Drawing Pencil Sketches

Create realistic drawing pencil sketches using a variety of graphite drawing techniques. The pencil is simple enough for any child to use. And yet, graphite is so versatile, the advanced artist can use it to create a masterpiece.

Graphite pencils usually come in a range of values from light to dark. Hard pencils make a lighter mark while soft pencils make a darker mark. H pencils are harder (lighter) and B pencils are softer (darker).

For example: a 9H pencil is very light and a 9B pencil is very dark. An "Ebony" pencil is the darkest pencil of all! The diagram below looks a bit like the PH scale - the lower the numbers (H or B) the closer in value they become.

Watch the Drawing with Pencil Video

pencil gradation

pencil shading

There are a variety of ways to draw
with pencils. Hatching, cross-hatching
and scribbling are three popular styles.
Any of these or a combination of all
will work. Try out different techniques
and go with what works best for you!

Another option is blending. You can use
a lighter pencil to blend a darker pencil
OR use a blending stump.

You can also use a single pencil to
gradually move from light to dark values
just by changing the pressure you put
on the page.

Watch the Drawing Pencil Sketches Video

Graphite Pencil
Drawing Supplies:

• For quick drawing
pencil sketches use the trusty 2B pencil.

• Advanced techniques will require a range of pencils - for example:
4H, 2H, 2B, 4B and an Ebony Pencil - sold separately or in sets.

• Erasers - this can include a Kneaded Eraser (gray and pliable), a Mars White Eraser and/or a Gum Eraser, as well as a clickable eraser pencil. *Beware of Pink Erasers which can sometimes leave pink marks and tend to be too harsh for fine artists papers.

• Blending Stump - comes in various sizes and can be used for blending details (pictured above).

• Woodless Graphite Pencils, Sticks and Blocks - these come in many shapes and sizes and are fun to try out!

• Sandpaper - preferably of a very fine grit - sold in small paddles specifically for fine art uses - use it to sharpen your pencils and then use the remaining graphite dust to create soft shading.

• Pencil sharpener - inexpensive plastic or metal hand held sharpeners work great and give you the most control. From quick sketches to cartoon imagery to richly detailed landscapes, a simple graphite pencil can open the door to a vast range of endless possibility. The quality of the graphite can make a difference when creating advanced and detailed drawings, but an inexpensive set will do the trick if you are just starting out.

Related Resources

Learn How To Draw with these pencil sketching tutorials.

Buy a set of Graphite Pencils.

Learn to Draw - Online Drawing Lessons