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How-To Guide for Sketching

Drawing and Shading with Graphite Pencils

How to draw a sketch

Here is the exact step-by-step process used to create a highly detailed pencil sketch, as is found on this website.  You can see each phase of drawing, from the beginning to the finishing touches.

Our artist, K. Paris, explains how to draw a sketch using these techniques to create all our wonderfully exquisite drawings of The Beatles.

  1. Pick a subject with which you are very familiar, like a family member or a friend, a nude, or a celebrity and envision this person clearly in your mind, or just take your own photo, or license one, and work from that.

  2. Get comfortable with the image of the subject, focusing on all aspects of the facial features, depths, shading and shape.

  3. Choose a good set of sketching materials, like a good Rexel Derwent Pencil Set and some good sketching board, like Strathmore Bristol acid-free sketching smooth surface board.

  4. Affix your sketching board to the work surface using Scotch 3m Brand #230 Drafting Tape, or equivalent, by taping all four corners down.  This tape will not damage either the Sketching board surface or the work surface, and can be removed without residue.  This tape is less sticky than normal masking tape.

  5. Choose a comfortable place to draw so that your arm, wrist and hand will not tie easily.  Using a drafting table or a table top tilted to a 45-degreea angle is preferable.

  6. Make sure that you have proper lighting so that you can see your work clearly.  Poor light will produce poor results in the shading technique, so good natural light for the daytime and artificial light for the night hours is imperative.  The best artificial light source I have found is the GE Reveal Light at 60 watts.

  7. Draw an outline of the subject you wish to sketch, focusing on the outline of the hair, hairline, eyes, nose, chin and shape of head and ears, without honing in on any detail.  The key is to get a good layout from which to proceed, so you have good guidelines from which to work and to map out the picture.

  8. Work in sections, the furthest opposite area of the page from your drawing hand.  In other words, if you are a lefty, then start drawing on the upper-right side, working your way down the right side, and work in towards the left.  The idea is not to rest your hand on areas where you have already drawn, in order to prevent unwanted smudging.  Also, it is imperative that you keep your hands clean at all times.

  9. Should you need to erase anything, use a clean eraser and rub lightly so as not to tear the work surface, and use a good brush to dust off eraser particles as they accumulate.  Always keep your work surface very clean.  Failure to do so will result in an undesired effect and will be extremely difficult to later correct.

  10. When you are ready to begin the "filling in" stage, start with the hair, working the shading from lighter to darker, making texture.  Shading tools and techniques will be next!

  11. Practice!



Also, have a look at a partially completed
sketch of George Harrison



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