8 tips on how to improve pencil drawing skills

Sasho Trajkov
Nov 15, 2018 · 4 min read

Pencil drawing is the fundamental skill essential for becoming a better artist. In the process of developing myself as an artist I realized that pencil drawing is the basic technique needed to get a success as an artist. Having a strong respect and understanding toward this technique is essential.

Reading this article will help you master your pencil drawing skills and I will share some pencil drawing techniques that will bring your skill to the next level regarding you want to create realistic pencil drawings or stylized drawings.

1. Master the pencil grip

The first thing about pencil drawing is that you need to master the pencil grip. You will need to learn how to hold it correctly in order to maximize its utility. Whenever I draw I use the side of the lead instead of the tip. So when I’m covering large areas I shade with my pencil perpendicular to the line so I get wide and soft lines. When I draw more details I hold my pencil parallel to lines so I will get sharp and narrow marks. Only when I’m working on intricate details I use the point of the pencil.

2. Learn the shading process

The best way to shade is if you do it in two different ways. The first way is with all of the lines going in the same direction which always make the shading appear more cohesive. With this shading technique the details pop out from the lines. The second way for pencil drawing shading is working in patches that will help define shape. The patches will go around the form and will keep things in perspective. This shading technique is excellent for backgrounds and adding texture.

3. Keep control of the line weight

The next thing you will need to learn about pencil drawing is controlling the line weight. Having control will help you separate objects from one another and will help you put an accent on the shadows. The ticker lines can fade or disappear into the shadows which can help with expressing the 3D form. I never outline my pencil drawings since it makes things look flat and deadens the 3D effect.

4. Build up the sketch

Whenever I start with pencil drawing, I plan and always try to avoid committing too early into hard, dark lines. With every little progress I know that my lines will change, so I’m always checking and rechecking my work. At the very end I darken my lines and add details. Never focus on one particular area for too long so you won’t overdraw. When you need to draw symmetrical try to focus on the spaces between the lines and keep reevaluating.

5. Always check and recheck your work

Whenever I check my drawing progress, I recheck. I always need to nail down its underpinnings before I add details. The worst thing about the details in not to guess them. Make sure that things are symmetrical and look right before you put stronger and harder lines. With the rechecks I always ask myself, is this right, does it fit this way?

This way I know that if something is wrong I will fix it before committing hard lines and adding details. So patience is the key for pencil drawing.

6. Be careful of the pencil smudges

As a beginner you will need to be careful with this one. This is probably the best tip I got as I was starting my drawing career. In order to keep it right, I put a piece of paper under my hand so it will prevent the smudging in the drawing.

7. Get a different perspective

Another great tip for beginners is to always see you your pencil drawing through a camera and another perspective. This way you will get different vintage points of the drawing and will easily detect if something is wrong with it.

8. Realize when you are done

The last and one of the most important tips is to know when to finish with your pencil drawing. Even after I’ve signed my name, I use to take another look of the drawing and I always find something that will bother me and will try to fix it. So realizing when you are done is a hard thing if you are an artist. What is important to remember is that a drawing can be overdone. Once you say it is done, don’t go back, start something new or look for another inspiration.

Original post: https://darkomitrevski.com/blog/2018/11/9/8-tips-on-how-to-improve-pencil-drawing-skills

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