Tips for Achieving better Drawings with Pencils
If you’re starting out as an artist, enjoying drawing as a hobby or simply just want a few tips to improve your skills when it comes to drawing with pencils, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the best tried and tested tips for achieving better drawings or sketches with pencils to help you on your way to become a great artist.
Be sure to keep your pencil sharp with a good quality sharpener
You’ll have heard the phrase that a workman is only as good as his tools, and this is, to an extent, fairly true. As well as investing in some good quality pencils, paper and sharpeners, it’s essential that you look after them to keep them in top shape. This includes keeping pencils sharpened with a good quality sharpener or carving knife. Whilst some techniques do work better with a more blunt pencil tip, it’s generally accepted that for accuracy and precision, a sharp pencil is the way forward.
Use a variety of strokes and weight on the page
As briefly mentioned above, the pencil makes all the difference, and as does the way you use it. There’s a really useful explanation of using a variety of lines in this article that’s well worth checking out if you’d like to change up your technique when it comes to pencil strokes.
Use a variety of different pencils (and paper)
Investing in a range of pencils in a range of thickness and darkness is the best way to achieve different looks and effects on the page. Good quality pencils are half the battle when it comes to drawing, so choose wisely. You can get great deals online, too.
Practise your shading techniques
Any artist will tell you that the best (and most important) way to add realism to your work is to nail the shading. Take a look at this guide to shading which talks you through the different techniques and when and how you should be using them.
Look at your subject/photo from another perspective
As well as actual techniques for drawing, it’s important to take other things into account, like the actual thing you are drawing or sketching. Whether it’s an inanimate object, a person or a photograph, viewing it from a different perspective can be really useful when it comes to improving your drawing. If it is an object or a photograph, hold it a different way or look at it in front of a mirror to see any distortions you may have missed previously (slightly harder to do if you’re drawing a person).
Take your time
As with anything worth doing well, it’s definitely worth taking your time to ensure you are getting the best results possible at the end of it. Don’t force yourself to work on a drawing if you don’t feel you can give it everything as this can be discouraging when the results aren’t as you’d hoped, if you’d given your full attention and efforts. Go back to it in a few hours or even days instead.