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The point of a pencil is both its beauty and curse. Capable of creating the finest details, it can also be the bane of many an artist who might spend hours building up tone in the smallest of areas. The pencil can also be sharpened and chiseled for a broader edge and a more painterly look whilst speeding up the process of shading. Some artists choose to work exclusively in pencil (a wonderful medium in its own right), but even if pencil drawings are not for you, they are an inexpensive means in which you can learn to draw and sketch, and such invaluable skills are transferable to any medium from watercolors to oil painting.
The Female Eye, Drawing Lesson
The human eye is often referred to as the path to the soul, and typically takes great importance in the drawing of portraits. This pencil lesson teaches the drawing of the eye with a high level of realism, with smooth almost photorealistic blending.
Learn to Draw Eyes
Expressive Portrait Drawing in Charcoal
This tutorial uses charcoal to draw an expressive portrait. Several techniques are adopted from the use of paintbrushes to soften edges, and the use of tools like a chamois leather, blending stump and putty eraser to work on a subtractive method of drawing. The study is made after the artist Nicolai Fechin.
Painterly Portrait Drawing
Pencil Drawing Tips
Jim Fogarty is a self-taught English artist, who creates detailed pencil drawings, alongside beautiful custom guitar artwork. In this tutorial Jim presents a down to earth guide giving useful, practical drawing tips for all pencil artists.
Pencil Drawing Tips
Learn to Draw Trees
English artist Mike Sibley has an amazing talent for extreme realism with a pencil. These are two complimentary lessons which give some insight into how Mr. Sibley renders these tiny yet detailed masterpieces, primarily by examing the use of negative drawing.
Learn to Draw Trees
Portrait Drawing, Anders Zorn
Exclusive art lesson from ArtGraphica, showing how to draw portraits in a painterly fashion. The subject matter is taken from an oil painting by Swedish artist, Anders Zorn, and drawn using charcoal and panpastel. It is executed on Strathmore 500 paper.
Anders Zorn Portrait Drawing
William Turner Landscape Study, Pencil Lesson
Gavin first picked up a pencil in 2003; his first efforts involved creating sickly looking stick-men, but those soon progressed to fully fledged portraits. Many experimental drawings and sketches later, he went on to create the ArtGraphica website, helping other artists in their personal development. In this study Gavin approaches the subject with a dynamic spontaneous technique to capture the emotion and flow of the landscape.
William Turner Drawing Study
Drawing Lessons - Learn to Draw with a Pencil
There are numerous types of drawing pencils available - how do you know which ones to use and when? Whether you are drawing or sketching it is important to know your tools (something that comes with experience). Some artists will stick primarily to one pencil, some will use mechanical pencils exclusively, and others will opt to use a full range from 9H to 9B.
The mechanical pencil maintains a constant fine point, and is favoured by realists as it allows them to work on details without that constant need for sharpening. Whilst it can also be convenient and useful on sketching trips, generally a blunter, wider edge on a 3B or 4B pencil makes rapid studies on the field much easier to manage.
A 3H pencil or higher (the range goes up to 9H) gives a very light line. If you are using inexpensive pencils you may not get the same subtleties of the better quality brands. There are numerous types of drawing pencils available - how do you know which ones to use and when? Whether you are drawing or sketching it is important to know your tools (something that comes with experience). Some artists will stick primarily to one pencil, some will use mechanical pencils exclusively, and others will opt to draw with a full range from 9H to 9B.
The 3B and above (up to 9B) are quite dark, soft drawing instruments. You will find as you get up towards 9B, the pencil will blunt very quickly, and will also show more of the grain on the paper you are working on. They are easier to blend and provide richer darks. If you press too hard with any of the pencils you will get more of a sheen on your work, which is the nature of graphite and cannot be avoided entirely unless switching to other types of pencils such as carbon or charcoal.
The HB lies between soft and hard, often used in schools. It is an ideal all round pencil. In combination with a 2B, sometimes you needn't use anything more to achieve both outline, and shading, and are a good combination to take on outdoor drawing trips.
Landscape of Split Rock
Diane Wright earned a Bachelor of Fine Art's Degree, but didn't pick up the pencil again for a further 20 years. In 2002 Diane reconnected with her passion for drawing, and provides us now with this beautiful scene of a Light House upon a cliff.
Landscape of Split Rock
Mike Sibley is a British artist capable of rendering fine, photorealistic details to his creations. This is a complimentary art lesson to the tutorial on drawing trees, and provides some insights into how Mr. Sibley renders these tiny yet detailed masterpieces, primarily via the use of negative drawing.
Learn How to Draw Grass
Drawing a Rustic Barn
Diane Wright is inspired by such artists as Lakeland's John Ruskin. This rustic barn drawing, which keeps very much in the spirit of Ruskin, was inspired whilst travelling through Indiana.
Rustic Barn Drawing Lesson
Summer Afternoon (Prismacolor), color pencil lesson
Sheri Doty is a master of the coloured pencil, and as a published artist her work is also used to showcase the Prismacolor coloured pencil product line. This demonstration shows off Sheri's techniques with the Prismacolor pencils on Strathmore illustration board to achieve a high level of realism and a wonderful naturalistic sense of light and colour.
Prismacolor pencil demo
The Clubs, charcoal and pencil
American artist Marsha L. Robinett was born in Danville, Illinois in 1946 and started drawing portraits of her family when she was still at grade school. Marsha predominately uses carbon pencils with accents of charcoal and graphite to achieve her particular style and create the warmth and depths that is hard to achieve by graphite pencil alone. This golf club tutorial uses Wolff carbon pencils, a charcoal pencil and graphite pencils.
Golf Clubs Drawing Lesson
Cotswold Cheese with Cherry Tomato
Paula Pertile was born and raised in Sacramento California. She later went on to study architecture and took a degree in illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and has continued to work as a professional artist. This colored pencil demonstration on Strathmore 500 Series cold pressed illustration board, features the famous cotswold cheese, complete with cherry tomato.
Color pencil demo
Barbara Benedetti Newton was born in Washington in the 1940's, and later went on to study under William Cumming amongst others. In the 1960's she began a professional career as a fashion illustration. After a 20 year haitus, Barbara returned to art full time in the 1990's. This colored pencil tutorial was executed on Rising Stonehenge paper and makes use of a grisaille.
Colored Pencil Lesson
Drawing Young Children, charcoal / graphite tutorial
American artist Marsha L. Robinett was born in Danville, Illinois in 1946 and started drawing portraits of her family when she was still at grade school. Marsha predominately uses carbon pencils with accents of charcoal and graphite to achieve her particular style and create the warmth and depths that is hard to achieve by graphite pencil alone. This tutorial was a commission created as a Christmas gift using Wolff carbon pencils, charcoal and graphite pencils.
Learn to Draw Young Children
Learn How to Draw a Dog
Cathy Sheeter was born in 1979 growing up in a remote town in Eastern Oregon where she developed her love for the natural world and animals. Cathy started exhibiting her work in 2008 and became a member of the presitigious Society of Animal Artists. This demonstration shows the drawing of a dog on smooth Bristol Paper using a 7mm mechanical pencil.
How to Draw a Dog
Ann Swan studied art at the Manchester College of Art and Design inthe 1960's and has always enjoyed working with pencils. Her exhibitions include The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. This tutorial was original published in Leisure Painter magazine, December 2005.
Botanical Art Drawing Lesson
Misty Moonrise, Using Graphite with Charcoal
Mark describes his work as 'windows on quiet places, on moments of reflection, on dreams - Times when, as Robert Henri said, 'we seem to see beyond the usual'. Mark skillfully combines charcoal and graphite, working at a very small size to create this atmospheric demonstration of a Misty Moonrise.
Combining Charcoal with Graphite
Learn How to Draw Fur
Sidney Eileen's favourite subjects include fantasy, wildlife and Celtic art, and when she's not drawing she frequently takes to sewing and costuming. In this demonstration, Sidney uses Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils of various grades and demonstrations how to create realistic animal fur.
Learn How to Draw Fur
Sensational Sketches in Six Simple Steps
Sandy Sandy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Moore College of Art and also attended The Art Institute in Philadelphia. This simple sketch is carried out in six steps using a watercolor brush to complete the shading.
Sketching in Simple Steps
Learn How to Shade a Sphere in Pencil
Miranda Aschenbrenner loves both realism and abstract styles. Shading (variations in value from shadows to highlights that describe the shape of something) is considered one of the most important aspects of creating realism. In this pencil lesson, Miranda teaches how to shade a sphere in pencil.
Learn How to Shade a Sphere
Learn How to Draw Rocks
This is a beginner's lesson on drawing rocks and how to create a three dimensional realism.
Learn How to Draw Rocks
Portrait in Charcoal
Brian David MacNeil is a realist painting having studied at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, adopting the techniques of the Renaissance artists. This is charcoal drawing demonstration done from life and carried out in the artist's local coffee shop.
Drawing Portraits from Life
Learn How to Draw Noses
Stan Prokopenko was born Odessa, Ukraine and came to America at the age of six, devoting himself to the arts from moment he became a teenager. Stan studied at the Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas, California. This lesson explores the planes of the nose to help picture things in three dimensions and in perspective.
Learn How to Draw Noses
Learn How to Draw Feathers
This colored pencil lesson by wildlife award winner Kathie Miller, shows the rendering of a Peregrine Falcon on Canson Mi-Tientes paper. The demonstration also makes use of a colorless blender (a pencil without pigment used to move the wax of the pencil, and smooth it down on the paper).
Learn to Draw Feathers
Winter Landscape Drawing Demo
Dan Schultz used compressed charcoal on Strathmore 400 series paper, first toning the sky with a chamois cloth before blocking in, and correct shapes and masses. Follow his step by step progress in this free drawing tutorial.
Winter Landscape in Charcoal free drawing lesson
Alligator Wildlife Drawing Demo - Charcoal and White Pastel
This wildlife art lesson (with real-time videos) uses vine charcoal and a white pastel pencil to show the drawing of an alligator from start to finish. The drawing starts with a loose envelope on toned paper, with textures built up with rapid suggestions of form.
Wildlife Drawing Demo
Fantasy Drawing Lesson
Fantasy drawings do not have to come purely from imagination alone. This free art lesson uses photographic references in a simple manner to create a work of fantasy. The demo features videos (originally filmed in 2004) showing the initial drawing, through to shading and details.
Fantasy Drawing Demonstration
Landscape Pencil Free Drawing Lesson
This landscape drawing was created with a focus on the daramatic cloudscape. Materials used are very minimalist - mechanical pencil, blending stump, paper and putty eraser. The art tutorial includes two small videos, and plenty of step-by-step illustrations.
Landscape Pencil Drawing Lesson
Learn to Draw like the Old Masters
A drawing in charcoal after Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above the sea of fog. The drawing starts with a very rough acrylic undercoat, and then proceeds with charcoal mixed with water, applied with a bristle brush. Highlights are applied with white pastel. There are eight video clips showing the drawing process.
Learn how to draw like the Old Masters
Blending with Colored Pencils
Colored pencil tools and techniques for wax and oil based colored pencils by the experienced artist Sheri Doty. Some of the techniques include burnishing, hatching, use of solvents, brush blending and clear blending markers, alongide methods for impressing lines and erasing.
Colored Pencil Blending and Drawing Techniques
Pine Tree Drawing Lesson
Martin Stankewitz was born in 1954 and was educated in the arts from 1998, studying drawing and painting alongside lessons in landscape plein aire painting, and workshops featuring landscape and architecture. Martin also has a diploma in forestry, and founded the 'Edition Handdruck' in 1996. Stankewitz's exclusive charcoal lesson demonstrates the drawing of pine trees, with videos, showing the versatility of charcoal for drawing plein aire.
Sketching after Luigi Loir
A sketch of an overcast street scene, with rain soaked pavement, blustery figures holding up umbrellas, and surrounding buildings. This tutorial briefly looks at the setup of the scene, including perspective, before building up tones and soft edges to recreate the original oil painting.
Sketching Street Scenes
Learn to sketch faces using toned paper, charcoal and brush. The art lesson shows how to prepare and tone the paper using acrylic gesso, with a red pastel tint, how to create the lines that form the basic shape of the face, and then step-by-step instruction showing various stages of blocking in.
How to Draw the Face
How to Draw People
Learn to draw the female nude in vine charcoal. The tutorial (in three parts) involves creating dust, which is applied with a brush to create a soft, yet very fast backdrop.
How to Draw People
Portrait Study, Portrait of a Man, Velazquez
This is a study made in nothing more than vine charcoal, after Diego Velazquez. The lesson starts with a simple toning of the paper with charcoal dust, and the drawing is initially made with straight lines, and shaded by focusing on simple shapes and masses.