colored + graphite pencil tips

I’ve been really loving doing art recently :) I got a new art journal (it’s a nice handmade one -thanks grandparents!!) over the summer so I’ve been extra excited to draw! Personally I do colored pencil and graphite (b&w) pencil. I’ve noticed some improvement in my art and wanted to share what I’ve learned and some tips :)

Starting off with tips for both types of pencil; I’ve found that Pinterest is the best way to get photoreferences!! I really recommend using a photo reference to base your drawing off of. I usually look up something along the lines of “artsy photos” or a specific thing I wanted do, like a sunflower.

helpful supplies:

  • white gel pen – next tip ;)
  • detail eraser – make small white lines in graphite/fix little mistakes
  • white pencil – same as gel pen but softer
  • blenders!! – softly blends graphite to avoid sharp lines.

A huge piece of so many of my drawings is using white gel pen to make highlights and details. Follow where the high and brighter points of the reference are, or do as I did above and just add in small dots (water drops) over the colored/graphite pencil.

Getting proportions right in drawings can get so hard!! If you map out facial features, it gets so much easier! You can use curved lines to show where eyes, mouth, ears, nose etc. would go when the face isn’t a straight on view. You can also use a similar idea for other drawings as well.

Moving on to just colored pencil tips; probably the easiest way to blend is using a white colored pencil to smooth colors. When you’re using pastel colors, I’ve found this works pretty well. It doesn’t really work with darker colors though so keep that in mind :)

Another way to smooth colored pencil is using another color to blend with an undertone. For example if your coloring skin of someone with a pinky undertone; fill in the face (lightly pressing) with a light peach and then go over that with the real skintones dark and light areas.

A really easy way to make a really light & soft gray is to use the leftover graphite on the blender! From blending all your other pencil the blender will have enough pigment to make a perfect light gray. I learned this one from an art teacher a few years ago and it’s so helpful!

The most important parts of graphite pencil is to layer and blend  a lot! Start off with light shades and add a little darker and blend. Use darker shades where there’s shadows in your reference.

Especially when you’re drawing something with fur/hair, making lines/dots and then softly blend them can be so helpful. It adds to the texture while still having a smooth and blended look.

I hope these help you out and have fun art-ing!!

<3 carly


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