Drawing Instruments

Pencils are best for beginning drawings; they're both simple and correctable. As we discussed in Chapter 3, "Loosen Up," pencils come in hardnesses from very hard technical pencils in the H range, to very soft, smudgy pencils in the B range. They are labeled at the end of the pencil (4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B). School or regular pencils are 2HB, rather on the smudgy side.

Mechanical pencils, once used only for drafting and architectural drawing, are fine tools. They maintain a consistent though variable line and never need sharpening. The leads must match the pencil in thickness, and 0.5 leads and pencils make fine lines. As the pencil barrels are not labeled, you can buy a few colors and color code your choice of leads. They cost about $1.50 each, so make sure you like the feel of the barrel in your hand. Try to acquire at least 2H, H, HB, B, and 2B for a range of tonal color.

Erasers are important tools. A kneaded eraser can be twisted and worked into small points to get at a little corner—and they can be kept clean by stretching and folding for a new surface. They erase without scratching or damaging the paper surface. Experiment with the pink, white, and gum erasers, too.

Charcoal pencils, charcoal, and conte crayons all make their own tones and textures, but the medium can be preoccupying at first. Ink, inkpens, brushes, and water-soluble pencils, we will leave for later.

Boards are handy, but the stiff back of a drawing pad or a sketchbook can take the place of a board, if you don't have one. Boards can help keep your work at an angle because you can put them in your lap with the paper taped at a good working height, and they are more stable than cardboard. Plywood, 3Arinch thick with sanded edges, is easy to find. Art stores sell masonite boards in various sizes. Buy a board somewhat bigger than your paper.

Tools of the trade: drawing boards and journals.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

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