ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pencil Drawing Exercises

Updated on June 19, 2013
Shaded pyramids and cones
Shaded pyramids and cones | Source
Shaded cubes and spheres
Shaded cubes and spheres | Source
Cross-hatching done with ink
Cross-hatching done with ink | Source
Close up of cross-hatching
Close up of cross-hatching | Source

There are many different ways to draw and shade with a pencil. You can use hard or soft lead pencils or colored pencils. I tend to use a medium soft lead, I like the way they blend the best. There are many different levels of pencil lead in art supplies to choose from. These are rated 9H (hardest and lightest in color, with more clay) through 9B (softest and blackest in color, with more lead). You can find an example of the scale easily online and see examples of the leads. The middle pencil grade is HB. If you are doing a picture with sharp edges, a harder lead would work best for you.

There are three basic types of shading with pencils. The first is blended shading, which most people use when they start drawing. Another type of shading is cross-hatching, which means using layers of lines in different directions to shade an object. This works very well with harder leaded pencils that allow you to see the lines sharply. It also works great with ink or markers. There is also a third type of shading called stippling. This method uses a series of dots marked on the paper in various closeness to make shadows darker or lighter. The more dots in a small space, the darker the shading and vice versa. Using a directed light on an object in the beginning makes it easy to see the lightness and darkness of the object.

In the classroom, I have sheets with objects already drawn on them in outline for the students. Then they don't need to worry about making a perfect square, triangle or circle. They can concentrate on the actual shading. As the students get older, I would have them draw the shape itself onto the paper and then shade it. You must always remember to try to keep a fairly light hand when shading an object. You can always make it darker with more pressure, lines or dots, but it is not always easy to make things lighter. A good eraser is a worthwhile investment, usually I have a white plastic eraser on hand for my pencil work. The theory of keeping a light hand rings especially true with markers and ink. You cannot just erase ink. This is something that each student needs to think about and be taught to remember. Generally, they try to shade with too heavy of a hand at first and have a hard time keeping the light area light enough. It takes some practice to get it right.

Once the students (or yourself) have mastered shading certain shapes, they can try their hand at a still life. The most important thing to remember when drawing is that each object is made up of simple shapes. Combining shapes is the basis for every object drawn. In other words, everything is based on a simple shape, you just build off of that shape with additional lines to make an individual realistic object. Breaking everything down to a simple shape makes drawing everything easier. It is probably the best piece of advice I can give. Hopefully, you will be able to use a couple of these techniques in your drawing or teaching and find some of the information helpful!

Perspective project with stippling done in ink
Perspective project with stippling done in ink | Source

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Mama Kim 8 profile image

    Sasha Kim 5 years ago

    Oh those practice spheres and pyramids take me back to freshman art class! Although we had to draw the corresponding shadow as well. ^_^ I miss art class. Thank you for the wonderful refresher and memories. Voted up!!

  • profile image

    stoneyy 5 years ago from USA Pacific Northwest

    One good public domain book is 'Fun With A Pencil' by Andrew Loomis published in 1939. It can be found in a few places online for download.

    I'm starting to do more drawing and sketching myself. Its sorely needed.

  • amberld profile image
    Author

    Amber Dahnke 5 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    Thank you for checking out the hub! I am very glad you find it useful. The great thing about shading is that you can always get better at it, just takes a little practice. When I did the drawing sheet, I realized how out of practice I am. I need to brush up myself. Writing this hub definitely helped me remember how to teach it better! Am so glad you liked it, too!

  • Helena Ricketts profile image

    Helena Ricketts 5 years ago from Indiana

    I really like this hub. Very informative. Shading is something that I'm not really all that great at. Voted up and useful! Thanks for sharing this.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)