Drawing With Pencils

drawing of a basket with several different vegetables made with pencils

Posted On August 25, 2018

Drawing with pencils especially soft ones allows the artist to achieve various drawing effects. With one single soft pencil, you can make strong expressive lines and soft velvety tones thus creating very full scetch you intend to use for painting or a complete little work of art.

Soft Pencils

One of the purest tools with which an artist can express him or her self, in my opinion, is a pencil. Lines made with a pencil can be mild and curly, decisive and thick, restrained and sharp all depending on the softness of the pencil used to draw with. Soft pencils are marked with letter B and numbers from 8 to just B, 8B being the softest. Most commonly used soft pencils are 2B and 3B. Very soft graphite pencils are used to make dark soft wide lines.

In time with a lot of practice, you’ll learn how to create many different lines and shades. Try and start your drawings with soft moves avoiding strong continuous shapes while you draw. Hold your pencil farther from the tip your drawing with and start by making short inquisitive moves to get the desired shape. Simply let the pencil dance on to the paper. Don’t worry about the number of lines you make while you try to create the desired shape it only helps you feel the object you desire to draw much better. Many artists don’t erase their mistakes made with pencils because those give life to the finished drawing.

Drawing The Basket With Vegetables

photo of a basket with vegetables
drawing of a basket with several different vegetables made with pencils
To create drawing like this one you will need the following:

  • one sheet of quality natron paper
  • 6B pencil
  • white chalk
  • charcoal
  • kneaded eraser
  • drawing board
  • pins
sketch of a basket with vegetables done with pencils
Do not rush with the drawing. Take time to observe the object you want to draw try and notice the relations between the objects on it it will make the whole process of drawing a lot easier. This is just one example of what you can do. The important thing with the drawing is to practice a bit each day. Use the model you prefer, determine the source of light and you are ready to start. In time it will get very easy for you to make sketches and full drawings because you will learn how each medium you use for drawing behaves.

Place the paper on to the drawing board and fasten it with pins. Hold the pen away from the tip and start drawing just the slightest shapes of the basket and its contents. Try and keep your hand away from the paper working from the elbow. Do not linger long on single detail just let your hand “fly” over the paper and make soft pale lines.

hand with a pencil sketching a basket with vegetables
Pay attention to the shapes of objects and relationships between them, that will help you draw more accurately. When you are satisfied with the composition you can start and give some more realistic full shapes to the objects. In order to do that use darker lines to emphasize the curves and shapes of the round objects. Start adding some wavy lines to the basket and shade to the vegetables by using soft single lines in one direction. Keep checking the proportions on your drawing while you work and correct all the mistakes as you do.

From time to time just back away from the drawing to see if all the shapes on it are as accurate as can be. Start adding darker shades on the darker objects of the drawing, try and add all elements of the drawing at the same time, let the composition grow all together. That will help you not to lose the depth of your drawing. For softer shades use the side of the graphite in the pencil and use your fingers on the lines to make them softer, this will give curves and roundness to your drawing, making it look full and alive.

sketch of a basket with vegetables made with pencils
detail from a sketch of basket with vegetables made with graphite
When you draw try to make lines in many directions in order to give shape and texture to all the objects on the drawing, apply shade with the pencil in the same direction as you see lines and shades on the object. Leave many white parts on the paper for lighter colours and light. For the eggplant use the side of the graphite in the pencil to make the skin look smooth and shiny, smear the pencil trace with your fingers for better effect.

Notice how the objects that are sticking out of the group are drawn in more details whit more contrast in darker and lighter opposite the objects in the background. That depicts the depth of the drawing preventing the composition to lean forward.

Now start adding the details characteristic for every object using both the tip of the pencil and the side of graphite. Apply different pressure while drawing to depict light and shade. Use the pointed part of the kneaded eraser to erase areas on the eggplant giving it more realistic look. Go over the brightest parts on the drawing with chalk to emphasize on the light. Use charcoal to emphasize the darkest parts of the drawing like eggplant, mushrooms zucchini and front part of the basket. WIth the charcoal make wide lines of the tablecloth placing it sideways on the paper and drawing.

With the tip of the pencil separate the shades between vegetables and emphasize the structure of the basket especially in the front part. When adding the last details with the pencil notice how it helps to make the light parts of the drawing look even brighter. That contrast in tone really makes your drawing look more real.

hand on a sketch of a basket with vegetables
hand adding finishing touches to the drawing of a basket with vegetables
hand completeing a drawing of a basket with vegetables
When you finish your drawing do not forget to use fixative which will prevent the chalk, charcoal, and pencil to smear and will make your drawing much more permanent. Make sure you do not spray it to close to the drawing because that will also damage the colours of the drawing.

I hope I managed to get you through the process of making a full drawing succesfully. If you have any questions and need any help feel free to leave them below I will be more than happy to answer and help.

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Written by Magdalena

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