Sit there, by the lake, in the shade of a leafy tree, caressed by the wind. Please take out a sketch pad and a sketch pencil and sketch the crazy glue in front of us reflected in the calm lake waters, without forgetting the birds that occasionally fly from one shore to the other as the sun sets on the horizon. Who would not like to learn to draw perfectly freehand, quickly immortalize their visions on paper, in a simple way, so distant from the laborious painting, but incredibly expressive and powerful? After all, all of us, as children, drew quite a lot.
Back then, we didn’t care what instrument we got in our hands: a marker, a sketch pencil, a crayon, a stick. It was enough to draw, and we were happy. As adults, they are drawing ‘randomly’ is no longer enough for us to be satisfied. No, when we do something, we want to do it well. For this reason, today, on our blog, we have decided to give some practical advice for those who wish to take up the pencil and start sketching faces, landscapes, and still lies on paper. It doesn’t take much to rediscover the passion for drawing ideas and, with a bit of patience, the first satisfactory results will not be long in coming!
Start drawing in pencil. The right way!
Of course, you will not need to start immediately with the most refined and complete set of graphite drawing pencils, but it is equally sure that to have satisfactory results, you will not be able to settle for the first pencil that will come your way – you are not plus a child! Therefore, you need an actual sketch pencil, a pencil for sketches explicitly made for making sketches. Later, at the bottom of the article, we will return to this point in more detail, to show you which pencils you should buy to get started; for now, you need to know that, to begin giving vent to your artistic impetus, you need an excellent sketch pencil and a block of drawing paper (on the market there are special sketch drawing blocks, with reduced weight and a very high price cheap), as well as a white eraser, a bread eraser, a sharpener, and a smudger.
With these tools tucked into a case and the sketch pad under your arm, you can chase inspiration everywhere: the beauty of pencil and freehand drawing is that it does not require a studio or preparation of materials. You sit down and draw, in any place, in any cut of time, from lunch break to after dinner, passing through the train ride. To start drawing with a pencil, you need to start from simple objects: sketch pencil in hand, you will have to bring all their essential features back to paper, after careful and prolonged observation.
These will be your first sketches
Our advice is to note the relative execution date on each of your drawings so that you can observe the improvement of your technique in the following weeks and months. Once you have reached a higher level of confidence with the sketch pencil, you can move on to more complex subjects, such as faces or the human body. In this case, in addition to direct observation, it may be helpful to study some slight notion of anatomy, to be sure to draw with the right proportions and not to be fooled by the perspective.
The proper techniques for pencil drawing
You can find many drawing courses:
- There are books.
- There are online courses.
- There are private teachers.
- Of course, there are also evening courses.
Most likely, if you look closely, you will find at least one in your city as well.
In any case, beyond the various courses you can enroll in, the fundamental point to improve is a continuous exercise to refine your technique. Nothing is better than practice: the results are guaranteed by drawing every day for at least half an hour or an hour. As a general rule, those approaching sketch pencil and white paper for the first time must pay particular attention to respecting the proportions. It applies to any drawing, from still life to landscape, up to the human body: the ability to restore the right proportions must be improved over time.
Equal attention must pay to symmetry
Not all the objects you will find yourself drawing will indeed be symmetrical, but even in those cases, drawing a faint central line to divide the drawing in two can help you be more faithful to reality. When you come across particularly complex and constructed sketches, respect for perspective becomes essential: reconstruct the depth of a drawing. Therefore, it is necessary to review this technique to give even more movement to the sketches by hand. Finally, to embellish the pencil drawing, there is the chiaroscuro, made possible by the peculiar characteristics of the sketch pencils which, according to the inclination, trace different lines, perfect for giving the idea of three-dimensionality and for increasing the impact of a drawing.
The exercises to do to learn how to draw with a pencil
We anticipate it immediately: none of your first pencil drawings will ever be exhibited at the Louvre. I’m sorry I disappointed you! For this reason, we advise you to proceed calmly, without haste, giving time to time. Between one still life and another, in the beginning, you could then dedicate yourself to some manual skills to use your sketch pencil in the best way. Try to make kinds of curved lines, try to draw circles – or ovals – in series, draw short straight lines in every direction, and draw sharp and obtuse angles. In short, experiment as much as possible to gain confidence and speed! Finally, practice hatching and changing pressure levels. In this way, after these exercises, you will be able to master your sketch pencils concretely.