Drawing with graphite

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 in Art
Drawing with graphite

I used drawing pencils for my Little Red illustration. I wanted to get good value and shading. Drawing pencils give me the ability to do that.


  • drawing pencils
  • blending stump/tortillon
  • kneaded rubber eraser & white plastic eraser

Quick recap of process: thumbnails > reference photos > line drawing > value and color studies > refined drawing.

I mapped out the basic values for each section of the drawing in a value study. That was incredibly helpful when I started in with the pencils. I worked section by section.

The first thing I did was lightly fill in a section to get a general value. Then I laid in my shadows. I used a blending stump and tortillon for blending the graphite. (Tortillons and blending stumps are cylindrical drawing tools made of rolled paper.) Next I pulled out lighter areas with a kneaded rubber eraser.

That’s basically it. The process is a lot of back and forth: laying down graphite, blending, erasing out lighter areas, laying down more graphite, and so on. You’re trying to achieve shadows and highlights, contrast of light and dark/foreground and background, and focus (sections of less importance or further away are blurrier).

You can buy a print of Little Red in my shop.