Sketch Away: Our Free eBook of Pencil Drawing Lessons

The drama of this charcoal and pencil drawing, Floretta, by Lilian Wescott Hale is in the bold contrast of value of the figure's skin, dress, and hair.
The drama of this charcoal and pencil drawing by Lilian
Wescott Hale is in the bold contrast of value of the
figure's skin, dress, and hair.

I love all kinds of art: super complicated installations, amazing marble sculptures, and virtuosic canvases filled with color and form. But when it comes down to it, I’m a simple woman at heart, and the art that moves me the most is a pure and simple pencil drawing on paper.

Maybe it sounds strange, but I think pencil drawings are the closest art form to real life. A pencil portrait that a person draws of loved ones is a memento that is kept and cherished forever. I still have some of my earliest clumsy beginner pencil sketches that I did all the way back in sixth grade. I look at them and trace the lines with my fingers and it is like being transported back in time. And the artists whom I respect so much? I’ve never understood their work as deeply as when I look at their drawings.

Tiepolo, Study of the Back, pencil drawing with sanguine and white chalk.
Tiepolo made dramatic use of the core shadow,
where light borders dark, and made sure that
the reflected light was nowhere near as bright
as any of the halftones on the figure.

But pencil drawing, as we all know, can be deceptively simple. Pencil drawing—for beginners, right? That isn’t true at all. Drawing pencil portraits or figure sketches means really understanding and utilizing lights and darks in and around your subject matter, and contending with light and shadow, planes and values, halftones, and so much more.

It is a lot to cover, which is why I’m thrilled with our free eBook: Free Pencil Drawing Lessons: 27 Ways to Use Values to Create Dramatic Pencil Drawings & Create Powerful Lines. It cuts to the heart of what makes a pencil drawing great, and it helped me learn the essential strategies that underline all advanced pencil drawing instruction. I couldn’t ask for more.

Artists and instructors Dan Gheno and Kenneth Procter reaches for examples of amazing drawings, past and present, to illustrate what every draftsman should know—how to turn a ho-hum drawing into something memorable. So I wish you good luck and many great drawings in your future with our free pencil drawing lessons. Download Free Pencil Drawing Lessons: 27 Ways to Use Values to Create Dramatic Pencil Drawings & Create Powerful Lines now. Enjoy!

P.S. If you have a friend or loved one who is getting back into art and might love to share in the fun, send them this link so they can download their own copy of Free Pencil Drawing Lessons.

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

3 thoughts on “Sketch Away: Our Free eBook of Pencil Drawing Lessons

  1. Thanks a lot Courtney. You are awesome. I am in the middle of mastering my graphite portrait skills. It’s a perfect time. I wait for your articles everyday, they really teach me so much that can’t learn anywhere else. Thanks a lot.

  2. Courtney,
    I want to THANK YOU for introducing Lilian Wescott Hale to me. I have to admit that I never even heard of this artist but I was immediately captivated by her drawing. I tried to search online for more of her work examples but there are a very few available. Would you mind to let me know where you found the drawing featured in your article? Was it ever published in the Drawing magazine?
    By the way, I absolutely agree with you that to be a good draftsman is challenging. To learn how to draw well require a years of constant practice a skills. It’s much harder to draw than paint, although in order to be good painter you have to know at least basic principles of drawings and something about perspective. But it is possible to make ok, altho mediocre painting if you have sense for a color combination, I believe mainly because of the “color involvement” ; the color draw attention a partially “cover” mediocre technique and execution. And – in worse scenario, you can try for abstract painting and get away with it, but I doubt that anybody would ever get any positive reaction to “abstract drawing”.
    Thanks again!