Graphite pencil life drawing tricks

Girl with ring

Girl with ring

Medium: Graphite pencil.

Creation time: 25 minutes.

I've started drawing with graphite pencil again instead of my old faithful charcoal pencils. I can get so much more detail because the graphite is a lot harder and it keeps a sharp point for longer.

My favourite part in this drawing is her foreshortened arm and hand and the ring she was wearing. The hardest part was her neck because her hair was partly covering it up and I couldn't quite see what I was drawing.

I will be drawing a lot more this year so hopefully I will really start to improve.

Seated Girl life drawing

Seated Girl life drawing

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

Creation time: 1 hour.

This is one of my favourite life drawings! It only took about an hour to do!

Shortly after I drew this, I stopped attending my life drawing class for a few months. When I came back I wasn't drawing nearly as good. It took months before I was back to the same level. I decided not to stop again!

Three men (detail)

Three men (detail)

Medium: Pencil.

This is a close-up of the graphite pencil rendering. This was scanned on my old scanner just before it died, that's what the vertical lines are.

Girl with folded legs looking up

Girl with folded legs looking up

Medium: Graphite pencil.

Creation time: 15 minutes.

This is the first time I've done life drawing in about a year. I was a bit rusty at first but after about five or six drawings I started to loosen up. I used my favourite short charcoal pencils sharpened in a bullet point style for the first few drawings - they give a fairly sketchy line on the rough paper. Then I switched to a HB sharpened to a needle point. I find that when I make the change to such a fine point I suddenly have all this extra detail to play with and my drawings become a lot more accurate. This is great for a while but if I use them for too long I tend to get bogged down in the details and I have to switch back to charcoal to loosen up again.

3 men from my sketchbook

3 men from my sketchbook

Medium: HB graphite pencil.

Creation time: 10 minutes each.

I liked all three of these drawings so I scanned in the entire page. The model was doing some unusual poses such as the top left one, you don't get to draw that everyday!

Sketch of two girls

Sketch of two girls

Medium: HB pencil on art paper.

Creation time: 10 minutes, 15 minutes.

When I draw multiple drawings on the one page in my sketchbook I sometimes like to overlap them to give a sense of depth. In this sketch the pose on the right was drawn behind the previous drawing even though it was the same girl.

I really liked this models hair, she was wearing a little scarf to pull her hair back and there were some nice messy locks sticking out at the back of her head. They were fun to draw.

2 Girls leaning on stool

2 Girls leaning on stool

Medium: HB pencil on art paper.

Creation time: 10 minutes each.

The stool makes these poses quite interesting. Sometimes I neglect the surroundings when I draw because I focus too much on model but I've discovered that a drawing can tell more of a story if the composition incorporates other objects.

3 Girls from my sketchbook

3 Girls from my sketchbook

Medium: HB pencil on art paper.

Creation time: 5 minutes each.

This was the same model drawn 3 times on one page of my sketchbook. I like the top drawing best because it has some nice flowing lines and it looks a bit more anatomicly correct. I didn't quite finish everything; some of her limbs are only lightly mapped out. If I had more time I would have finished drawing them in more detail.

Girl touching toes

Girl touching toes

Medium: HB pencil on art paper.

Creation time: 5 minutes.

This was a very quick sketch with only a few quick hatching lines to block in the shadow areas. I think it has a nice relaxed feel to it.

2 Girls from my sketchbook

2 Girls from my sketchbook

Medium: HB pencil on art paper.

Creation time: 10 minutes each.

I had 10 minutes for each of these two sketches so I took my time and mapped out as much anatomy as I could. I didn't complete either figure but sometimes it's nice to see partially finished drawings as you can get an insight into how an artist starts out a drawing. This can be quite useful if you're learning.

Reclining female

Reclining female

Medium: Pencil on art paper.

This is a example of extreme foreshortening!

I drew this on the first page of one of my sketch books. Because it was in contact with the black plastic front cover it rubbed together over time and smudged the picture quite a bit. Lucky I scanned it before it was ruined! Since that day I always skip the first page when I get a new book.

Another thing I've learned is to draw on one side of each page only. This allows me to scan a drawing later without any danger of other drawings showing through from the other side. Some of my old sketch books wern't done this way and as a result you can see other drawings showing through no matter how I scan them.

Standing man

Standing man

Medium: Pencil on art paper.

Just a simple drawing of a man from behind. I drew the exact same pose in coloured pencil too.

Man Standing pencil life drawing

Man Standing pencil life drawing

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

I love the rendering on this one. A bit rough but it turned out ok! :)

Standing Girl life drawing

Standing Girl life drawing

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

Creation time: 10 minutes.

One of my very first life drawings.

Naked asian girl standing pose

Naked asian girl standing pose

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

Creation time: 45 minutes.

I like this one. Make sure you see the skeleton version in my human anatomy section too!

Man seated on block

Man seated on block

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

I didn't get a chance to render this one. I only got the pose mapped out.

Seated Girl 2 pencil drawing

Seated Girl 2 pencil drawing

Medium: Pencil on white art paper.

An early life drawing. Not particularly well drawn!