Pencil Drawings

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Arjun Davar


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A pencil drawing (sketch) is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.

Though pencil drawings aren’t usually considered finished artworks, the sketchbooks of some individual artists have become very well known, including those of Leonardo da Vinci and Edgar Degas which have become art objects in their own right.


A few tips while creating pencil drawings. First and foremost, keep your pencils sharp. Chisel point and blunt pencils are useful for some techniques, but for the most part, they should be sharp.

Use a variety of line. One can vary the weight of the line by lifting or pressing the pencil. Seems pretty simple but most artists don’t use this technique often enough. Lifting the pencil at the end of the stroke can give a grassy or fluffy effect.

Try to achieve even shading. A mechanical side-to-side shading motion, with each stroke ending below the last as the hand is moved down the page creates unwanted bands of tone through the shaded area. To prevent this, work back and forth over the same area, randomly varying the spot where the pencil-point changes direction. Or, try using a fine circular motion. This gives a different texture.


Today we showcase a few artists whose freehand is so good, it falls straight into the category of completed artworks



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