Start out by picking your pencils. For this drawing you basically need one soft pencil, one hard pencil, and something in between. I used a 2H pencil for details and light shading, an F pencils for details and general shading, and a 4B pencil for texture and dark shading. If you have woodless graphite it can also come in handy for this drawing. I used 4B woodless graphite for shading large areas.
Start out by lightly sketching with an F pencil (an HB pencil would work as well). Draw one ovular shape for the cephalothorax and a larger one for the abdomen.
Develop the spider's cephalothorax a bit more. Add some basic circles to signify where the spider's limbs join the cephalothorax.
Sketch in some very basic guidelines for the spider's limbs. Try to work on them one segment at a time. Just keep in mind that the pedipalps are basically grouped with the chelicerae at the front of the spider's head. The eight legs are grouped into twos. So If one leg is facing a certain direction the one that it's grouped with has to roughly face the same direction. You can notice the grouping more clearly in the finished drawing.
Sketch in the rest of the legs' guidelines. The pedipalps have 4 sections while the legs each have 5 sections including the feet. As long as you work your way from joint to joint you should be fine.
Start lightly and roughly defining the body lines using a soft pencil. I used a 4B pencil for this. Just remember to sketch lightly enough to make your lines easy to erase.
Start defining the actual limb segments around your guidelines. Again, just work segment by segment to make this as easy as possible.
Finish up defining the legs. erase any unneeded lines.
Get a paper tower or blending stump and blend over your shading. If you used a soft pencil for the previous steps then you should get a nice layer of shading to work with. Blending like this will also make it easier for you to erase and modify your lines if you need to.
Start adding rough shading to the cephalothorax using a 4B pencil. Shade lightly at first then gradually add more shading to darken you shading.
Use a 4B pencil to build up on the darkest shading of the chelicerae and an F pencil for the lighter shading. Use the 2H pencil on the lighter hair below the tarantula's eyes.
Build up the shading on the cephalothorax.. Again use a 4B pencil to build up your dark shading. Use a 2H pencil on the lightest hair. Pay attention the the direction that the hair is flowing in. Don't just scribble lines in.
Start roughly shading in the limbs now. It;s always easiest to work top to bottom, left to right (right to left if you are left handed).
Define you limbs. Build up you dark shading with 4B graphite then use an F pencil for the dark details. Use a 2H pencil for light details as needed. Don't worry about getting every little hair perfect.
Move down to the rest of the front most limbs with 4B Graphite. Remember start off by shading as lightly as possible.
Define the limbs. Get as detailed as you want to here. I decided to shade as much as I could stand at the time and save the rest of the details for the final steps.
Roughly shade the abdomen and the rear legs. Shade lightly and try not to over-think things. Just get a rough layer of 4B graphite to build upon.
Start adding details from the top down. I built up my dark shading with a 4B pencil again and used the F pencil on the hairs and details. Use a 2H pencil to further define the hairs around the spider's cephalothorax.
Build up the shading on the abdomen and the last pair of legs. Again, don't worry about getting too detailed just yet. It'll be much easier to add final details once the background shading is done.
Use 4B graphite to roughly shade in the background and the shadow beneath the spider.
Start building up your background from top to bottom left to right. As you build up your background go over your shading and details on the Tarantula as well.
Finish up the details on the rest of the left half of the drawing. When working on the lighter hairs add the dark shadows/shading behind them first then erase in rough hairs. Trim down you hairs using F and 4B pencils. Use a 2H pencil to smooth out the shading of the light hairs.
Finish up the drawing by adding details to the rest of the spider. You can use a paper towel or blending stump to smooth out the background and shadow a bit if it appears too rough just try to preserve some texture; don't blend away all of your details. You can get as lost as you want to with the details on this spider so don't feel too pressured to make it perfect. Just draw something that you're proud of. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial or at least learned something new from it!
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