you are embarrased), than we can see how far you are and give you some better pointers.

It is about 10pm right now. . . I will take a digital picture of it tonight and post it sometime.

This is an all or nothing attempt. It is due tomorrow. So I am just going to do the best I can. I discovered a method that works pretty well.

No one’s mentioned anything about that looser #2 pencil. Throw it away and get some good artist’s pencils. To shade the rocks, rough out the lighter edges with something like a B and get the hard edges with an F. For the darker parts, use a 2B. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of it. It’ll give you nice, soft, dark shadows.

Hope this helps.

[edit]I just noticed that you said it’s due tomorrow… Sorry dude. Good luck anyway![/edit]

Or…ditch the pencils altogether and use a ball point

You can get 'em easier than pencils, just open a bank account and casually take a handful of pens out of the cup and put it into your pocket while asking a serious banking question. :smiley:

I wish pencils and pens had an “undo” command. :-? Sometimes an eraser just won’t do.

In fact, I wish life had an “undo” command.