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Drawing Pencil Sketches

It is no secret that drawing pencil sketches is the ultimate in freedom of expression.

Drawing and sketching are very similar except sketching is kind of liberating. I'm convinced it is another option to accomplish better drawing skills. Read where I previously discuss my interpretation of the difference between drawing and sketching.

My all-time favorite is landscape sketches...

Landscape Sketch

I copied this image from an old book that has expired in copyright. My illustration isn't the same but I like to give credit to the original artist who saw the beauty in this scene.

As I progress through the drawing, things end up out of place and probably out of proportion but I just make some adjustments here and there until it all seems to fit together.

I used the side of a 2B wood pencil lead to create the foliage in the background because I think that gives the illusion of depth with the blurriness of trees so far away.

The texture of my sketchpad also adds to the effect.

Just like learning to draw, there a few things that you need to keep in mind...

  • make a mental note to scribble quickly,
  • remind yourself that there is no erasing,
  • keep drawing in lines until a shape looks right,
  • if you're right-handed, go from left to right.

Focus on the simple task of seeing, forget about technique, you just want a true representation.

The images you see here are from my sketchbook and I'm quite proud of them, especially since they took only minutes to complete.

If you only give yourself the chance, you will see that you can do this, too! I am not skilled, I wasn't born with any kind of talent, I have taught myself in exactly the same way you intend to teach yourself.

All you have to do is make up your mind that you can do this. Well, that's what I did and it worked for me, so I'm passing everything I know along to you.

Sketching From Books

This seascape was again copied, it was originally done by an artist long ago.

Seascape Sketch
Butterfly image
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I was fascinated with how he portrayed the clouds and how the whole image came together as one.

When drawing pencil sketches, the only way for me to really understand how to lay the strokes was to copy it as best as I could.

In the quick sketch below, I again used the side of the pencil to roughly portray what was behind the flowers at the front.

Landscape Flowers Sketch

In keeping with my challenge to be as fast as I can, the best way to do the background was to just blend it in - using the side of the lead adds a whole other dimension to the word "carefree"!

If you struggle to remember all there is to know about drawing and sketching, just keep reading as many drawing books as you can find and it will eventually sink in.

At first, don't worry too much about the theory side, that also falls into place as your knowledge expands and your curiosity kicks in.

Practice drawing pencil sketches while you read because that is the one thing that actually speeds up the learning process.

Sketching From Photos

Today, on the spur of the moment, I was curious to see what I could produce while drawing pencil sketches from some personal photos. My interpretation took maybe 15 minutes max and I'm fairly happy with it.

Bay Photo
Bay Sketch

I used a kneaded eraser to help me achieve the effect with the sunlight and rays. All shading was done the same as before, with the side of the lead. My aim was to try and finish the piece in the shortest timeframe possible and to manage a good similarity.

I used a 2B wood pencil which made the job of placing fine railings on the jetty almost impossible. To fix that, I made the jetty bigger because I didn't want to stop the momentum to swap or sharpen my pencil.

I also pay attention to how I place my strokes, I want to get into the habit of them going in the one direction only, so I'm not dragging the graphite backwards and forwards. I think that action ruins a sketch yet my tendency to hurry seems to encourage it.

As I continue to look at this sketch, I think it looks more like a drawing. Learning to sketch is a process and I know what I visualize and what appears on my paper are generally 2 different things. I'm not worried, I know that if I keep practicing, I am going to achieve that sketchy look eventually.

If you would like to know more about sketching, check out the How To Sketch Guide where you'll learn heaps plus you receive great illustrations for copying.

All in all, you will discover that the variety of expression available to you is endless when you are drawing pencil sketches.

See the links below for a variety of sketches:

Related subjects for you to enjoy...

Click on an image to see more:
Cartoon Car
Car Sketches
Rose sketch
Sketch a Rose
Tree trunk sketch
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