Quote of the Day

The idea of me is better than the reality of me. - Verity

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sketching for Beginners - What are Numerical Graphite Pencils?

The King has been a favorite subject of my portrait sketches when I was younger. I clearly remember how happy and excited I was when my Mom handed me a magazine full of Elvis Presley's photographs.
In these sketches, I used different pencil gradient scales (which I learned in one of my Architecture subjects way back in college. But if you are just a beginner, I personally recommend practicing with the ordinary pencil first so that you'll be able to familiarize yourself with the right handling of the pencil and learn your personal style. In addition, it is important to note that these graphite pencils require more precision which is learned through time.

[image] from http://pencils.com/hb-graphite-grading-scale/

Again, you don't need to purchase all the grades because as you can see in the photo above, some grades have almost the same shade so if you are planning to get some, I recommend these pencil grades - HB, B, 2B, 3B and 6B because basically, the shades they provide considerably differ from each other.

Which is which?
  • HB is the pencil grade that is usually used in writing. It is easy to sharpen and its lead is hard to break.
  • The grade B is softer compared to HB and it draws smoothly even when using less pressure. This grade is perfect for shading.
  • You can use a 2B/3B pencil with lesser pressure, best for shading darker areas.
  • 6B produces smooth and very dark line even with very little pressure.
Rule of thumb, start with the basics. When I started (toddler years) I drew everything I saw and imagined, using a simple pencil. The back of my notebooks were always filled with doodles of trees, houses, flowers and little flying fairies and I carried that habit while growing up. My passion in sketching was cultivated during college and in the university, I learned that using graphite drawing pencils are essential in sketching especially if you want to achieve a professional and realistic effect.

I had no formal training in portrait sketching so I cannot make a detailed tutorial on how to sketch like a Pro but in the future, I will try to give tips and tricks (personal and unconventional techniques) that may somehow help beginners hone their craft. You can find tons of inspirations online that you can use a guide so start with that. Search for websites and YouTube channels that provide tutorials on how you can improve your sketching talent.

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