Review of Project 1 – Graphite Pencils

This was the last day dedicated to graphite pencil exercises and at the end of it all I was surprised I found something that really engaged me and took my work to a new level.


There were a few other little highlights that I liked: the seasonal wolf illustrations which plays to my “strengths” or cute little things in an imaginary setting; and my tonal flower which was me just winging it – it was very delicate and feminine which is not me at all.

My expressive portraits I was happy with. Darker grade pencils are the way to go. I’m fine with using a 2B for structural lines but they don’t give you the fluidity or tonal range which a 4B can give you. Even the tone difference when combining a 2B and a darker pencil together doesn’t give me enough contrast to make a picture interesting. The line variation with sharp and blunt pencils does however.

Exercise_4_eraser_1I don’t think I’m a pattern maker but I will keep persevering with it. I will make a conscious effort to notice patterns around me in day to day life and possibly create a database of them for inspiration. My mind is not wired to see patterns as much as bold shapes, lighting or texture.


I do like cross-hatching, but I’m not sure if I like it with pencil. I have drawn several with dip pen and ink but I’m too heavy handed with pencil.

Ex2_ribbon_artAnd realism… it’s really important I feel to spend time drawing this way, whether its “your thing” or not. It’s the foundation of all visual arts, possibly other disciplines like architectural or fashion design. Even if you’re someone who only loves paints and brushes, the value of this type of drawing is you spend time seeing things differently – the subtleties of light reflection, a subject’s mass or that there is complexity in something as simple as a pebble. It teaches you control and discipline which is a valuable skill even for an expressive artist.

1_urn_drawingEveryone who takes their art seriously or wants to improve should always return to the humble graphite pencil every now and then, it’s a really good way to hone your skills. You dont even need a fancy imported compressed charcoal graphite pencil stick thing, your average graphite pencil is fine. The same goes with the paper you use.

But no rubbing out! Leave your mistakes in, it’s about learning and exploring. Unless, that is, it’s to draw with, then go crazy. ;D

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The Creative Plan – Day 1 Liquid Pencil

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The Creative Plan – Day 6 Graphite Pencil

5 thoughts on “Review of Project 1 – Graphite Pencils

  1. I absolutely loved this series and following along at home was so enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing what you embark on next. You are an exceptional artist, would you be interested in doing an Artist Interview for my blog?
    Have a think about it, have a look at the other interviews and let me know what you decide. I’d love to feature you and your work xx

    1. Hi Chrissie,

      Thanks for the feedback. In regards to your question, sure I’d love to be interviewed, but maybe give me a few more weeks, I’ve just gotten back into it again and lost a bit of momentum.


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