Drawing Techniques


Ink drawing Pencil drawing - eye
Simple ball-point pen sketch, and close-up of eye, drawn in pencil.


This section will give a few tips on using your pen or pencil to draw and shade. It is a good companion to the "Shading and Rendering" tutorial.

pencil strokeHere's a very simple illustration, showing the fundamental way of rendering in pencil. The "slinky" stroke (as Anthony Ryder calls it, in his outstanding Life Drawing book) is a unique way to describe a certain kind of pencil stroke. Ryder calls it a "slinky" because it goes back and forth, back and forth, just like that childhood toy, the Slinky.

This is the basis for much of the rendering and shading in pencil and pen. It's as simple as that! If you are unfamiliar with drawing with this stroke, practice it in your sketchbook. It's fun!


cross-hatched pencil strokeHere's an illustration showing the "crosshatching" of a pencil stroke. It's very simple principle—you just do the "slinky" thing in several different directions, one over the other! (I have put arrows over the different directions of my pencil strokes.) Each different direction adds more tone to the shading, and gets it progressively darker, and darker.

More pencil strokesSome more examples of pencil strokes. The example on the left shows how a dark dark tone looks. One bears down a little harder with their pencil, and gets the darkest tone they can while using the "slinky" stroke. They do this going several different directions. Voilà! A very dark (even black) tone.

The example on the right is a more strict crosshatch. It isn't so much of a "slinky" stroke (one lifts the pencil up after making each line) but the same principle applies.

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