Buildings are great subjects for drawing using blacklead pencils. They often have strong, well-defined areas of line, light and shade.

I enjoy landscapes too, although in this medium they are not often seen in galleries. I intend to draw some of the rocks that feature in my coloured pencil work, and I’m interested to see how they will look minus their colour.

It’s important to work on thick, soft paper, usually with a subtle ‘tooth’ (surface texture). I prefer heavyweight watercolour paper of medium texture.

I start with the lightest shades first and gradually build them up where required.

Blacklead pencils are a lot messier to work with than coloured pencils. Wash your hands often. Do not lean on your work. Cover shaded areas with a clean piece of white paper. Photocopying paper is ideal for protection.

Don’t use a white coloured pencil for the ‘white’ areas as their finish is very different to blacklead pencils. For white areas I simply do not shade there.

I also place a sheet of cartridge paper under my drawing paper for added softness.

Don’t press too hard as the paper will ‘dent’ easily and if rubbing out use a clean eraser.

I shall post some examples of my latest blacklead pencil drawings over the coming months.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Dors says:

    Lovely pencil drawing Richard and great advice.

    The white pencil on white paper is a disaster. I have heard of artists using Gouache white paint on pencil work to highlight, I didn’t like that either, it seems to dry powdery and not a good look.

    I love to see your graphite pencil work.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Dors. You are certainly right in regards to using white gouache. I tried liquid paper once and it wasn’t too bad. The best idea is to leave the paper as-is, when you want pure white. That’s not easy when you are working with graphite pencils as you no doubt know from experience.

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