Below is a step-by-step drawing tutorial.
An elongated teardrop shape is the best. The pointed end will be the tip of a shark’s spine, while the rounded end will be the tip for the head. The teardrop is set at an angle so that the bottom segment is parallel to the bottom. This is important because it will affect the angle of the shark’s view. As shown, draw a small circle around the middle of the upper tear arc’s highest point and the tip. This is the eye. Draw a small circle about halfway between the highest point of the upper tear arc and the tip of the nose, leaving a little space as I did.
This step consists of drawing four main fins. These are easy to draw. The only problem is making sure that they are correctly placed and the correct size. As shown, the caudal fins can be placed easily by being drawn at the tail’s tip. The upper caudal fin will be clawed back, and therefore larger than the smaller, more upright lower fin. It is easy to place the dorsal fin, the fin at the top or the shark’s back. The front edge should be slightly higher than the teardrop shape. The left fin of the shark should be drawn with its back edge facing forward, in the vertical plane. Next, draw the rest as shown. Just make sure it is roughly the same size and shape as the dorsal.
You will need to erase some lines connecting the fins to the body. Let’s now add the top edge for the right fin. This fin fits quite well in the drawing’s perspective so we won’t see much. It should be roughly in the same vertical plane with the dorsal. Draw four lines, equally spaced, of equal or lesser size, at an angle to create the outline of the gills. The mouth should be drawn at the middle of the left fin and the tip/nose of the shark’s head. Don’t forget to include the fin in front of your tail.
Draw the back edge of the right fin as shown. The hook-like shape at one end is not what you want, but it will become clearer as we begin shading. Next, add a small fin to the top of your shark’s spine just before the caudal. Next, make a small incision in the nose for the nostrils. Finally, create a semicircle around one corner of the eye. Give this ring a pinch in the middle.
Add the fin at the bottom of your shark. Now we can begin shading. The base layer of shading can be a complicated process. However, there is one method you should pay close attention to. An initial layer of graphite is required to create a shaded area. This layer can be smoothed with a cotton pad, or paper towel. You can then coat the graphite layer by gently pulling the pencil across the page with your pencil. You don’t need too much control over how smooth the first layer is. The pencil strokes are not required to be parallel, and there may be some gaps. there. There are many tones available. For darker areas, use a 2B pencil or 3B pencil. An HB pencil is recommended for brighter areas. You will notice that the gills were left completely unpainted and that there was no light between the shark’s head and face.
As shown, cover the rest of shark’s body with a layer of base material. You will notice a thin line of lighter color at the top of your spine. The lower part of the caudal fin has a lighter color than the rest.
We can now smoothen the shading with cotton pads or tissues. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, it involves using a small bunch of the material and rubbing the graphite with it in small circular motions or left-right-left-right motions. This is a very intuitive technique. You basically want to swirl the graphite so it blends in a smooth way. A few tips for shading: (1) Don’t be too aggressive or too fast, as this could damage the paper; (2) cover a smaller area to ensure that graphite is evenly distributed, and (3) blend between darker and lighter shading. This will cause them to blend together and lose their definition (unless you are trying to create a gradient effect). Don’t touch your fingers! Oily secretions from your skin can seep into graphite and cause it to not be applied properly. Avoid contact with your paper and your hand. Instead, rest your hand on another sheet of paper while you draw. For more information, see steps 9 and 10.
We now start the second shader. We want to make certain parts darker so we will use a 4B pencil. The caudal fin highlights should not be darker than the dorsal fin. You should give the right fin a dark edge and tip. However, it will become the highlight later. You should darken the area between the eye and the gills. However, you can leave a small amount of it brighter (see the last image to see what we are trying to do).
Use a cotton pad/paper towel to smoothen the shading. Before you begin blending, make sure you have no small erasers on your paper or cotton pad/tissue. Otherwise you will end up with fine lines everywhere. You don’t need to separate the shader stages (put graphite and blend it), as I did. This is just for the tutorial. When I draw normally, I will *constantly* switch between blending and placing graphite until the end result is satisfactory.
Continue darkening certain areas of the image, and then smooth it out with a cotton pad/paper towel. This step was where I began shading the tips of my nose/head, and continuing to shape the fins. You can see how graphite smudges have formed on the outline of my drawing. This is normal if you want shading to the edges of your drawing.
This step will remove unsightly shading “overflow” described in step 1. We won’t delete the portion of the drawing that you don’t want to delete. It is easy to do this with the shark, as most of the contours are straight lines. Use a sheet of scratchpaper and place it on your actual drawing. Make sure the outline of your paper is aligned with the outline. Make sure to draw in the opposite direction of the drawing. Start by erasing the paper around your drawing. If the outline curves, you will likely need to re-arrange the paper mask several times. You may also need to return later to redraw the edge.
The area around your eyes should be darkened. This area should be darkened so that the line from the top edge of the eye socket to the top end of your head is very clear. You can also see the shadows that surround the eyes. (See the inside image enlarged). I have also begun shading the area surrounding the nostrils. It looks a little strange at the moment, and may be darker than it should be. But it will be improved in the next step.
You will be able to see the white areas of the shark’s face when you darken them. These areas can be shaded lightly and blended. It is better to do this slowly than making the area too dark. This can cause ghosting and make it difficult to remove. You will also notice that the area in front of your mouth is still light. This part will not be affected.
Darken the lines around the mouth. You will notice that the lines of the mouth overlap – one at the bottom and one at the top.
This step involves four things. The first is to draw the top edge (top left image). Note that there are two thin, light bands either side of this dark band. A second small caudal fin was added to the body’s rear. The whole thing looks weird from the bottom center because we can only see the front edges due to the angle of the view. The third step is to shade the gills (bottom left image). You should leave thin lines at the top and bottom of each gill but not in their center. The gill contours should be defined at the bottom and top, but not too much in central. The contour of your eye (upper right) should be darkened and shaded as shown. The oval, small, unshaded piece of paper that is at the top of your eye is important.
Shade the gill area and the area immediately above it. These two light trails can be seen in the area. First, shade the area and then use your eraser for highlights. Don’t forget darkening your pupils!