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Graphite Pencil, Charcoal Tutorial

The drawing guide listed below contains methods to produce sensible looking artwork to provide fellow charcoal and graphite pencil insight into my methods. The first part will describe the pencils and blending tools utilized to render both smooth and rough textures. You're on your method to developing much more sensible looking artwork as soon as you understand how to develop good looking textures. The second part of the page reveals a step by step guide of my most current drawings.

1 Getting Started

You require to choose on the finest techniques and products to use once you have chosen on your topic. There are many things to consider. Should the background stay white? Should you use a smooth paper or rough? Should you use graphite, charcoal, or a maybe a combination of both. It suffices to make you take up sculpting! You require to decide on the appropriate methods to utilize in each location once you have actually identified the fundamental textures and values of your subject.

2 Using Charcoal and Graphite Pencil

Usually the darkest values in a drawing are shadows, and, if you are reaching to render an object as realistically as possible, the last thing you desire is a shadow that shows brighter than the topic. Use both charcoal and graphite pencil in different areas of illustrations. The private granules of charcoal have an irregular shape. When light strikes a drawing containing these particles, it recuperates in several instructions. That brings when it is pushed to its darkest shade, charcoal does not have the reflective glare that is typical with graphite.

Topics usually rendered with charcoal pencils:

Wood, fur, hair, eyelashes, pupils of the eye, dark line between the lips, coarse fabrics, - like denim, leather, cast shadows…

Subjects usually rendered with graphite pencils:

Skin tones, Shading in the white of the eye, Glass, Porcelain, Light values in glossy metal, Smooth fabrics - like silk, Light shading on paper things- like playing cards.


There are many artist grade graphite pencils to choose from nowadays. A 2B pencil of one brand might be significantly various than the 2B of another brand. I presently use Kimberly drawing pencils which are produced by the General Pencil Business. These premium graphite drawing pencils are extra smooth artist quality hex formed drawing pencils. Readily available in 20 degrees from 9H to 9xxB. The 9xxB makes of extremely dark values with little or no graphite shine.


Lots of people who are utilized to the feel of graphite effortlessly sliding throughout their paper discover charcoal too abrasive. Currently I use Primo Euro Blend charcoal pencils. These are smoother than other pencils. There are 3 different degrees of solidity ranging from HB (hardest) to 3B (softest). Along with the General's Primos, I utilize their regular charcoals. The single most crucial pencil is the General's 2H Extra Hard Charcoal. This pencil is hard adequate to get a needle sharp point. Getting clean sharp edges is essential in a professional drawing.

Carbon Pencils:

Carbon pencils are used in place of charcoal in areas to separate the object from the background. When carbon pencils are utilized in mix with charcoal and graphite, their characteristics make them ideal for separating topics containing similar values. Normally, I utilize charcoal for the background and carbon or graphite for the objects a good one is General's Primo Elite Grande # 5000 and Generals Carbon sketch pencil.

3 Blending

There are numerous tools to mix. Each develops a various texture and spreads each medium differently. Utilizing the right mixing tool can indicate the distinction in between using a couple of fast swipes to develop the specific appearance you want, or, re-working a location for hours (or until you rub a hole in the paper) and quitting in aggravation. These are some mixing tools. Blending Stump: These are securely wound paper sticks to points on both ends. They are offered in several sizes. Utilize them to mix big locations of the medium and also to use the medium directly to the paper for softer results.

Tortillon: These are normally smaller and not wrapped as tightly as mixing stumps. They are not as solid as mixing stomps and they produce a slightly different texture.

Felt pad: Purchase 1' x 1' white squares at a craft store. Produces random textural impacts for a variety of natural looking textures.

Paper Towels: Each sort of paper towel will produce a various texture. Rough towel make smooth towels and rough textures develop smooth textures. I generally prefer smooth paper towels for many things and change to the felt pad if I desire rougher textures. The brand name I currently use is Viva. They can quickly be torn into half sheets and bundle reads "stays strong when damp". These soft paper towels are fantastic for smooth skin textures when the texture a chamois creates is too smooth.

Facial Paper Tissue: Excellent for blurring the edges of shadows and softening pencil strokes. Soft paper towels are better in my opinion since they don't leave "marks" all over your paper. If you do not desire to lighten the area as much, Paper towels are another choice.

Paper: Blending with paper draws out the texture of the drawing paper. The paper you utilize to blend with makes a big distinction in the texture developed. Attempt wrapping note pad paper around you finger to start with. Great for separating 2 things that have comparable worths by utilizing only textures.

Chamois: To imitate incredibly smooth textures like old and wrinkly paper and reflective surfaces like glass. I likewise use it like an eraser to lighten large masses of dark charcoal or graphite.