A lot of people like to doodle ideas or sketch from real life. Often it is done with whatever old pen or pencil we find nearby. The problem is that by not using the proper tools your drawings don’t look as good as they can, and you may not be getting better. The correct tools can take any craft to a higher level of mastery. This is also true for drawing.
After I started using my drawing utensils in a more strategic manner, my final work improved instantly. Seeing such results always inspires me to draw more.
The first tip is about how to use your pencil. You have to make sure it stays as sharp as possible. This small adjustment instantly elevates your piece: you have more control over your lines, all the details look more precise, which in turn makes the drawing look better.
Many professionals use a pocket knife to sharpen their pencils; I use a regular old fashioned sharpener; some people prefer an electric sharpener. Choose what works best for you. Regardless of how you sharpen your pencil, the lead becomes not as sharp, quick. In this situation, you could use a knife to bring the sharpness back, but it’s not exactly convenient when you’re on a roll with your drawing. So my tip is to have a small piece of fine grade sandpaper next to you, and rub your lead on it whenever you want it sharpened.
My next advice is to use pencils of various softness. I use an HB to make the initial sketch and shade in the lighter shadows, and then I go over the areas which are supposed to be the darkest with a softer pencil, like a 2H (up to 6H). In this way you can improve your older drawings as well – just take a softer pencil and go over chosen areas. This simple technique gives your drawing much more depth.
Another useful tool I recommend using is the kneaded eraser. It is a soft eraser, which can be molded with your fingers. Tear small pieces of, to form sharp points so you can work on small details. Traditionally, the kneaded eraser is used to work on charcoal, however, it is also great for pencil drawings.
The amazing thing about this eraser is that it doesn’t erase the pencil marks completely. Rather, it removes the halftones by lifting up some of the graphite, making an area lighter. This technique is very useful in the final steps of cleaning up the drawing.
Also, if you cut your traditional eraser at an angle with a knife, it will be much easier to erase small details.
These are my simple tips to improve your drawings fast. They’ve worked wonders for me, and I am sure they can do the same for you. Try them out and let me know what you think!
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