How to Create Art with Pencils Part 2

Now that you have amassed your drawing tools you can decide whether or not you want to hold your pencil in the handwriting position or the under hand position which is simply clasping your pencil lightly with your fingertips holding the pencil under your hand.  This position is favored for drawing long flowing strokes.

From here on in we are going to refer to your pencil lead as graphite and there are several ways to create blends in your graphite drawings. Avoid using your fingers to blend as it may release unwanted oils from your skin unto your drawing. The best way is to use a brush and a tissue.

Erasers in your graphite drawings will be used for more than removing a line, especially when you use kneaded erasers. You can mold your kneaded erasers to lift up some of the graphite in your drawing, thus leaving subtle variations of light that can be defined as highlights. You can take a piece of kneaded eraser and roll it or shape it and then press down and away and you will be able to create designs. Using a stick erasers sharp edge you can create strokes or lines on your graphite drawing to allow the paper underneath the graphite to show through, thus creating more designs.

It is easy to practice this and it is easy to practice any kind of design or “scribble” with your different pencils.  Just try it and fill your paper up with designs and blended in spaces with either graphite shading or graphite dust that you have brushed in with your brushes or a tissue and then pull out forms with your erasers.

Find a location where you can practice your art.  It may be a secluded area away from your everyday schedule and family or it may be in your favorite chair.  Once there look around and choose a subject. Can’t seem to focus? Just look around and try drawing your own two feet.

I can remember being in a real estate workshop where everyone sat at their table and leaned on one elbow holding their hand upright in any kind of position.  Focusing on that hand and picking up their pencil in their other hand within 20 minutes all 30 non-artist people had sketched their hand and all were pretty good.

Try this exercise.  Look at a chair, basket or table lamp for about 90 seconds and then look away and draw what you saw in 60 seconds without ever lifting your pencil from the paper. This is called blind contour drawing and it is not about perfection.Here is a chair I did once. I then add a fast watercolor wash and it sold immediately for $50.00!


Now look at that same table lamp and again start drawing the outline and edges of the lamp as you remember them.  This is called contour drawing.  We are concerned with the process here, not the results.

Now look at your drawing of the lamp and look at the lamp.  Add some more detail to your drawing of the lamp.  Again look at your drawing of the lamp and again look at the lamp. Notice any more details plus any shadows on the table thrown there by the light. Add these new details and shadows to your lamp.

Practice is the only thing that will make your better. Giving this a minimum of a ½ hour each day will give you great results and you will definitely see the improvement.

About the Author & Artist. Arlene Wright-Correll (1935- now), popular American award winning Artist, published author, columnist, & is the resident art instructor for Avalon Stained Glass School, at the age of 68, decided to pick up her paint brushes again after 54 years and paint. She is a cancer and stroke survivor who is able to strive forward each and everyday to welcome the beauty of this small planet.  She also is a China & Porcelain painter, Sandblasting & Etching, Stained Glass & fused glass Artisan. She is one of the six KY Artists who worked 6 months to create the dolls for Journey Jots in 2006 and a Smithsonian Institute art exhibit in 2008. Her published books can be found here . She is also a featured writer for and teaches Art Vacation Holidays at Avalon Stained Glass School and Creativity Center.

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