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– Graphite Pencil–
..:: Definition: A slender tube of wood, metal, plastic, etc., containing a core or strip of graphite, a solid coloring material, or the like, used for writing or drawing. ::..
The most commonly used graphite pencils are usually encased in wood and are made of a mixture of clay and graphite. They are found in a wide range of greys and black, each shade being a different gradient, and each one being a different hardness. The softer the pencil, the darker it will be.
Solid graphite pencils are similar, but they aren’t encased in wood. Without the wood casing, there are more uses with the pencil. The gradients are the same with solid graphite pencils as they are with the regular pencils.
In some cases, a solid black area may be needed in a drawing, that’s where charcoal pencils come in. These make it possible to add dark features, like shadows, and are usually used for only a small part of the drawing.
Colored pencils are often used in a drawing to add, you guessed it; color! There are pencils of every color imaginable, making it easy to add just the right shade to your work. (colored pencils will have their own Medium Monday!)
Using graphite pencils:
Drawing with a pencil is the ideal way to learn how to draw. Pencils teach you to be gentle with your art because drawing hard with a pencil will result in a shiny drawing that just wont erase, which is no fun. Unless you’re trying to get that effect of course!
Sketching your idea on the page is the first step. This will allow you to get the shape without a shiny line, or an indented area that you can’t erase well. There are two poses for your hand when drawing with a pencil; the detail pose, and the shading pose.
Using the detail pose, you can add in the details of your drawing. Then, using your light source in the image, add your shading. When shading, it is important to start out light, and work your way to adding in the darker shades. You can smooth out the shading by using your fingers, a tissue, or a shading tool. This will usually take out some of the harder pencil lines that stick out, though some times the rough shading looks better. Here’s a video on some of the many different shading techniques out there.
People do a lot of fun things with pencils, like drawings that look like black and white photographs, a series of fun images called Pencil vs. Camera, and a variety of other types of art.
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I draw with pencils almost every day, and when I travel, they go with me. Though I tend to add a color to most of my stuff, I draw it all with pencils first. I use pencils to sketch almost everything before drawing it, even if I’m doing a drawing in ink, or painting. One bad habit of mine is that I often use one pencil (the same pencil) for sketching, drawing, and shading my drawings. I get so sucked into what I’m doing that I often forget to change pencils, or stop for that matter, until my drawing is already “finished” for the time being. I enjoy pencil work because you can be rough with it and it still looks good most of the time. My style is usually rough, I don’t really care for smudging or smoothing out my drawings, and if I do, I end up adding a little more shading over top without smudging that down to give it a little more texture. I like texture in my drawings, so they usually end up rough.
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