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Learn How To Use Your Pencils

Updated on July 29, 2009

Know Your Pencils:

Think Of Your Pencils As Freinds... The Better You Know Them, The Better You Work Together.

Learning to use your pencils, Knowing your pencils and how to use them, along with proper movements/techniques can not only improve your drawings but also let you be more comfortable while drawing.

If you know how your pencils react to different drawings movements and pressures you can work with them without guessing what will happen next and wondering if it will be what you were hoping... in this hub I have written our some practicing ideas on getting used to your pencils and why... these are all things that friends and I have used to get the feel of our pencils, when learning to draw from the start or just trying a new brand!

A Note About Working With "New" Pencils

While working with different pencils I have found that I need to adapt my methods with each new kind, some pencils are harder overall while some have soft lead and need to be handled in a different way, also learning how much pressure to use for different techniques is a challenge.

Harder for shadows but if you push down to hard you end up with a dead-looking, thick, block of color. How light do you need to push down to draw highlights? Is any color necessary there at all? Learning the answer to all of these questions is something you will need to discover your self, because it's different for everyone.

Learning to work with new pencils or pencils at all is challenging and can take some time, still learning my self here! I do know that the better you know your pencils, (your tools in general) the better your drawings will be.

Take the time to learn how to use your tools, and your efforts will be rewarded through your art.

This is my first attempt to draw a guy in years.. lol so go easy on me! XD An Example of a drawing done in one color, I only used one pencil for this project..
This is my first attempt to draw a guy in years.. lol so go easy on me! XD An Example of a drawing done in one color, I only used one pencil for this project..

Working With One Color

Work with one color, if you are trying to get used to a pencil, or are just trying to work on determining pressure needs, working on shadowing, or the lines overall doing the drawing in one color can be helpful.

Don't even set your self to have a scheme of colors, while this seems limited and if this is all you do it is, it can be a very helpful learning technique. If you are trying to learn how to work with your pencils you need to learn things like:

  • how much pressure to use
  • where to shadow and where to leave white as highlights
  • how to hold the pencil in different ways to get different effects

All of these are important to learn when your first starting and to keep in mind later on. Just a couple of days ago I did a portrait styled drawing in one color as I was trying to learn the new feel of the new Prisma color pencils I am learning to use. While the drawing it's self wasn't that good and I just sketched it from my head... it was great practice and one of my favorite ways to learn the new feel of a tool.

Test Your Pencil's Limits, C'mon We All Push People To Find Out Their Limits, Why Not Push Your Pencils?
Test Your Pencil's Limits, C'mon We All Push People To Find Out Their Limits, Why Not Push Your Pencils?

Try It Out....

Learn how to use your tools in general, take a page of paper or two or more and test different pressures, hand movements, how you hold the pencil... experiment!

Don't be afraid to use paper, take up space and try again... do more and more until you are comfortable with your knowledge of your own pencils... (tools) Draw:

  • lines
  •  patterns
  •  swirls 
  • etc to really get the feel of your pencils.

Know Your Pencils & Ditch Reality.

Another thing I like to do is either work in black and white or use random colors for parts of my drawing... not having to choose the colors that would be correct and just being able to draw takes off a lot of stress while getting used to your pencils.

It also brings a sense of creativity back into the picture, literally! Creativity is being ale to let go of expectations. So... BLOW THEM OFF. So many of us are taught when we are young to be practical, "don't be silly." is a common one, make the trees purple, the sky orange, draw their skin blue and their eyes yellow it really doesn't matter, it's all part of learning to be creative and keeping that creativity.

The point is, be silly, go wild and do what works best for you. 

Hubchallenge, Hub.. 29 


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    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 5 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Thanks! Getting familiar with your tools and making sure you grab the right one is very important. :)

    • netraptor profile image

      netraptor 5 years ago from California

      Good ideas for testing out pencils! I hadn't thought of trying out other strokes. That might have helped a lot when I accidentally switched from hard lead to soft lead pencils. I couldn't figure out why the colors were so smeary. :)