Monday, May 10, 2010

The Drawing Board

Gerber Daisies “Gerber Daisies”

Graphite on Smooth Vellum 4” x 6”

2010 Copyright Valerie Jones


“When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.” ~Robert Henri

Graphite Pencils is our topic of discussion today.  The Gerber Daisies picture was drawn using close to a full range of graphite pencils.

The “H” pencils are the harder pencils and create the lightest values.  I use these to redefine and smooth skin tone values.  In the daisy picture, I used these to create the mid-tone value of the flower petals.

Graphite H Range

 The “B” pencils are the softer pencils create the darker values. The “8B” pencil is almost as dark as charcoal which creates a nice black.  The “Ebony” pencil is close in range with a “6B” pencil.  It creates a rich dark that I use to create the darks in the pupil of an eye or shadows in the hair.


Graphite B Range

I use the medium graphite values to create a darker mid-tone.

Graphite Medium Range

Try these on your next drawing.  Is there a pencil that is your favorite?  My favorite is plane ol’ “B”.  It creates wonderful mid-tone values for me.  If you tend to be heavy handed, try “H” or “HB” for your mid-tones. 

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