How to Draw Hannah Boeckman

Drawing, specifically smooth tone drawing, can be INTIMIDATING if you do not know how to begin. By following some of these simple steps, drawing will be less nerve racking and more fun.

How to Begin

Pick a source image for your drawing. This should have good contrast and noticeable highlights/shadows. A physical copy of this source will be used for copying.
Feel free to mark up the image and create boxes that have known dimensions so transferring will be easier.
Draw a border on the tracing paper. Its height and width should be the dimensions you want your drawing to be.
Draw a border on the bristol board as well. This could be an overall piece border or a border that has the same dimensions as your tracing paper for the drawing only. These pencil lines should be crisp and clean. Use a ruler and a mechanical pencil for these.

Drawing and Measuring

Use your image source to start gathering measurements of the actual drawing to transfer over to the tracing paper.
Copy these measurements onto the tracing paper only scaled down or up to be in proportion with your border which could be either smaller or larger than the source image.
Continue to go back and forth capturing measurements and points until you have enough points to transfer.
You should have noticeable objects and shapes before starting the transferring process.


Use a 6-8B pencil to sketch on the back of the lines already drawn on the tracing paper. These do not have to be precise because they are just for transferring onto the bristol board.
To transfer, simply line up the borders on both the tracing paper and the bristol board, secure the paper placement with the sketched graphite on touching the bristol board, and trace lightly over the lines already drawn/measured on the tracing paper. This allows the graphite to be transferred onto the bristol board.


The Smooth Tone Process

The smooth tone drawing technique is when a drawing is made only of tiny circles of different shades of graphite. When blended together, these create life like drawings that have an almost photograph looking finish. Use the image source to match tones and look at transitions between tones.

Here is a short video of smooth toning from my project.

You will also want to use a sheet of tracing paper to put under your arm and hand While drawing as to not smudge the already smooth toned areas of your drawing.

The texture will appear rough before all the blending is finished.

After most of the blending is done, go over the darker parts of the piece with an HB pencil to fill in some of the rough spots.

Use the lines you transferred as smooth tone guidelines and tone boundaries.

Always base the smooth toning off of the source. This portion will be a constant back and forth from your drawing to your source document to make sure your drawing is accurate.

You may want to keep some paper beside you as you smooth tone to make sure your pencil point is not too dull or sharp. This video shows how I do this.

Finishing and Perfecting

After going back over this section with an HB pencil, it looks smoother than it did before. This is one of the ways you finish your drawing.
At this point in the drawing stage, clean up your drawing by erasing smudge marks, sharpening lines, and making sure that even the smallest details are accurate. Be nit picky!
Now you can take a step back and observe your work. (Do not forget to sign your art--this is important!)

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