Perfecting the pencil strokes

Practicing the Strokes

Well you can, but if you wish to make great artworks a primary prerequisite is a clean sketch. Whichever media is your choice: a sketch, water color, pastel oil paint you can not oversee the importance of a clean line drawing or under drawing. There are painters and professionals, you can argue who do not use any under drawing for their compositions, obviously I am not talking about those specific cases. Vast majority of professional painters do use a clean  under drawing as base for their compositions.And it’s crucial for cleaner drawing to be able to make steady strokes.

What kind of pencil strokes should I practice ?

Ideally you should be able to draw the clean straight and curved lines without waves and numerous tiny lines. To achieve the same you need to hold the pencil in the correct manner and place your hand on the surface in a proper way to get enough support, yet allow your hand freely to maintain a clean stroke.

Where Should I hold the Pencil?

For a greater control and support and ability to draw a clean underdrawing we should adopt a specific way of holding and supporting the pencil. following pictures will explain how to have a optimum combination. These are just some general guidance but it might differ from person to person based on their preference.

Do not hold the pencil near the tip
Do not hold the pencil too near to the end of the pencil
Measure your pencil and mar the points approximately as shown above
Hold the pencil like this for smaller strokes
Hold the pencil at the higher point marked earlier for longer strokes
Use the small finger to support

First thing First

Before we start playing with colors and shadows and highlights its important to get our lines straight or may be curved to the perfection so the drawing is solid. Which is foundational for a great painting. So let’s see what kind of pencil should we be using and how to do draw before we paint.

The Lead:

It’s important to pick the right lead pencils for a drawing and its obvious that each type of pencil is suited for a specific need.

Leads I use frequently

I usually use four different types of lead pencils. HB, 2B, 4B and 8B. Each of this lead pencils are very useful for a nice painting but might not be always needed bases on the final media you are planning to use.

I believe it’s very important to have a very clean drawing before you starting painting colors.

HB Pencil for drawing

Start with HB pencil for a soft and crisp drawing. Make sure not apply too much pressure so you don’t create a hard impress of the pencil on the paper/ canvas.

Drawing with deep strokes also makes it very difficult to retouch if needed.

Does Brand Matter?

Well ideally brand does not matter. One should look for softer leads for drawing so it flows easily on any kind of paper or canvas, does not leave hard impression on paper.

I have used some pencils HB pencils available in target and they work just good. However if you are looking for great quality pencils an essentially interested in pencil sketch composition you might have to look for better quality pencils for better control on the darks and lights and strokes. I personally use “Derwent”, which I got from Amazon.

Derwent Lead pencils for pencil sketch and shading

Also do not forget to collect couple of 8B, 4B, 2B for better dark wash and depth control in your composition.

Do let me know your feedback and comments

A Beginning after an END

Thanks for joining me! I am Mainak, born and brought up in India, currently living in Golden State of United States of America. working in Analytics and Data domain. Usually it’s quite difficult and daunting task to keep up with ones hobby and passion along side the day to day office job, as people say. Its difficult certainly, but manageable i would say. I have been passionate about Drawing and Painting, essentially the Pencil sketches and Watercolor medium.

I started painting when I was in 3rd grade and continued until 10th grade. It was a long gap after that due to higher studies and then job and then family and zillion other priorities of life. Even though I stopped practising painting and drawing, i did not detach entirely and came back to it, time to time even if it was just a bare pencil sketch or on some art forms on digital devices.

My formal relation with drawing and panting pretty much Ended when I started my 12th grade. I did not manage to get enough chance until late 2015 to come back to it when I Began Mixing and Spreading some colors again as i started guiding my kids on how to draw.

Over this site I am trying keep that journey alive. As I go on creating new art work I plan to share them right here along with detailed process, method, techniques I followed to create those. In case if you have discovered this website and happened to like any of my creations, or if you have some feedback/ suggestion please let me know by adding your comments. I will appreciate it.