Drawing Pencil Sketches

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Drawing pencil sketches on an oil painting site? 

Yep,

It’s an integral part of your oil painting process and in the growth of your eye to hand co-ordination.   On my learn to draw page I talk a little about that, but go straight into short cuts to get you painting quickly without doing a great deal of drawing. We used carbon paper, grids, or a projector to get your drawing onto your canvas. 

Now, we will learn some time honored traditional drawing techniques that will help both with your oil painting, and who knows, may open some doors for those that want to explore graphite and charcoal drawing as a finished art form. 

Things we will explore from this page will be:

  • Materials used in drawing
  • Graphite Art Techniques from shading to sight sizing and comparative methods.
  • Fine  (Graphite & Charcoal) Art demonstrations
  • Fantasy Art demonstrations (Dragons, Fairies, Vampires)

    (Sign up for the e-zine/newsletter and you’ll know when new stuff gets posted!)

Clicking on any image will supersize it.

drawing pencil sketches

An earlier drawing of a child in traditional lederhosen (leather pants) outfit. 

pencil portrait of young man

My friend Joseph Christmas.  We spent time in technical school together while I was in the Air Force.  Being stationed near Biloxi Mississippi, we didn't miss out on Mardi Gras, New Orleans.  Good time, good memories!

wild life pencil drawing

My rendition of a Robert Bateman done in pencil.  Leopard on a ledge was an exercise in concentration to maintain the rock face into a believable representation of rock. It is a study, and not for sale.  It was for my own purposes in seeing if I could stick to a complex drawing without giving up. 

Why bother showing these sketches?

They don’t really qualify as a pencil sketch, do they?  The first may qualify as it was done in less than an hour, the other two probably not due to them taking a bit longer.  And the definition of a sketch is something done quickly.

I did, however, want to show you the power behind the simple 2B pencil and a kneaded rubber eraser.

That's right!  Pencil, eraser, paper.  That's it!

With only these three items, you can really produce a powerful and quality product for yourself, your friends, family, or art buyers!

Now, it’s back to school!  And time to get down to business with drawing, and no greater place than with drawing pencil sketches. 

These are done early in the oil painting process to help you develop a great composition.  Whether it is the still life, a flower, a portrait or a landscape.   The thing you are after is a drawing that simply put, is done quickly (and accurately), and will give you a good sense of the finished product.

You are drawing mainly to see if the composition you are putting together is going to work.  We call these “thumbnails”, as they a small drawings. 

Here’s an example or two:

Here’s a sketch from my journal done while investigating a landscape that would include buildings, and then several of the still life used in composition pages of the site.


pencil sketch of houses

Pencil sketches of a still life.  This is a composition check.

Another thumbnail drawing of the same subject matter with additional flowers added to the drawing.

Now that you have the idea, go out and try a few!

These really are simplistic sketches that just get the ball rolling.

Drawing pencil sketches will improve your ability to create great compositions, it will also improve your eye to hand co-ordination each time you work one.  It is a simple expression of what you see. 

No need to get too elaborate with shading and details during your first attempts.  Just squint your eyes and get the main masses and objects.  Going more for accurate proportions and sizing of the objects being drawn. 

How important is this you ask?

Well, this painting below is a direct result of drawing pencil sketches of the subject matter before executing the painting and verifying that the composition was going to be the best it could be. 

It also helped me greatly in deciding the objects I would use within the painting.

still life oil painting

Now, as this is a launching page to many aspects of drawing, do sign up for the e-zine in the upper right hand corner.  This way, you'll be notified when the new stuff is added to the site.

And also, do check out Christopher's course on drawing.  It truly is great instruction in this area of art!






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For those just learning to draw, here's your first step: