Tip Tuesday: Graphite

Welcome to Tip Tuesday, Graphite Addition 🙂

Graphite is one of the most commonly used mediums of any artist. It’s a foundation. When you first are exposed to art, it’s usually by drawing. Many of us remember those infamous crayons or markers. Maybe you doodles on the corner of you paper during those boring assignments. Regardless of how you came about drawing, it was a foundation for you.

When I first started drawing it was with graphite and charcoal. I always loved graphite though. It’s easy to find, clean and you can take it anywhere. But why is graphite used so much by artists? It’s easy to use for sketching and can create incredible pieces of work. You can get the medium very dark (with time), create very light strokes, it blends beautifully and so much more.

So much graphite in all shapes and sizes. There are also woodless pencils, I have some but I can't find them :/
So much graphite in all shapes and sizes. There are also woodless pencils, I have some but I can’t find them :/

When you complete a piece in graphite make sure you don’t press down hard. Slow and steady is key with graphite. If you look up Lee Hammond she is a fantastic example of graphite skill. Click on the link and it will lead you to a great video clip of her drawing in graphite. Excellent teacher as well 🙂

For myself when I want to complete a piece in graphite I remember something Lee always says, “get your darks darker”. You can get your darks darker, you just have to be slow about it. Taking your time is key with drawing in graphite. Keeping your strokes very light will make it easier for you to erase a mistake as well.

Another example of using graphite lightly, the outline.
Another example of using graphite lightly, the outline. I used a 7H pencil, the hardest is 9H.

If I’m not using graphite as my main medium to create a piece I will use it as an outline tool. The tiger above, is done in 7H graphite pencil. 7H is a hard pencil, so the lines won’t be as dark as if you were using say, a 4B pencil which is soft.

When you draw with graphite, whether it’s a finished piece of outline, play with it first. See what it can do and how it blends. For blending, I use tortillions and blending stumps. Many times, paper towels or a rag will well too. Play with your options, what could go wrong right?

Go out there and have fun with graphite or any other medium. It’s an adventure, just go for it 🙂

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