Glorious Graphite! (and other sketching stuff)

Hi friends! When was the last time you sketched? There is nothing quite like the silky smooth glide of a soft graphite pencil on a fresh piece of paper. I prefer the soft, dark leads of a 6b-8b lead, probably because I was so heavy-handed as a child my art instructor made me use a 4H LOL! I still look at the harder pencils with disgust and disdain…it’s probably why I didn’t fulfill my dad’s wish for me to be an architect. Well, it was either those darn hard precise pencils or my dislike of math, straight lines and measuring. I prefer organic lines and a more loosey-goosey approach to art and that is the wonderful thing about sketching, you have both options! With one set of drawing pencils you get the thick, dark delicious smudge-ability of a 6B pencil and the tight, hard, precise line of a 4H and everything in between!

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The downside is that if you don’t know what the different pencils are for you might be confused with the options and not want to bother with them and go back to your trusty #2 pencil. There is nothing wrong with sketching with a regular #2 pencil, I do all the time. In fact I have a trick for you on how to remember what pencils is what using the #2 as a neutral starting point. The #2 pencil we all love are equal to an artist’s HB pencil. That is our bipartisan pencil, truly in the middle of the road. Think of H standing for “hard: precise, holds a point, makes light lines” and B stranding for “black: soft, smudgy lead that wears down quickly and makes thicker dark lines” The higher the number the more the properties are enhanced. For instance a 8B pencil is darker than a 2B and a 5H is lighter and harder than a 2H. Sometimes you will see an F pencil which simply means it is a thin hard-leaded pencil that can be sharpened to a fine point. F=Fine point.

(Photo credit: Pencils.com)

In today’s video we will use the content of the November Smart Art Box to create a sketch of a fox. We will work on developing tonal values because when you are working with graphite you are working in monochrome so you have to convey the depth and color of a scene in one color. It is a wonderful exercise that you should do often!

Video!

As shown in the video graphite pencils can come in a traditional and water-soluble formula. They are inexpensive tools to create beautiful art. I also like mixing media in this piece with the India ink and pastels. If you plan to use a lot of ink or water in your sketch make sure your paper is thick enough to handle it. A brown paper grocery bag is a wonderful choice for a substrate if you plan on layering chalk or pastels. Experiment and have fun!

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I want to thank Smart Art Box for sponsoring this video and til next time happy crafting!

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PS I am working on a Drawing class that will be released early 2018, if you would like to be notified when it launches please join my mailing list!

PSS My Cyber Week sale is still in full swing! Get 50% off current classes with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY (coupon good through 12/2/17)

Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

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