6 Important Pencil Drawing Lessons To Help Improve Your Technique

There are a lot of people who are very capable at drawing but not everyone can create art with a pencil. Like everything, this is a skill that over time and practice can be achieved if a person is willing to learn the things necessary to make themselves a better artist.

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There are some basic drawing lessons that every artist should know in pencil drawing. In this article I am going to cover some pencil drawing lessons in order to improve your sketching techniques. These are some basic theories and techniques that should be part of every aspiring pencil artist’s knowledge. All you need is dedication and commitment in order for you to be a successful pencil artist.

Here are your free online drawing lessons:


1). How To Properly Hold A Pencil

There are several ways to hold a pencil but I will cover some of the more common ways in this pencil drawing lesson:

Tripod Grip – This is the most common but also it is usually not done properly. The correct way is to grip the pencil using the middle finger, the tip of the index finger and the thumb. Apply equal pressure but don’t grip the pencil too firmly.


Extended Grip – The extended grip is a variation of the tripod grip, the difference is you will hold the pencil further at the end or near the tip that has the eraser. Because your control is at the other end of the pencil, small movements of your hand make larger effects on the other end.


Underhand Grip – This is another relaxed way of holding a pencil. This grip is best suited for broad sketching. The pencil is cradled in your palm in the shape of a ‘V’ with the middle and index finger controlling the movement. When you use the underhand grip it will better assist you when making fine linear details and strong lines.


Overhand Grip – For sketching, most artists use the overhand grip because shading is easier with the overhand grip. To properly use the overhand grip you must have relaxed grip on the pencil but don’t have it too relaxed because the grip would not be secure enough to properly control the pencil.


2). Line Drawing Lessons

Lines enable artists to create both space and image. There are many different types of lines and you need to be familiar with each one in order to enhance your pencil drawing skills.

Flatlines, also called straight lines, are usually in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal direction depending on how you want your drawing to look like.

Accent lines put certain emphasis or accent in your drawing. Specifically, accents give special emphasis through changes and variations in your lines.

Contour lines distinctively display shape and beauty of the image.


3). Basic Pencil Shading

Shading is something that will add more life to your drawing – it makes drawings more realistic. It should be done after the line drawing and you can use different types of pencils in order to customize your shading. You should practice using an overhand grip for the shading process.

Using scrap paper, practice doing the shading with the side of the pencil held at a low angle. Control the pressure applied in order to vary the shadow effect. Another suggestion is instead of pressing harder to create a darker effect, you can go over the area several times until it darkens. This will help you to avoid applying to much pressure thus damaging the paper.


4). Grid Drawing Lessons

Drawing using a grid is the best way to render what we see. The basic way to start is draw a rectangle and divide it into half inch squares. Using a grid will assist you to create a balanced drawing.


5). Perspective Drawing Lessons

Perspective adds dimension and depth to a drawing thus giving the illusion that something is farther away. In this pencil drawing lesson I’ll cover the most often used perspectives:

Zero point perspective is usually used in most natural scenes like a range of mountains. These types of drawings create an illusion of depth on the viewer’s eyes.

One point perspective drawings refer to those with only one vanishing point. In one-point perspective, parallel lines retreat towards a certain point in the space called a vanishing point. This is often illustrated when drawing things such as hallways, railway tracks, and roads that recede at a vanishing point in the distant.

Isometric perspective is when distant figures and objects are smaller in the distant but the parallel lines that create the illusion of distance do not ever converge. For instance, this is illustrated when someone draws objects in a room. The closer the object, the larger it is and the farther the smaller. Also, the lines that form the room are parallel but do not converge thus giving an isometric perspective.

Atmospheric or aerial perspective is basically when objects in nature appear as blurred, misty or hazy looking to the eye.


6). Basic Elements of Light, Shadows, and Shading

When you look around, you can see shadow and light in almost everything that you see, which makes using the elements of shading to create light and shadow on drawings even more realistic. Light and shadow are important in giving more life to a drawing by adding a certain atmosphere and dimension to it.

It is important to use shading techniques to avoid your drawings from looking flat. Shading allows you to create shape and form. Imagine sunlight hitting an object – there is no even illumination – the object will be lighter where the sun is nearer and darker on the opposite side. The darker and lighter shades in the drawing give people the impression that it has depth.

Translating reality to your drawings can take a lot of practice but with these pencil drawing lessons you now have a basic theory to start and build upon. If you would like to learn even more techniques that will show you step-by-step how to draw like a master artist then I would highly recommend you check out the pencil drawing lessons written by Christopher Sia. This course has been highly rated as the top selling pencil drawing ebook on the CB market.

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