Challenge Yourself - Tools and Techniques - Drawing




Pencils are perhaps the most obvious choice we might think of.  Pencils are graded by letters and numbers, which are written on them.  An HB pencil is fairly hard and is useful for making a consistent line, such as writing, so you’ll find them in standard stationery sets. 


The B pencils are softer – 1B being a little softer than HB, and then up through the numbers to 9B which is the softest. With very soft pencils you can get a darker shade and the marks they make can be smudged, to an extent, rather like charcoal (which we look at in this 'Tools and Techniques' section). Another interesting use of soft pencils (and graphite/charcoal) is to combine their use with erasers to make light marks on a dark background. To do this, you would shade/block in a dark shape on your paper, possibly smudging it a little. Then take an eraser and carefully use it to lift (remove) areas of the dark pencil, so making light marks on dark. This can be effective and unusual. 



Pencils are therefore surprisingly versatile tools. You can vary the type of mark by changing the angle of the pencil, as shown below.



Pencils - mark making



You can buy a range of different grades of pencil from an art shop.


  • So now go ahead and try making marks with all the pencils you have, including using the pencil on the side of its point, and using an eraser to lift portions of pencil marks away
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