An Introduction to Realistic Pencil Drawing

Many people might think that art is intricate and complicated with many details. However, you can use a very basic tool like a pencil to create perfect artwork. Indeed, great artists can make up realistic and subline pieces with an old-fashioned and cheap pencil. The only things that you need are your inspiration, imagination, time, skill, and basics about realistic pencil drawing. In this short post, we’ll show you some basic factors in realistic pencil drawing that every beginner should know. 

What is realistic pencil drawing?

As the name implies, realistic pencil drawing is the technique that utilizes minimal color and gradient style coloring to depict everyday subjects. From animals and famous structures to celebrity portraits to natural scenes, everything can be drawn realistically just with a simple pencil. It is important to know that pencil drawing is typically monochromatic. This means the final artwork will have a single hue, but with various brightness levels. Many people might think that they are photographs, but everything is hand-drawn in black and white.

Precision drawing – the foundation of realistic drawing

The most important thing in realistic pencil drawing is to ensure that every item or person be precisely depicted. This means you have to measure them exactly and create the final work with appropriate ratios, forms, and features. It is important to start with the basic shapes, then check if they are in perspective and proportion before proceeding with texture and details. If you are a right-handed painter, it is advisable to start drawing from the upper left area of the painting and slowly move to the lower right. For left-handed painters, the order should be from the upper right area. This will ensure that your palm would rest on the drawing paper’s blank surface without smearing the drawing.

Transitional effects

The next key component in realistic pencil drawing is the transition between elements. In general, those surfaces or areas that are closer to the lighting source should be lighter. Similarly, those areas that are farther away from the lighting source should be darker. To ensure realistic results, there should be a gradual transition in the brightness values between those surfaces. This will bring a multi-dimensional effect to the eyes and make the drawing look better.

Edges

In realistic drawing, there will be no lines. Instead, edges are what you need to focus. This is quite different from comics painting, which is featured by contour lines surrounding the object. The edge is the place where the surface or shape of an object ends. It would finish in a soft or sharp way, but it will never be a line. Depending on the figures that you want to depict, there will be different styles. For instance, appliances and rocks will be drawn with hard edges, while fabrics or water will come with soft ones. 

Brightness values

Last but not least, brightness values are essential for creating 3D forms and depth on your work. It is simply the level of darkness or lightness of your painting. This can be done easily with the amount of applied pressure with your pencil. Less pressure creates a lighter level, while more pressure results in a darker level. You can also use different pencils with various levels of brightness to create different lighting effects. Basically, smooth transitions can be depicted with non-sharp pencils. If you want to create small details, then sharp pencils are the best option.

The bottom line

Once you have grabbed the basic features in realistic pencil drawing, everything will become much simpler to learn or work. The key is to understand those factors mentioned above thoroughly to apply in each work. That means you have to use edges, create the transitional illusion, and make use of brightness values. With practice and patience, everyone can master realistic pencil drawing and create perfect artwork themselves.