Drawing with Graphite Pencils | Linda Celestian | Skillshare

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Drawing with Graphite Pencils

teacher avatar Linda Celestian, Learning to paint is fun

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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

6 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Drawing Introduction

    • 2. Drawing Supplies

    • 3. Drawing Set Up

    • 4. Drawing Gray Scale

    • 5. Drawing

    • 6. Drawing Wrap Up

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About This Class

This class is great for beginners and intermediate artists. You've been using a pencil since kindergarten now it's time to learn it's true potential. 

Beginners this is a great place to start and intermediate artists this class will teach you how to bring your drawings to the next level.

The class covers supplies, still life set up, sketching and shading to help students realize beautifully shaded drawings with graphite pencils.

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda Celestian

Learning to paint is fun


I'm a fine artist and a teacher. I've been painting for 30 years and teaching for 15 years. Life is short but you can keep it fun by trying new things.

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Related Skills

Drawing Fine Art Creative Pencil

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1. Drawing Introduction: Hi. I'm Linda Celestine. Welcome to my drawing class on shading with graphite. This class would be great for beginners, but also for artists who have been sketching for a while that are interested in bringing their drawings to the next level. In this class, I'm going to go over how to set up a still life so you can really see different values. I'm gonna show you all the supplies you'll need and explain how to use thes supplies to create different values, starting with the gray scale. And then we'll look at how this is applied to the still like, Well, thanks for joining me and let's get started. 2. Drawing Supplies: the supplies you need are an £80 drawing paper. A pencil kit, the one I'm using, has 12 pencils blending stumps that are also called Tortilla owns a white plastic eraser, a kneaded eraser and a retractable lee racer. All of these have different uses that I will be demonstrating. You'll also need a workable or final fixative to spray your finished drawing. 3. Drawing Set Up: I like to set up a really simple still life. I have a few boxes in different sizes that I've covered with colored construction paper. And then I just have some basic fruit and pumpkin gored things you can buy at the grocery store or even fake fruit that I buy at the dollar store. What I'm looking at while I'm trying these different things is, are there very distinct, different values? So that's why I'm putting different colored construction paper behind every color. That I try has a different value set up a light directed on my still life, which will give it some dark shadows and bright highlights. Then I use my cell phone to take a photograph in a black and white filter. The black and white filter on my phone shows me the different values. So here I kind of like this white Gord on the white box with a colored background on. I feel like I'm hitting all the marks there. I have some darks and some very light lights 4. Drawing Gray Scale: So we have our still life ready to go, and I took a black and white photo of it and printed it out when getting started. The first thing I always have students do is create a gray scale. The pencil kits vary a little bit. Some of them start with a six H a four age or a to each. These air the hard leads for creating the light values or tones. I always have to look on the pencil kit to remind me the order of these pencils because it goes from H is two f h b B. Then to to be okay, well, we're going to start with the highest number H that's in your kid, whether it's a six age for each or to age, and you're just going to try to figure out what this pencil could do. You never want to press hard with a hard lead because then it in size is, ah, line in the paper. That's really hard to fix, really hard to cover up with soft leads and you'll see this when I do my demonstration because it happened to me in the drawing. So I used the blending stick a lot to get these light values. Um, so you just want to be really gentle when you're doing your light bill. So as I go along, I'm gonna label each value. But my intention is to gradually go from light to dark and not have spaces in between these you're going to see that I'm going to blend them as I go. So I take the next pencil, which is a four age and start to shake right next to the first swatch that I've done. Now I'm using the two h in doing the same thing. So here I play around with the two H for a little bit. Just to show you that it's not very different from the six age, so to age is a decent place to start. If your pencil kit starts with that, you're okay. Uh, the next pencil I'm using is an H, and then I move on to the F in this particular pencil kit. It looks like the F is actually lighter than the H. But that's one of the reasons why I always have students do this grayscale exercise so you can figure out what the pencils do because this didn't happen at all in the other kit that I was using for the other grayscale that you can see at the top of my paper. So it just helps you find out how much pressure you should use to get these values that transition all the way from white to black. - Uh , now I have my gray scale and I fold the paper so that the values are on the edge of the paper and that so I can compare it to a photograph or even hold it up to my actual subject and try to determine what value goes where in the still lifes out. - I'm going to show you some tricks I use here when I'm drawing from a photograph. This is printed out five by seven. So I'm just cutting a window out of a piece of paper. That's five by seven so I can trace that off on my drawing paper. - Then I use a little strip of paper to make measurements on my print. Now on my photo and transfer them to my drawing paper. This is a little cheat so that you can get your drawing drawn to scale. Now, if you're just looking at this still life. You don't have to do any of this. I just thought I would pass on some of these tricks that I use when I'm teaching. You don't want to use a hard lead when you're laying out your drawing, choose like a B or an HB pencil and use very light pressure because if you use ah, hard lead and you press hard, you risk in sizing your lines into the paper, which doesn't go away. Even when you erase them and you shade over them, you're going to see them. So I actually made this mistake and you'll see it in my finished drawing this line that's incised that I couldn't get rid of. You also don't want to use to soft of a lead and press hard and make a dark line thes air really hard to get rid of. And we don't want dark outlines in our finished drawing. If you're drawing from the still life and you're interested in learning about comparative measuring, I go over that in my class on painting, still like 5. Drawing: I have my drawing completely laid out. And then I look at my grayscale that I've created with the graphite pencils, and I start to assign these different values to different areas in the still life. I always start with the lightest values or the medium toe latest values. So I'm looking to see where this shadow on the side of the boxes on my gray scale, and then I choose that pencil to work with. The kneaded eraser can be used to lighten a value. After you've created it, you just flatten it out and press it down on the graphite, and it's lifting it off the page, and it will lighten an entire value. So if you get something to dark, that's something that is very useful here. I'm showing you how you can create a value with just your blending stump. So I scribble something with a soft lead, and then I used the blending stick to pick up the graphite and gently rubbing Transfer it to create a light value. I've created those light shadows with a combination of pencils and blending, and I'm gonna go in a little bit darker with an HB by looking at my grayscale next to my photograph, I'm noticing that the light part of this side of the box is probably be pencil and it goes up to probably a three B. So I'm going to start light and then gradually add to it and blend a lot to get this smooth transition. - Uh , - when I'm working on darks, I usually start with a three B or four B and work my way up. It's nice to have some variation in the dark, so if you don't go black right away, you have an opportunity to build up to the booth. Uh uh uh uh uh. I used the retractable eraser a lot to pull out clean lines and also to pull out highlights . So I'll use the blender to create a soft gray, and then I'll use the eraser in the middle of that to get the highlight. The highlight then, has this soft transition from that medium gray to the brightest way. - I decided to go pretty dark in the background. I'm using an eight B. If you don't have an eight b, a six B can get you pretty dark. You have to press hard. And when I zoomed in right here. You can see that line I was talking about for my initial drawing. It's kind of incised in the paper. And no matter what I do shading over it where the where the pumpkin Gord is, it still shows through. So a cautionary tale about when you lay out your drawing don't use a hard let I put a book under my drawing. I needed a hard surface so I could press down to get the darkest dark out of these pencils . Uh, - the very last thing I do is go back in and find places where I can go a little bit darker, so I'm just deepening the shadows. I never do that first. In the beginning, I want to look overall where it's needed and where it will just create more drama. Uh, you should spray your finished work with workable fixative or final fixative. 6. Drawing Wrap Up: Hi there. I hope you enjoyed the class and please upload your work. I would love to see it. And as you can see, it's just breaking things down. You know, a still life for a face or a photograph of flowers, even landscapes. You know, it's just breaking it down to understanding the different values and then creating those values with your graphite pencils. It can be really exciting. It's a very portable medium. You can bring it on vacation with you impress all your friends. I really hope you enjoy the class. Thanks for joining me.