Drawing Techniques: Graphite Powder and Graphite Pencil. Quick and Easy Results and it's Fun! | Anne Kerr | Skillshare

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Drawing Techniques: Graphite Powder and Graphite Pencil. Quick and Easy Results and it's Fun!

teacher avatar Anne Kerr, "There's an artist in everyone"

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Class

    • 2. Choosing Your Pencils

    • 3. Choosing Your Paper

    • 4. Other Tools You Will Need

    • 5. Let's Start the Drawing

    • 6. Drawing the Trees

    • 7. Water, Reflections and River Banks

    • 8. Thank You!

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About This Class

Using graphite powder in a drawing is exciting! You don't have to be very exact with your drawing, you can use your imagination and be creative.  There are no rights and wrongs with this technique.  If you are finding drawing difficult, then give this a go, you will be amazed at the pictures you can create with just a little imagination!

This class is suitable, not only for beginners but for anyone who has not used graphite powder before. The aim of this class is to take you a little way out of your comfort zone and not to worry about getting all the little details correct in a drawing.

In this class you will learn:

  • Which papers work best with graphite
  • How graphite pencils are graded
  • The difference between graphite and charcoal pencils
  • How to blend your graphite powder using two different methods
  • How to use different types of eraser to create both objects and highlights
  • The importance of tonal values within your drawing

Join professional artist and qualified teacher Anne Kerr for an easy to follow tutorial to produce a graphite drawing of this little woodland scene.

You will start by adding graphite powder to your paper.  You will then gradually blend the graphite in a casual way, to give different areas of tonal value. You will then follow this with some more detailed blending of the graphite powder using a paper blending stump. You will then start creating the objects in the picture by removing some graphite to reveal the shapes and add highlights to bring the picture alive. Lots of accurate detail is not required as you will be able to use your creativity to add various features to the picture.  Anne will guide you step by step through the entire process. You’ll have access to the finished drawing and also copies of the different stages of the picture.

Even if you’re new to drawing or have never used graphite powder before, you’ll find these simple and effective techniques easy to follow as Anne takes you step by step through the whole process.

If you’re ready to improve your existing drawing skills then find your pencils and paper and let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Anne Kerr

"There's an artist in everyone"



Hello, I'm Anne.

I am a professional artist and a qualified teacher in Further and Higher education, in England.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and I've worked as a college tutor for over forty years.  I am a regular contributor to various art and painting journals including ‘Leisure Painter’ magazine, based in the U.K. I have held private exhibitions in the U.K, several European countries and the United States. Up until the time of the wretched COVID outbreak, I organized many painting holidays around Europe. I have also been an invited judge at several prestigious art competitions.

 I am lucky enough to have been brought up in the beautiful English county of Cornwall, where I came to love anything to do ... See full profile

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1. Introduction to the Class: Hello, I'm Anne Kerr. I'm a professional artist and a teacher. So welcome to my art studio. I use many different drawing and painting materials in my work, including oils, soft pastels, watercolor. But one of my real favorites has got to be graphite pencil. This is the drawing that we will be doing using both graphite pencil and graphite powder. In this class, you'll learn the difference between charcoal pencils and graphite pencils and why you may choose one over the other. I'll tell you about the most appropriate papers to use for your graphite drawing. I'll show you how to blend the graphite using the paper blending stumps. And you'll learn how to add the graphite powder to your paper. I'll show you how to blend the powder to get both light and dark values into your drawing. And you'll learn how to use your eraser to make objects appear and to create highlights. This class is suitable not only for beginners, but also for anybody who may not have tried working with graphite powder. Now a graphite powder can be a little bit unpredictable, but it's very exciting. So come with me on a journey of fun and learning. Are you ready? 2. Choosing Your Pencils: Now, the humble, everyday pencil comes in all sorts of degrees of blackness. And you can tell by the markings on the end. This is what you call an HB pencil. Or you might wonder, what does that mean? Well, H means hard and B means black. So some pencils will will have just an H on them. And they'll have a number. The higher the number, the harder the pencil. And some pencils will have, a B on them. And the higher the number, the blacker the pencil. So an eight or a nine B is very dark, but a B is not very dark. Now you don't need hundreds and hundreds of pencils to draw with. You just need two or three at the most. So you might say, well, what's the difference between a really black graphite pencil and a charcoal pencil? Well, there is quite a bit of difference. This is a charcoal pencil. And you can see it's really, really black. And this is the darkest of all the graphite pencils that I've got. It's a 9 B. I'm putting exactly the same amount of pressure on that. Really rubbing it in. I can't get it any darker. Now can you see how much blacker the charcoal is to the nine B graphite pencil. And you may not be able to spot this on the on the camera. But if I hold that up, you might be able to notice that the graphite is quite shiny, but the charcoal isn't. So if you don't like a pencil line in your drawings that's very shiny, then you need to have a pencil that contains a bit of charcoal. Doesn't have to be pure charcoal like that. But some drawing pencils are part graphite and part charcoal. And they don't become soft and shiny like that one. And it's just a personal preference. But on the whole, charcoal pencils will always be darker. than graphite. Now you can also get graphite in sticks like this. Now this is no different to my pencil. The graphite contained in the pencil is exactly the same as this, but this is a big chunk of it. And it's had a lacquer on the outside so that your hand doesn't get messy when you're holding it. So here you've got a little bit of graphite running through the pencil. But here, this is pure graphite. There is lots and lots and lots of it, it will lost you a lifetime. And these also come in degrees of hardness. And this is an HB one, the same as my HB pencil. You can also get big chunks of it like this. And this is a nine B block of graphite, just like my nine B pencil that I used. So it's just a big quantity of it compared with what's in the actual pencil. That's the only difference. And we're going to use those in a moment when I do the drawing. 3. Choosing Your Paper: Now when most people think about doing drawings, they think about using a pencil and drawing lines and doing some shading. And, um, you know, maybe doing some texture lines, things like this, but always using the point of the pencil. Yes, you can use your pencil like this as well to cover larger areas. But there is one way of doing a drawing, which many people don't know about. It was years and years before I learned about this particular method. And I absolutely love it. And I'm going to show you what that method is. Now for this particular way of doing a drawing, I just want a little word about paper. Any paper will do. Absolutely, any paper will do. Some work a little better than others. And let me tell you what that difference is. If your paper is very thin, then it probably hasn't got much in the way of texture and is going to be incredibly smooth. And that may not work quite as well as the papers that have a little bit of texture. So your ordinary everyday sketchbook will be fine. This paper is about a 190 to 200 pound weight. It's, reasonably thick, which means it does have a little bit of texture. So that would be absolutely fine. If I'm doing something larger, I will use this, which is 220 GSM, 135 pound. It's quite a heavy paper. And because I do a lot of drawing, I like a heavier paper. But as I said, you can use the thinner paper. You won't get quite as much texture, but it will work. So I'm going to use a piece of this paper and show you this method of drawing. 4. Other Tools You Will Need: Now for this drawing, I'm going to need my HB pencil. Now this is an HB graphite stick. So what's in here as exactly the same as what's in my pencil. It's just more of it. A little brush to brush away the bits. A kneadable eraser. A hard eraser, either in that form or if you've got a pencil eraser, that's exactly the same thing. And if you don't have a little pencil eraser, you can cut a piece off the end of your rubber or your erazer to get a nice edge. And you will also need a blending stick, which is compressed paper. Okay? Put those to one side. Oh, you will also need a craft knife. 5. Let's Start the Drawing: So this is my HB pencil. So to make it easy, I'm going to use my HB stick. It's exactly the same as the pencil, just more of it With my graphite stick, I'm going to scrape off some graphite. I don't really know what's going to happen. This is the exciting bit about this. It's called going with the flow. Obviously I've got a rough idea of what I want it to be. That is very, very rough. Okay. So that's that, I forgot to mention. you do need a piece of kitchen roll. So here's my piece of kitchen roll. Now, don't screw it up like that. You want to fold it nice and flat. Several times. Into a nice little pad. Put your finger on the pad and very gently blend the graphite onto the paper. 00:01:46.030 --> 00:01:48.950 As I say, this is very unpredictable. We don't quite know what's going to happen. You could add some more graphite if you want so that it doesn't look all exactly the same tone. And once again with the paper, just gently blend it. The more you press the darker it will be. See anything happening yet. So can I. Just look for a while and see what you can make of it Because I have some graphite leftover. This is where the little brush comes in. So have a look at what you've got and decide what you'd like to make it into. This is where there's no sort of pre-planning. I've got a rough idea of what is going to be. But, you know, it depends where the graphite lands and how, dark you make it. I want this area now I've decided to be a little darker. So I'm just going to rub the graphite in a little harder. Can you see how that comes darker? So I think down here. How exciting is that? What we do is, we take our rubber. So you can have one of the, pencil rubbers. Or you can use your kneadable rubber if you want a bigger area. And we start blending and taking out the graphite. So I've got a sort of a landscape coming here. So in the background, I'm just going to blend. Remember this. Remember the three processes Remember the three processes putting graphite down and blending it in and then removing it with a rubber. So now, I've put the graphite down I'm now doing some blending. And then I'll start removing bits with a rubber. This way you can really use your imagination and you can look, and you think now, what does that look like? What can I make out of that? Now I can see some trees here in the background. So I'm going to take my kneadable erubber. No, my kneadable eraser. No, I haven't been on the gin!. And I'm just touching my rubber onto the paper to make a mottled defect. Can you see that? And then with my pencil, I'm just going to pop in some little tree trunks. Wow!. Can you see those trees? Same thing over here. Now, I'm just going to be doing the three processes of adding, graphite, blending it in, and then removing with either my kneadable or my, So those three processes are all I'm going to be doing. So rather than talking over it all the time, I'm just going to go ahead and do the drawing. And you watch those three processes happening. 6. Drawing the Trees: A . . . . . . . . . . 7. Water, Reflections and River Banks: Notice again the three processes, laying down the graphite, blending it in, and then removing it to either create objects or to create some highlights. If you want to blend an area with just a very light touch of graphite, just use the blending stump on its own. Don't worry about putting down any additional graphite. Just use the little bit of residue that's left on the end of your blending stump. And it'll give you a beautiful quiet, soft tone. As we get towards the end of the picture, you'll notice the importance of tonal values. And can you see how the very dark tonal values are more towards the front of the picture and in the background, there's very little in the way of very dark tones. It's those tonal values that give your picture life. And make sure your reflections are absolutely underneath the objects that are being reflected. And they all go straight down into the water because the objects that are being reflected are actually straight. Notice how I use the residue that's left on my blending stump just to do those little reflections in the water. Now for some real darks in the foreground to give the picture some depth and distance. Now a little bit of extra contrast in the foreground with some nice highlights, some really strong darks, and bring the grasses up over the water so that they really show up. Notice the difference between the contrast in the foreground and the very soft tonal values in the far distance. And there we have the finished drawing. A little woodland scene with some water, all drawn with some HB graphite powder, an HB pencil, and rubber, and the blending stick. 8. Thank You!: Congratulations on getting to the end of the class. I do hope you enjoyed that drawing. And I also hope you will have a go the little project. Now you don't have to do an entire picture like I did. You could maybe take a little bit of the picture and do your interpretation of it and turn it into a little vignette. Because after all, it depends on how the graphite powder lands on the paper and how you blend it as to what you can make out of it. I can't wait to see what you create. If you can upload some of your drawings to the projects section, then everybody can share them and enjoy them. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed the class and I'll see you again soon. And don't forget my motto, everyone. There is an artist in everyone. Goodbye for now.