Sketching with Graphite
Midnight scribblings

Just about every artist starts their work with a light sketch, to define the shape, shadows and highlights.

Eventually, they'll bring in another medium of their choice to add color.

But sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, the look of whites, greys and blacks – the palette of graphite, is necessary to use instead.

Artist Morgan Davidson shares her secret to achieving great results with Prismacolor Premier® Turquoise® Graphite Pencils.

"I always start with something like an HB pencil for the line work. It is easy to erase so there are no additional marks on the page after you’ve mapped out your figure. I then go in with the darkest values, typically using a 4B or 5B for most shadows. And then I switch to an 8B for the values that appear almost black. Pupils and eye lashes, for instance."

Morgan Davidson

"I like working with the shadows first because it is easier to understand where the other values should go. With this portrait, I first mapped out the shadows around the nose, lips, and cheeks. After that, all I had to do was blend the shadows out to create a smooth effect. I usually use anywhere between a 2H through a 5H for creating the mid tones and blending the shadows."

"I address the highlights in two different ways. For more prominent highlights, like the tip of the nose, lips or cheek bones, I leave the white of the paper and blend the mid tones out around it using a 6H pencil. Other highlights I erase out using a fine tip eraser or a kneaded eraser. It's great to take advantage of graphite being easy to erase!"

"After my drawing is complete I clean up any smudges or edges that need to be refined and then spray a nice layer of final spray fixative."

Morgan Davidson is a Denver based artist who loves to draw anything colorful and inspired by nature. She has a strong passion for drawing and an artistic career from a young age, always trying to paint or draw on anything she could get her hands on. When she was in high school, she decided to pursue her dream to draw for a living which led her to study Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. In college, she had the opportunity to work with a lot of different mediums which inspired her work and allowed her grow as an artist. From pencils to pastels to markers she fell in love with exploring different ways to bring her ideas to life on paper. Since graduating from college, she has worked with many amazing companies and individuals as a freelance artist, realizing her dream to create and collaborate every day. As her artistic journey continues, she hopes to inspire other artists to also follow what they love and turn their passion into a lifelong career

Click below to see more of Morgan's tips and tricks.

Instagram: @morgandavidson

Tools used: Prismacolor Premier® Turquoise® Graphite Pencils

PC Sketch