6 Essential Pencil Drawing Techniques & Tips

So you want to become a better artist which means that you will always need to be brushing up on your skills – no pun intended

Here are 6 essential pencil drawing techniques and tips that every beginner and pro needs to know in order to save yourself from a big headache later on:

 Drawing Techniques:

1). Always make the outline light to start with. Use a soft lead pencil to draw the initial sketch with very light outlines. Use minimal pressure and make your lines just heavy enough so that you can see them. With light lines you can erase without leaving deep indentations in your paper. This is a nice little drawing technique trick to help you just in case you make a mistake or have to adjust something – which I guarantee you will. Show me an artist or anybody as far as that goes, who doesn’t make mistakes and I’ll sell you a winning million dollar lottery ticket for $100 bucks!


2). While talking about erasing mistakes… Never use a ‘hard’ rubber erasure on your paper. A hard rubber erasure will damage the top layer of your drawing paper which basically ruins the smooth surface of your paper. If you insist on using a rubber erasure use a putty rubber erasure or an even better option is to use a product called Blu Tack. Blu Tack is a reusable, putty-like, pressure-sensitive adhesive that lifts the graphite off the surface of the paper without damaging it.


3). Another essential pencil drawing technique is trying to avoid resting your hand on the surface of your paper while drawing or whenever possible. This is sometimes easier said than done – but important none the less. Your hands are naturally oily and sometimes moist from sweat, even after you wash them. This oil or sweat can be transferred unto the paper which effectively binds the graphite into the surface of the paper making it harder to erase cleanly. The best way to avoid this is to use a second piece of paper to rest your hand on thus avoiding contact with your drawing surface.


4). Since we are talking about the hand let’s move on to the fingers. Avoid using your fingers to rub the areas on your paper that you want to shade for the same reason you should avoid resting your hand on your drawing surface – oil or moisture may be transferred unto you drawing. Always use something dry to smooth out shaded areas or whenever you need to make contact with the graphite on your drawing. You can purchase the proper tools to use instead of your fingers – just check out my Art Supplies Page.


5). Another useful pencil drawing technique for beginners is to always keep your harder pencils sharp because it makes it easier when you are applying the fine details to your drawing.  It’s much harder to apply the fine details to a drawing with blunt pencils. After you are finished sharpening your pencil it is a good idea to wipe the end off in order to avoid getting residual grains of graphite on your drawing. This, of course, will avoid smudges and smears that you never intended.


6). Good lighting is something that a lot of people overlook but is an essential pencil drawing technique that I would suggest you invest in. Especially when you are doing the very light initial outline and the fine details later on. Without sufficient lighting, you might miss some of the details you would have seen if you had plenty of light. So, go ahead and buy a desk lamp. I would suggest you purchase one that you can adjust so you can move it according to your needs. It doesn’t have to be expensive or over complicated just a simple adjustable desk lamp.


I hope that you found these 6 pencil drawing techniques and tips helpful and will use these tips to help improve your skills while avoiding some major mistakes.

Bonus drawing techniques & Tips:

If you would like to learn step-by-step how to draw realistic pencil portraits like a master without wasting your precious time on years of trial and error then you need to check out Christopher Sia’s “Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery” Home-Study Course. It is by far the best course out there and is currently the #1 selling pencil drawing course on the CB market.  If you would like to learn more click the link below:

Click Here To Visit Christopher Sia’s Site To Learn More