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Pencil Art

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Pencil Art.


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Marcu created this study of a gorilla as his entry for The National Open Art Competition UK. “I’m pleased with the piece as it personally represents a big leap in scale, detail and patience,” he says. “It is roughly twice the size of my previous work and I learnt a lot working on this beast.”

Jono Dry usually works in graphite on large paper or board surfaces

Pencil drawings can be rendered in so much photorealistic detail as to fool the eye, while a line drawing has the ability to communicate volumes more than what is shown on paper. Indeed, the humble pencil can be a powerful and versatile tool in the hands of a skilled and inspired artist. Whether you’re looking for highly detailed pencil drawings, rough sketches, colored pencil drawings, pencil with ink wash, or pencil with watercolor, we’re sure that you’ll discover works you love within our diverse selection of original pencil drawings for sale by artists from around the world.

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This incredible portrait of Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway is the work of Franco Clun, a self-taught artist from Italy, who has picked up everything he knows about drawing from reading manuals and plenty of practice.

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“Although the drawings and paintings I make are based upon a series of photographs and video stills, I use softer and more complex focuses on the subject so that the resulting art presents it as a living, tangible being,” he explains. 

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Entitled Sensazioni (sensations, in English) this mind-blowing pencil drawing was created by artist Diego Fazio. Over a period of roughly 200 hours, Fazio drew this intricate piece, which we still – no matter how long we look at it – cannot believe is a drawing. Simply amazing.

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Her incredible pencil drawings are included in collections all over the world, and she has worked with clients including Nike, GQ, M&C Saatchi, The Economist and The New York Times.

“I believe reality is a beauty in itself so I don’t need to find ways to hide the imperfections of human nature so my work shows the perfection of the imperfections of life.”

This series by Cath Riley features hyperrealistic pencil drawings of flesh

“Hyperrealism in my work displays the beauty of the imperfections perfectly, opening a door within the subject that is not normally depicted in real life,” says Italian artist Giacomo Burattini, who drew this unusual portrait.

Illustration 18 phenomenally realistic pencil drawings 18 phenomenally realistic pencil drawings

Stefan Marcu pushes himself to create his best work possible

IntroductionHistory of Pencil DrawingsPencil Drawings TechniquesArtists Known For Pencil Drawings

Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley has had a long time to practise his stunning pencil art; he’s been at it since the age of six. Growing up around his family’s paper business inspired his love of drawing, and he expresses himself through what he calls his three P’s: Patience, Practice and Persistence. “Most times it’s almost like I lose control of my pencils and like energy transfer, the art flows through me from my pencil to the paper,” he says.

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“The drawing process immersed me for hundreds of hours, interpreting and translating what I saw and felt from hundreds of reference photos, collected branches, twigs, and revisits to the site.”

She’s now moving in more experimental and abstract directions in her work, including very large-scale drawing projects based around the human figure.

This mindblowingly realistic image of a cat was created by traditional artist Paul Lung. The Hong Kong-based creative’s portfolio on Deviant Art is astonishing, featuring realistic portraits of both humans and animals. 

German artist Armin Mersmann is the man behind this chilly woodland scene. Although he also works with oils, Mersmann is best known for his intense naturalistic graphite drawings. His work has been featured in more than 150 exhibitions and has won him over 30 awards.

Giacomo Burattini believes his work highlights the beauty of imperfection

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In the 17th century, graphite pencils replaces the metallic drawing styluses previously used by Medieval and Renaissance draftsmen. Dutch artists were known for their early graphite landscape drawings. In 1795, French painter Nicolas-Jacques invented what is now the modern pencil lead from a mixture of clay and graphite This invention allowed artists to have more control over the density and shade of graphite they used, and the tool subsequently increased in popularity amongst painters, architects, designers, and miniaturists. By the 19th century, pencil drawings were mainly a way for artists to sketch preliminary compositions and studies for paintings and sculptures. The introduction of other fine art pencils, including colored, watercolor, crayon, and charcoal varieties, expanded the medium’s versatility, and pencil drawings became a fine art form in their own right. Today, many artists continue the tradition and often combine pencil lead with other mediums for more dynamic drawings.

Cath Riley’s pencil drawings are amazing to look at, but she regards her hyperreal work as just a stage in her ongoing evolutionary process of exploration and development. 

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“From the age of five, I started drawing, and over time I added more skills, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, all types of graphic design, caricature and digital photography,” explains Stefan Marcu, the artist behind this stunningly realistic gorilla portrait.

Artists who work with graphite lead praise its versatility. Harder and darker leads produce fine lines for more detailed pencil drawings, while soft and light lead is usually reserved for modeling and shading. Artists who make dark art pencil drawings often aim for sharp precision, while softer leads are more often associated with fluid, spontaneous lines. Typical drawing techniques include hatching, crosshatching, blending shades, and scumbling, in which the artist moves the pencil along the surface of the work in small circular motions. Artists often experiment with different kinds of pencils to make charcoal, watercolor, or colored pencil drawings. They also combine graphite lead with other mediums, including pastels, watercolors, and gouache, to spruce up monochromatic images. Pencil and ink drawings are also a common approach as the ink shades complement and play off one another.

“These objects and scenes in my drawings are thus meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in the original photo.”

Arinze Stanley has been honing his skills since the age of six

When we first saw the work of Scottish artist Paul Cadden, it took a while for us to realise that they were in fact pencil drawings – the hyperrealist artist used just graphite and chalk to create these stunning images.

Here, some seriously talented illustrators have pulled out their best pencils and drawing techniques to create some truly exceptional pencil art. Featuring celebrity portraits, animals, natural scenes, everyday objects and famous landmarks, there’s something to inspire you in each entry here. Enjoy…

“The very act of drawing every branch, twig, highlight and shadow, rendering textures from the extreme winter skins to the silkiness of new-fallen snow, transforms the scene into an intimate journey. This undertaking is considerably different than merely taking a photo or simply being there,” he explains on his site.

It’s almost impossible to believe this incredible image is a pencil drawing

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the images in this article are photographs. But we assure you, they’re not. Each and every one is hand-drawn pencil art – many of them in beautiful black and white.

French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is known for using limited shading and precise lines to draw his pencil portraits. Adrian Ludwig Richter is similarly recognized for his sharp, wiry lines. Many painters began as draftsmen, as they sketched studies for their painted works. Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Cezanne, for example, sketched pencil drawings of flowers and landscape scenes. Gustav Klimt developed his own style as a draftsman, breaking away from the traditional three-dimensional shaded approach to create figures with pure line. His sketches like “Lasciviousness”  for his Beethoven Frieze (1902) instead emphasize the flatness of picture’s surface. Other famous pencil drawings include Willem de Kooning’s “Two Women” (1952) and Pablo Picasso’s “Still Life with Glass, Apple, Playing Card, and Package of Tobacco” (1913). Eugene Delacroix, Amedeo Modigliani, Edgar Degas, John Singer Sargent, Walter Osbourne, William Strang, and Stephen McKenna are just a few other artists known for their pencil drawings.

Armin Mersmann’s work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world

Burattini found an audience by sharing his pencil drawings on Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram, where he regularly shares his works in progress. This drawing was created using black coloured pencils, graphite pencils and charcoal.

Choose from a wide-ranging selection of 49,554 original pencil drawings and prints ranging in subject, style and media from figurative to abstract, monochromatic to multicoloured, and charcoal to pencil. Read more

Self-taught South African artist Jono Dry has quickly earned a name for himself with his unique style of drawing that blends photorealism and surrealism on a massive scale. His work has the look of vintage photography, but usually with an unsettling or incongruous twist; if you like the look of it, he has prints available to buy through his Etsy shop.

The time in which each takes depends on his subject matter, with this particular A2 pencil drawing taking Lung approximately 60 hours to complete.

“My focus is on the study of art and my personal development in all its branches, and I am obsessed with excellence in the creation of any product.”



Mix up covering techniques, There are plenty of different pencil pulling techniques relating to covering . Chiu uses two primary approaches. The first is usually with all the outlines going in the exact same direction. `This makes the shading appear more natural, and helps my specifics pop out from the particular lines I`m using with regard to shading, he explains. The particular second method involves doing work in patches of covering , to help define condition . Patches of lines circumvent the form, which aid keep things in viewpoint , he says. It is furthermore great for backgrounds and even creating texture.

Guard your paper, This is definitely a valuable pencil sketching technique for beginners: place a piece of report under me to stay away from smudging your drawing although you`re working. It seems like apparent , but it can get the downfall of some sort of great piece of job ! Healy also prefers in order to mount her paper upon a board, attaching this using a layer involving matte medium. This allows keep things neat, and even provides a great surface in order to work.

Master mixing , Healy has a certain process for blending the girl coloured pencil work. The girl depends on an format , to check the contact form is proper before carrying out to coloured pencil (it`s much harder to remove coloured-in areas than a great outline). It also will help her plan where the particular highlights and shadows can fall. She then develops up colour using refined layers. I love in order to start out with very soft gentle layers to obtain a better notion of lights placement, shadows plus the shade palette, she says. Right after each layer she combines gently using the mixing up stump. Once she provides reached a stage she`s happy with, she actions on to the last step: adding an description . For this final part , Healy uses coloured pencils alone, and does not necessarily blend with a stump.

Break free from your comfort zone, When these pencil drawing approaches should help you know the essentials in the channel , sometimes you need in order to toss the rules out there of the window and discover what works for a person . There`s nothing wrong using stepping outside of typically the box if it signifies achieving the effect a person want, says Healy. Experimentation will occur when a person step outside of that will box. But don`t get intimidated! The process is definitely entirely fun.

Make use of the right eraser, There are usually a few several types of eraser, and each is best suited to various things. You`ll definitely need a kneaded eraser. This has a new putty-like consistency (it`s often known as putty eraser), and you knead that before and after work with . A kneaded eraser will be best for lightly selecting up the coloured pen binding off the document . This works wonders if correcting mistakes, or when you`re deliberately lifting color from an area like the eyes, says Healy. A new gum eraser has a new more solid consistency, in addition to is better if you`re trying to fully remove a coloured-in area. Des Reuden continues: I highly believe in letting instinct take over in the particular creation process so My partner and i work with the underdrawing more as a guide . What this means is the final effect varies.

Unify your shades , Having an uniform method to colour can help deliver cohesiveness to your function . It`s a good thought to make sure that will your artwork has unifying colours, says Healy. `This consists of a specific colour palette, mood and also a way of spreading these types of over the entire art part . In addition, she implies creating a harmonious bottom by using tinted report or adding a history wash of colour (in paint). This will display through whatever you take a nap on top of that , thus giving it a great appearance of cohesion. Whenever I use coloured pencils, I`m fond of applying tinted paper produced by simply Kraft.

Touch up your skills with these kinds of pencil drawing techniques, with regard to both graphite and female pencils. These pencil pulling techniques from top musicians will assist you to take your painting skills one stage additional , whether you`re using graphite pencil or coloured pencils. For many artists, pen drawing is the ability that introduced them to be able to the art world, plus even if you`ve advanced to a different method , understanding how to bring with a pencil can easily help you better your abilities elsewhere. These pencil pulling techniques cover many methods from the particular basics of mark-making to be able to advanced processes to press you out of the comfort zone. We`ll also provide advice on the equipment and materials you require to know, such since blending stumps, paper alternatives , and different erasers. In the event that you`re a total starter , or just want to be able to upgrade your kit, acquire a look at each of our guide to the most effective pencils.

Create material , Fabric can range by sleek and shiny in order to matte and dull. Just how you shade it will certainly help sell the concept of the material you`re seeking to depict. In this draw , von Reuden is intending to be able to capture the golden folds up of material found within the original image. They began by outlining typically the shapes and blocking out and about parts of shadow.

Draw on your very own experiences, Dip into your own experiences to add an unique layer of authenticity for your piece, suggests Healy. Therefore using something like a new memory, feeling or smell when building your work. Intended for example, the special experience you experienced when sitting down down with a buddy in a coffee shop, or even a memory of any child years experience. You can end up being abstract or use hyperrealism. Anything you choose makes the particular piece unique to an individual . I`ve found that men and women resonate with these bits the most.

Use a stump intended for soft blending, How an individual blend your work can easily have a big effect on the final result. Regarding a soft blended result , try a blending stump. After each light coating , I very gently mix the coloured pencils using the stump, says US-based artist Jennifer Healy. No longer push too hard or perhaps the colour will stay , making it tougher to be able to softly blend. I duplicate this process as usually ?nternet site need. After several layers it produces some sort of very soft and sensitive look. This technique takes a little trial and problem , though. Healy warns of which if you blend also softly, the stump can easily pick up colour of which you`ve already layered for the paper.

Find the right report texture, The surface feel you`re working on will certainly make a big big difference for the effects you can easily create. This really is referred to be able to as the grain or even `tooth` of the papers . A rough tooth is usually more visible, and the particular ridges will grip the particular colour from your pencils. Having a smooth tooth, the particular ridges are very great , and there`s less grasp . Healy finds this type of paper provides the easier surface for mixing coloured pencils, although the lady warns that it`s likewise easy to operate the shade off the surface.

Try combining pencils together with watercolour, While pencils in their own may be used to produce a wealth of diverse effects, it can get interesting to combine these other media. For instance , in her work, Healy loves to combine watercolour and even coloured pencils. It`s essential to focus on watercolour in addition to then layer coloured pencils on top, she points out , because pencils can generate a waxy surface that will repels liquid, and stops the watercolour from placing into the paper. This kind of is a fun approach to try out, your woman says. Both mediums include unique qualities and smoothness . Combining the two factors produces a medium all associated with its own.

Make use of the proper grip, The first phase is usually to master how in order to hold a pencil appropriately . Chiu recommends holding typically the pencil as if you could the piece of charcoal, in addition to taking advantage of the particular side of the business lead to draw, rather as compared to the point. This allows keep your pencil sharper intended for longer. When covering huge areas, I shade along with my pencil perpendicular in order to the line I`m sketching to get wide, gentle lines, he adds. With regard to details, I hold my personal pencil parallel to our lines to get well-defined , narrow marks. The just time I use typically the thing is when I`m working on intricate specifics

Check and recheck, Before you begin better lines and detail do the job , it`s essential to be sure you have the correct kind down. Chiu`s advice is usually to check and examine again. I can nail straight down my drawing`s underpinnings ahead of I can add specifics . I really avoid questioning in the details: I desire to make sure anything is symmetrical and seem right before writing more powerful and harder lines. This individual also suggests considering the work in a reflection or through a digital camera . Considering different vantage items is a great approach to highlight if anything is definitely crooked. I constantly inquire myself, does this experience right? If anything looks off - even in case I can`t immediately set my finger on which this is #NAME? believe in my gut and troubleshoot my drawing before carrying on

Short on time? This above, from character custom made Bobby Chiu, runs via some pencil drawing linked with action. For extra in-depth the way to composition in order to how to capture lighting and shadow, check out our own art techniques article. Or even , for inspiration, look into this kind of roundup of unbelievably reasonable pencil drawings.

Categorise your current fabric, Von Reuden describes ways to add value plus shading to create more layers of depth plus weight. He admits of which , when drawing and re-creating fabric, the types associated with wrinkles created can almost all be placed under 3 separate categories: hanging/relaxed, stretched/tension, and scrunched/compressed. Hanging cloth tends to be free and have a going appearance. Stretched fabric generates long lines, usually using a point of help . Compressed fabrics bunch in to each other, creating scrunched-looking areas.

Know if you should cease , The majority of designers usually tend to tinker with their very own work - even right after they`ve signed their title . I can always get something to change when I look hard plenty of , so it can end up being difficult to inform when the piece is truly completed , says Chiu. However, be suspicious of overworking your part . `Eventually, I make some sort of conscious decision to set my drawing away plus start something new, they continues. `That`s when I actually consider my drawing completed

Beyond that will , different artists have diverse approaches to lines instructions you need to discover the style that`s best for you. I favor to use an unique outline in my art work , many people using thin traces or bold outlines, ` says Healy. It may help pinpoint the audience`s eye to a selected area. In addition, it gives some sort of stylised look, if that will is what you happen to be hoping to achieve. Chiu, however, prefers a diverse approach. I try in order to avoid outlining my images because this tends in order to make things look smooth and deadens the 3 DIMENSIONAL effect. Breaks and areas in my lines present form in the lighting and shadows.

Start out lightly and build through there, Once i start getting , I plan and discover using loose lines, in addition to avoid committing ahead of time using hard, dark lines, claims Chiu. As I improve my lines will alter , so checking and rechecking my work is crucial . I darken my traces and add details with the end. I do not concentrate on one area with regard to too long to avoid overdrawing. Begin with an underdrawing, Artist Tim von Reuden likes to start along with a digital underdrawing that will he prints at one particular per cent Opacity. Preceding , you can view the underdrawing regarding his sketch of some sort of woman holding an employees . He explains, I like to keep it lighting so that it provides for a foundation rather than a new final image.

Try out different approaches to shapes , Another drawing technique worries line weight. As properly as demarcating different things , lines can help stress shadows. Thicker lines could fade and disappear in the shadows, which can assist convey the 3D type , explains Chiu.

Use contrasting concepts, 1 drawing technique Healy utilizes in her work is definitely to use contrasting aspects within a piece associated with work, for instance, juxtaposing beauty and ugliness. I will use the beauty regarding colours, flowers, the gentleness of skin or curly hair , along with the female form. I am going to also tend to make use of something option opposite to be able to all of that, for instance bones, insects, sharp tooth , or anything that may possibly provide discomfort to the particular viewer, she elaborates. `Somehow this provides a fascinating principle to a piece. In particular when the `ugly` parts significantly harder to spot with first. To me this can be a very stark representation regarding what life is just like


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