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Thread: Sketching pencils
August 6th, 2008 #1Registered User
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Drawing is an old interest of mine that I thought I'd spend some time on. Colouring or finishing drawings doesn't really interest me at the moment, sketching does.
So I wonder what kinds of pencils you people use, I've seen some really nice sketches done by some people here but I can't seem to get my lines either smooth enough or my details sharp enough.
I found http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm which seems like a good place to start, if anybody else has any tips for a good tutorial please let me know.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberAugust 6th, 2008 #2
Smooth lines and sharp details are more a function of experience and knowledge earned by drawing a great deal not by specific materials.
A good pencil is a good pencil, though. Pick up a name brand pencil, preferably a nice range of leads; 2H, HB, 2B, 4B & 6B should do. Get a high quality pencil sharpener or learn how to sharpen with a knife and sandpaper. Hold the pencil like you think a wizard would hold a wand and draw more from the shoulder than the wrist when you start a drawing so it can be loose and energetic. It's inevitable that you'll start controlling the pencil with the wrist and then fingertips as you near those details, but do remember that good drawing is a process of moving from large general shapes toward the smaller and more precise.
If you're at all into fantasy art I recommend John Howe's Fantasy Art Workshop -- it puts a great many of the basic principles of drawing out there very clearly.
paper should also be a consideration -- most black hardcover sketchbooks have more than adequate paper, I also like drawing on artist's quality bond paper in pads.
August 7th, 2008 #3
if I use pencils, i tend to stick to a 2H and maybe a 4B for bigger areas, but honestly my comfort zone in sketching has always done better with charcoal (vine and compressed) or ink (micron pens 01-05ish range). Charcoal is for building finished drawings for me, while ink pens are good for forcing me to do a quick pass sketch with little to no corrections involved.
August 7th, 2008 #4Registered User
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I'm currently using one mechanical pencil that I kidnapped from the significant other. I can't wait to get some more stuff.
August 7th, 2008 #5
I Just buy some good cheap pencils for now
I think it's more about the artist
altough finding your right medium helps you develope faster
I just buy mechanical pencils, HB pencils, B, 2b or just buy a cheap sketching pencils set. I buy normal pens etc but i like to try alot of different ones, who knows i might find something i really like
So just experiment
August 7th, 2008 #6
Prisma Colour black is awesome.
August 7th, 2008 #7Registered User
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B Pencils forever!
August 8th, 2008 #8
"The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has."
August 8th, 2008 #9
I got a mechanical pencil for a buck or so 4 years ago, has been my only partner in crime since.
An archive of my stuff thus far: http://diavle.deviantart.com/
August 8th, 2008 #10
I'd probably consider the paper more than the pencil for what you are describing. There is paper with a lot more "tooth" than other papers. Many artist papers made for sketching are rough compared to copy paper, for example, and then there are very smooth papers meant for pens, markers, and inks. There are paper stumps made to help push your graphite into those little nooks and crannys of rougher sketch paper, but I've always hated stumps. I prefer a good sharp pencil and a smoother paper. It's all a matter though of finding the paper that let's you do what you want. Most artist grade pencils are very similar, but there is a wide range of papers.
August 9th, 2008 #11
A lady in my life drawing class uses one of those ordinary yellow #2 pencils to draw with.. some of the best drawings Ive seen in a while. Use whatever you get your hands on. Try different types until it feels right.
"We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams."
August 9th, 2008 #12
lately ive gravitated towards black ball-point pen, keeps me loose and confident, plus i find it easier to control how dark i want my lines
also i've just started a new sketchbook with oatmeal colored paper and so far i'm loving it
try different mediums and papers and find what works for you
August 9th, 2008 #13
August 9th, 2008 #14
August 9th, 2008 #15
Depends on the size and 'tightness' of the image. Big life studies, like he said -- hold the pencil loosely and move from the shoulder. Little detailed drawings, I hold the pencil the way you hold a pencil to write down a phone number.
Tools are actually pretty important to me. For big drawings, I like charcoal or woodless pencils. Would destroys sharpeners in no time, so I avoid regular pencils. For small detailed pictures, I like a very soft lead with a good point on it. Very soft leads don't keep a good point for more than a few strokes, so it's a lead in a lead holder for me.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
August 9th, 2008 #16
It's not just me, though, a great number of art instructors through my years-ago college education and in many quality art instruction books recommend holding the pencil that way.
I don't do it for the whole drawing, though, just for the gesture, placement and shapes. My grip gets closer to traditional handwriting the closer the drawing gets to the detail level.
For real small drawings you really can't draw with your shoulder . . .