Graphite Pencil Drawing Tips

New to using graphite pencils? In this blog post I've gathered 5 tips to help you get started. I hope you find it helpful!


Keep a piece of sketch paper under your hand as you're drawing.

Keep a piece of sketch paper under your hand as you're drawing.

1. USE A PIECE OF SKETCH PAPER UNDER YOUR ARM.

Smudging can be an issue when working with graphite pencils. I always have a piece of sketch paper under my hand when I'm drawing so I won't smudge the graphite with my hand.


I like to draw on a paper that has a smooth surface.

I like to draw on a paper that has a smooth surface.

2. PICK THE PAPER THAT YOU LIKE WORKING WITH THE MOST.

I like using Bristol Board that has an extra smooth drawing surface. I've also noticed, that when I work on Bristol Board, there's a lot less smudging than working on a grainier paper. Sometimes I also like to draw on Fabriano Watercolour Hot Pressed paper which is a bit grainier than Bristol Board but still quite smooth. Test different paper types and see which one you like working with the most. The type of paper surface that you are working on will have a great impact on the outcome of your drawing.


Faber-Castell 9000 pencils are great quality.

Faber-Castell 9000 pencils are great quality.

3. USE QUALITY PENCILS

When you are drawing, it's important that your pencils are not breaking or crumbling as you are making your art. I always work with quality pencils, like Faber-Castell 9000 Series pencils. You can sharpen them to a very sharp fine point and they will not break.


Use different pencil hardnesses for drawing lighter and darker shades.

Use different pencil hardnesses for drawing lighter and darker shades.

4. USE DIFFERENT PENCIL HARDNESSES

Graphite pencils are available in many different hardnesses. I often start a drawing by using a hard pencil like F or HB. And as I'm building up the layers of graphite I move on to a softer pencil, up to an 8B.


'Lady of the Woods' graphite pencil drawing.

'Lady of the Woods' graphite pencil drawing.

5. KEEP A LIGHT HAND

It's good not to press too hard with your pencil when you are doing the first layers of graphite. When you want to draw darker shadows, instead of pressing very hard, choose a softer pencil, it will give you a darker pigment.


Thank you for reading! I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any thoughts or questions about using graphite pencils. I'd love for you to share in the comments below.

-Eeva