The Secrets to Drawing: Graphite

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This course features:
5 Hours of Instruction
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Lesson Discussion

  1. Great video. Looking for all the different tools now, probably will be somewhat pricey. Do you use one of those electric erasers for making white whiskers? I’ve seen others use one and it looks interesting but wondered what your experience with it might be.

    • Hi Mindy, I have used an electric eraser before, but you have to be careful. They can tear and damage the paper easily. I don’t make it a habit of using one these days. I prefer using an eraser pencil, that can be sharpened like a pencil, but won’t tear the paper as easily.

    • Melba, I just saw your comment here about pencil holder. I guess you are looking for either “clutch” pencils or mechanical pencils. Clutch pencils hold graphite refills 2mm in diameter. Mechanical pencils hold refills of 0.05mm or 0.07mm. I use both but mostly the clutch as they are closer in size to a wooden pencils. I got mine at Dick Blick (they are online too). I got some of the mechanical pencils on Amazon but any office stores would have them. You can find refills in different softness. Hope that helped.

  2. I think I’d like to start using lead holders because of the convenience of carrying them around instead of a tin or box of regular wooden graphite pencils. I also wonder if they would be easier to use for shading than having to use an exacto-type knife to whittle the lead away from the wood to get the wider lines to cover larger areas needing shading. Do you use lead holders and, if so, do you have favorite brands? I’m retired on pensions and don’t want to waste money by buying totally in the dark. Thank you in advance.

  3. I’ve got some Eagle Turquoise lead holders that I’ve had since high school (1975), and they’re still going strong. I recently bought some replacement leads, and saw that Turquoise was now under the Prismacolor label, so I’m not sure if they still sell lead holders or not.

    I recently bought an Alvin Tech-Matic Deluxe MF6. It’s a fine lead holder, but considerably heavier than the Turquoise ones due to its all-metal construction. This bothered me at first, but now I hardly notice.

  4. On a related subject, I was looking at the F pencil’s placement in the hardness scale. I have a box of 2mm leads left over from my drafting days in addition to my HB ones.

    Can F and HB leads be used interchangeably, or are there enough differences to treat them uniquely?

    • Hi Gigi,

      Please check and make sure that you’re not on a shared network that has blocked streaming video from certain websites. If you are seeing a black screen, you should contact your network administrator and make sure Vimeo is not blocked.

  5. Really enjoying the entire series, learning a lot! Clear, easy to understand and review instructions with Ebooks. I have a quick question, what is the name of the rather hefty blending stump that looks like a pencil? Would like to know where can I purchase it?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Denise,

      It’s just a larger blending stump. If you can’t find one at your local art store, you can order one from amazon by searching for “large blending stump”.

  6. Hi Matt,

    I’m trying to draw a mandarin with graphite. It always ends up looking like a small, round apple. How do you get the dimpled effect on the mandarin skin? Do you have any videos you could refer me to whereby you have drawn a mandarin with graphite? Thanks.

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