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Introduction to Pencil Drawing: The Techniques

Now you got the supplies necessary for your first artwork, let’s get to know the basic drawing techniques:

 

There are two basic ways to approach a drawing: linear and tonal. The linear approach to a drawing focuses on line and outlines of shapes. In tonal drawing, you make use of gradations to indicate the various planes of your subject.

 

You should try to avoid smudging and blending in the beginning so that you force yourself to use your pencil more to achieve value in your drawings.

 

Avoid looking at your drawing too often. Make sure you are constantly focusing on the subject and only glancing at your drawing. By doing so, you won't constantly judge your drawing, or think something is wrong or out of place. Focus on the subject and draw what you see.

 

Never throw out any of your drawings. Keep a neat portfolio of everything you draw. This is an excellent way to see your progress over time.

 

How to hold your pencil - Hold your pencil in a way that is most comfortable for you. Some hold the pencil just as you would hold a pen or pencil if you were writing. Others hold a pencil with the pencil between the thumb and index finger, with the rest of the pencil resting under the palm of your hand. Whichever method you use for holding your pencil, make certain that you do not hold the pencil too tightly.

 

Contour Drawing - This very basic technique is simply drawing the outline of your subject without any shading to indicate form.

 

Blind Contour Drawing - Similar to contour drawing, only you do not look at the paper. The point of this exercise is to force you to better observe what it is you are drawing. You should have no concern over the outcome of your drawing so it is important not to peek.

 

Hatching - This drawing technique uses a series of parallel lines drawn close together, in the same direction, which gives the appearance of value.

 

Crosshatching - Similar to hatching only you draw multiple layers of hatch lines at different angles that overlap one another.

 

Tonal or Value Drawing - In this approach to drawing, we are indicating the various changes of light and shade in our picture without the use of strong edges and lines.

 

Upside Down Drawing - Drawing upside down is a wonderful exercise to awaken the right side of your brain. When you turn an image upside down, you are making it somewhat abstract and unrecognizable. This forces you to draw what you see as opposed to relying on your memory to draw something.

 

Negative Drawing Technique - This technique teaches you how to properly see the "white" or "negative" space in your picture. This is the area that surrounds your subject or "positive" space. Instead of drawing out the positive part of the drawing line, you draw in the shapes that surround the positive part of your drawing.

 

Dry Wash Technique - This technique works quite well if you want to cover large areas of your drawing. It creates a nice soft tone. You begin by adding marks with a pencil or apply some graphite powder to the desired area on your paper. Then using a tissue or soft cloth pick up some of the graphite and gently rub it across the paper, almost as if you were painting.

 

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