It may sound like the most elementary of skills but choosing the correct pencil and holding it correctly will have a profound impact on the quality of your sketches. In this article, we'll show you how to get the best out of your drawing materials.
Choosing the correct pencil
Pencils are rated on a scale which refers to their softness. Most pencils will be rated H - these are good all purpose pencils which can give a variety of tone and rendering effects.
As a rule, the more precise the line you wish to draw, the harder the pencil you should choose. Harder pencils are known as H pencils. A 3H is harder than a 2H and so on up until a 9H pencil. A writing pencil should be an HB or H grade. Artistic sketches
For, artistic sketches B or soft pencils are used. 9B is the softest and is very similar to charcoal. These pencils need sharpening often and generally used by artists for shadows and large areas of shading.
Holding the pencil
If you are working with children, there are a range of products which will show learners how to how to hold a pencil. Pencil grippers have been used for years to improve hand writing and develop proper technique. Pen grips come in a variety of sizes and shapes which encourage proper grip.
If you wish to improve your sketching, then holding the pencil correctly is only part of the battle. To become a successful artist, you need to practice simple exercises with a pencil that will develop your technique. Whilst it is true that the best artists use a degree of natural talent, the basics can be learned and practised, just like a golf swing or a musical instrument.
Search the internet for "drawing calisthenics" for some simple exercises. These exercises allow artists to develop a variety of techniques, grips and encourage the common repetition of basic shapes such as ellipses and straight lines. Once you are confident that you are holding your pencil correctly and are using and applying techniques you have practiced, make sure you have the right materials.
Good quality cartridge paper and a plastic eraser are essential equipment to the artist. People who wish to engage in technical drawing however, will need a drawing board, steel rule, french curves and a good array of propelling pencils.
Contrary to popular belief, drawing is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Check for courses in your local community centre to meet other like minded enthusiasts and to develop your technique.