Pencil drawing is basic art leading an artist to the world of painting.
This article is not designed to teach the reader how to be an artist; nor is it a bunch instructions about how to draw on paper or canvass. It is an humble endeavor is declaring that the pencil is the first tool an artist should befriend with; were he or she really interested in going ahead in the art of painting.

Let me talk about some lines about me. When at the age of 40, as a by-product of ‘spare time available’, an artist in me had started waving his sides, from left to right and vice versa. I took pencil in my hand, even if I had wowed not to do that at any point of time in my life. Yes I had decided not to look at the world of art. The only compulsion for doing so was this: I was married and my better half had shown her disintegration with the art of painting.

But after two decades of my struggle-full and blissful married life, I had find out some element of courage within me. Thus start doing paintings were the show of my first rebel against the domestic freedom-less-ness I was suffering from. This is enough about me. Now let us start the real talks.

Drawing From Life : Life drawing is a passionate work of art. The wide range of styles from photographic to abstract figures inspires artist to grab pencils and start drawing. Along with doing a preparatory work for watercolour painting or an oil painting, the pencil drawing is an enjoyable exercise. In doing life drawing with a pencil, the artist has to keep certain technicalities in mind, the proportion of the various part of the body of the model being the foremost.

While executing a pencil drawing of a model, a clothed one or an unclothed model, the artists use line and tone in the ways that will give their drawings movement and life. The act of an artist done with a pencil would give a spatial definition to an object. Falling of light on specific areas are shown brighter; and the other parts of the objects remain in darker shades. This would examine how the artists can treat them. The cast shadows would define how the object being drawn is related with the other objects on one hand, and on another it would tell us about the time of the day. If these factors are considered well, it would help an artists to perform better.

Creative Pencil and Figurative drawing

Inspired pencil drawing, added with creativity, is an aspect of practice and perfection.

Tannheimer Hutte
Scan from a historic book 1894:

The Tannheimer Hütte (Tyrol/Austria) from Southeast, in the background (center) the mountain Gimpel 2173m. other Mountains: left Hochwiesler and Hochwiesler Ostsporn, right Gimpel Vorbau.

Pencil Art
When you enter the field of art, the first thing you would be encountering is the advices; the army of advices. All the “How-to" lessons and the self-assumed teachers of art would make a shouting crowd around you. They would like guiding you every moment, at every marking on the paper.

These groups of advisors would shake you; they would warn you; they would try pleasing you; they would caution you; they would try kidnapping you from other camps to their camp. But remember one thing: one can learn the technique; no one can learn the art. Art is to come from inside of you; art is a flow of the water that springs from inside of an artist. So let your intuition become your best guide.

Techniques: Yes, there are techniques to learn. But you can learn it by practice only, and not by hearing or seeing the lectures on the subject. By travelling on the road of the process of constant practice, you would learn many things like, how to sharpen the pencil, how to get the sharp edge or thick edge of the pencil, where to put pressure in drawing and where to keep the pressure low, whether to use white or blank paper, whether to use graphite pencil, charcoal stick or coloured pencils.

Get, Set, and Go: To start with the pencil drawing you can consider to draw the things lying in your surrounding. Objects hardly matters; it can be your table; it can be your table clock; it can be your wet towel or your hanging pyjama. Anything you like, anything you feel inspired from will do. Just make it sure about the size of the object and how far it is lying from you, near to you or at a distance.

You should have an image of the object in your mind. Then start giving shape to that mental image of yours. Let that image being animated on the paper; let it be get enliven through the tip of your pencil. That is creative drawing. Your artwork, the pencil drawing would not resemble to the real object in all respect. In the beginning that would happen. But enjoy whatever is coming out of your heart.

The line drawing, the placement of objects, the use of pressure while drawing: these will be the aspects, which would be getting defined through the process. Controlling the pencil, allotting proper areas to the different limbs of the object to be drawn, where to put the light and shade: these would be the factors, which would become clearer and clearer in your mind through constant practice.


Every painting has its cradle where it takes its birth. The stage of pencil drawing or any other drawing can be called as the cradle of a painting. When an artist put a first stroke or a line on canvas or a drawing paper, the final artwork is said to be conceived. All the great artists have used the wonders the stick of pencil can do. Peter Paul Rubes was the one who used the art of drawing to its fullest extent.

Pencil Portrait of Isabella Brandt

When a painter like Rubes makes a portrait of a woman, first of all he would think about injecting the grace and the charm the woman is possessing. But a master artist would love to give more to the eyes of the viewers. The pencil portrait given here is one of the greatest drawings in the history of the art of drawing and painting. It is done by Rubens. The lady portrayed was his wife, Isabella Brandt.

When we look at the portrait in oil colours, based on the above pencil drawing,. We can see the glowing charm and the grace on the face of the woman. But if we look it with more interest, and with an artistic eye, we can feel that the artist was not only painting a face; he was recreating the wider meaning of the human figure and its beauty. By using the defining lines and revealing set of colours, Rubens has condensed the real beauty of the face of the model, Isabella. This portrait seems depicting the real meaning of the human beauty, compacted into a small frame.

Look at the shine emitting from the eyes looking a little bit naughty. The swell of the cleavage adds a necessary element keeping the viewers eyes pasted on the centre of canvas.

This portrait of Isabella is believed to be painted by Peter Paul Rubens between 1620 to 1625, as she had died in the year 1626. This drawing of his wife is done by Rubens and he had based at least two of his oil paintings on this drawing. This portrait drawing is available to view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Portrait of Isabella Brandt

[Images Courtesy Peter Paul Rubens [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons , Wikimedia Commons Pencil drawing by Runens Peter Paul Rubens [Public domain, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons,

By Krunomir at hr.wikipedia (Transferred from hr.wikipedia) [http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html">GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons ,


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