Fine vs Loose Shading Techniques

Q: What is the difference between fine and loose as it pertains to shading techniques?

A: Quite simply, fine shading is drawn slowly and carefully to the point where each mark may seamlessly blend into the next. Loose shading utilizes marks that are drawn more haphazardly - each mark is distinct. The effects of loose shading create a drawing that may appear messy when viewed close-up, but which will optically blend when viewed from a farther distance. Fine shading appears blended even close-up much like a photograph. Therefore, fine shading is used when a photo-realistic look is desired. Meanwhile, loose shading will give you a more "impressionistic" effect.

The question of which is better must be left to individual taste and preference. Both are completely valid techniques!

Happy drawing,


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