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1.1.3-Pencil drawing techniques

What are pencil drawing             techniques ?



Introduction to Drawing Techniques


Learning new techniques could help you unlock the artist inside. You may have thought those doodles were nothing special; however you can learn to develop your skills and grow as an artist. Those simple doodles may turn into cartoons or even realistic life drawings. Having more pencil drawing techniques will also help you figure out what drawing style you like to create. Every artist is different and develops a drawing style all their own.

Pencil drawing techniques

There are many ways to hold the pencil but the key word to remember when sketching is “relax.” Avoid holding the pencil as if you were writing because the writing grip is rather firm and tight. The sketching grip is comparatively looser and easier. Hold the pencil approximately two to three inches from the tip of the lead. The grip position should involve the thumb and the first two fingers only, with the pencil resting comfortably on the inside of the tip of the third finger. Use the second finger and the thumb to stabilize the pencil and to prevent it from slipping out.

The relationship between the second finger and the thumb usually dictates the type of lines and sketching style. When the tips of the two are relatively close together, anchoring the pencil, the entire hand generally folds inward; and thus the mobility and reach of the pencil movement is limited by how far the fingers can stretch. This position is called Position A and is quite similar to the writing grip. It is very useful in sketching short strokes and details, and it gives the artist more control of the tool while it is less prone to making mistakes.



When the tips of the second finger and thumb are far apart. The second and third fingers are usually straight instead of being curled inward, increasing the mobility and reach of the pencil. By sweeping up and down with the extended second and third fingers, the strokes can reach six to seven inches. This is an ideal position for shading because the grip is loose and the fingers are much easier to move. This position also allows the artist to hold the pencil sideways and maximizes the effectiveness of the entire pencil tip. Broad strokes are one result of this grip. Simply extend the fingers of the entire hand with the palm down and glide the pencil across the page. The angle of the pencil must be adjusted to the individual artist’s hand and degree of flexibility. One should be able to switch from Position A to Position B in a continuous movement without hesitation or stoppage.


Holding the pencil as if holding a putty knife or small hand tool. The pencil is held between the thumb and the second finger. This eliminates any form of finger or hand movement and is therefore mainly suited for long and broad strokes. The entire forearm is used, giving the artist maximum reach. Depending on the size of paper available and the reach of the artist’s arm, pencil strokes can reach over three feet. This position can also be used to create chisel strokes. Just hold the pencil and strike it up and down using short and abrupt strokes.


Lead Pressure

Applying pressure (force) to the pencil is what gives grace and liveliness to a line. Without pressure, the strokes and lines are plain and boring. A simple line drawing in pen and ink can be quite beautiful when there is a consistency in the lines, as this kind of uniformity can bring out the clarity and lightness of the sketch. A pencil is not a pen, however, and a pencil line should not strive for consistency. A hard lead can provide a line that is relatively consistent when compared with a softer lead.    

 But the beauty of pencil sketching lies in the artist’s ability to apply pressure to the pencil in order to alter the quality of the lines. The striking, lifting and rotating, the occasional nudging and twisting, and the sudden change of the angle of the lead all contribute to a multitude of effects which are unique to pencil sketching. And it is this uniqueness that makes pencil special. A pencil should and must be treated as an extension of the artist’s hand, arm,andfingers.

Afterall, it is only through this kind of intimate joining that a sketch canbe produced. The mechanics of sketching involve not just the motion of a hand holding a pencil, but the entire sensory relay from eyes to brain to hand, and so forth. We observe and examine with our eyes; simplify with our brain and eyes; reason with our brain about what should be kept; record with our hand; evaluate with our eyes again to see if the image looks at all like the one we saw earlier; make instant changes and reevaluate everything again in a perpetual cycle.

This is the sketching process in a nutshell. And just as sketching is undoubtedly a mental process that is very personal and intimate, so too is the act of applying pressure to the pencil a personal and intimate experience. There is no scientific standard for how much force one should exert on a certain lead. It is basically a trialand-error process because you learn from your mistakes and successes. You do it repeatedly to achieve a consistent pattern and you try to keep it that way, but no one can teach you how to do it.

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