Hey Lovelies! It’s time for a new drawing lesson. Today I wanted to talk about Graphite. Since there’s more to it as you think when you are just starting out. It’s one of the easiest mediums to start with, but when you get used to it, you kinda want more, and that’s where this post is about.
Graphite is a very soft material that can be found in nature. But to make a pencil of it that’s usuable, they mix clay into it. To adjust the softness of the pencil, they adjust the clay/graphite ratio.
H to B
You might have seen HB stated on your pencil. This is the most common used pencil out there. This states the hardness of your pencil. HB is kinda the middle, I know there’s F as well but I have never used this one.
Besides HB theres also H’s and B’s, and often combined with a numer ranging from 1 to 9. If you find those with H, it means the higher the number, the harder the lead is. Usually those are used for sketches, since you get very light lines. I am not a big fan of them tho, to hard for me.
When you find pencils with a B on it, the higher the number, the softer the lead is. It’s easier to apply to the paper and you get darker shades, the higher the number. This is because there’s more Graphite in them. It’s great for blending.
Drawing with them
To play around with all those different types of hard leads you can create a lot of depth in your drawings. I have no complete set of those. I always made sure to have a HB, B, 3B, 6B and a 9B. With this range I could archive what I wanted.
Make sure you’d buy pencils from a good brand. I often see people use those very cheap ones you can buy a a toy store or something, but those are nothing compared to the real deal. You can struggle a lot more when using cheap stuff. I won’t tell you that you need to use the most expensive ones out there! There’s also no magic in the more expensive ones that makes you a pro in no time. But with a bit a quality it can make a huge difference, you can use steadler for example, affordable, but decent quality!
You have also woodless graphite pencils and mechnical pencils. The way you can use them are not very different, it all depends on what you are comfortable with. Back in the days I only used the normal pencils to draw with, but these days I often draw completely with mechanical pencils. yeah, preference change over time xD.
Graphite can be very messy when you draw with them. I always had a lot of graphite on my hands because I rest my hand on the paper, and graphite smudges XD. To prevent that, put a piece of paper under the hand you are drawing with, your hand stays clean and your drawing won’t have smudges anymore.
Because of the smudging part, you can use Spray fixtative. This fixes the graphite to the paper. you can use it in between layers or only at the end, when you are finished. You drawing stays nice way longer. As for fixtative as well, make sure you use decent stuff. You don’t wanna ruin your work you spend hours on working. Try new fixtative always on a try out piece with some scribbles,this way you know what it does with your work.
I hope this information is helpfull! I’ll be back with a new lesson next month!