What Does It Take To Become A Good Pencil Sketch Artist?

Pencil drawings - Adriana

Sketching is the art of freehand drawing. Sometimes this technique is used to create a design or just an outline of the final drawing. But in reality, it’s a style of drawing and can result in a final draw completely done by sketching.

Sometimes people struggle so hard in this fundamental art of drawing because they think that the only person who can do this is the talented one. Luckily, hard work beats talent, and that’s the secret of sketching…….hard-work by dominating the steps and techniques that we are going to discuss in this article.

Learning to draw, can be overwhelming, even more if you don’t start off on the right foot and with suitable lessons according to your level and your capabilities as an artist. You can make beautiful sketches simply with a pencil, but it takes practice and an understanding of the basics due to a common mistake that people make, which is starting with advanced techniques rather than starting from the bottom.

In order to make your life easier and master the pencil art definitely, I will give you valuable tips and practices you must do to become a better artist.


You Must Master the Most Basic Techniques.

Some techniques may look so basic or stupid to practice them, but details make the different, and if you master these techniques for novices, you will see the difference instantly.

The Outline. There are two types, the light outline, and the heavy outline.

The Light Outline. It is usually used to create your base, guidelines, and subject guide outlines. You can use both, a ruler or freehand, but I recommend you to use free-hand to master it flawlessly.

Heavy outline. This is used in the final steps of each element already drawn. When you are satisfied with your light outline you can enhance it by adding some heavy outlines, lead or graphite.

Hatching. This technique is pretty easy to practice and grasp. It’s basically marking out small lines altogether to create some kind of pattern.

Cross-hatching. This technique is similar to the pointed above, you need to repeat the entire process, but in the opposite direction in a second layer just on top of the first layer. It’s used to shading and really useful for adding darker shades.

Stipping. Similar as hatching and cross hatching, but the lines are smaller, like tiny dashes. Its function is the same, but for smaller areas.

Back and Forth Stroke. Really easy to understand and it’s used to ensure the fill shades stay in the correct area. Basically, it consists of moving the pencil in a back and forth motion real quick in the same direction.

Scumbling. As you can tell, all the techniques are easy, and this is basically moving the pencil in small, circular motions all of them near to each other. It’s used to shading tight and blends exceptionally well.


Using Them Altogether

Pencil Drawing - johnny_depp

Those were some basic techniques, but just by practicing them individually you won’t be able to draw a good sketch. It’s necessary to practice, master them and learn how to use them altogether because the secret is how to blend all the techniques…..something you will learn with practice and hard work.

Your next bet is to practice things that seem even more ridiculous. It’s mastering the art of drawing straight lines, making circles and geometrical forms,  because this will spell the difference between a good sketch and a bad sketch.

A good tip and probably the secret to drawing straight lines is doing them initially, with tiny dashes one beside the other, in order to create a straight line, compounded with hundreds of tiny dashes. By practicing this art, you will be drawing straight lines, form and shapes in no time.

Pencil Sketching Consists of Processes.

Other tips that experts give to those who are entering into the pencil drawing world, is that they must master individual forms rather than the object itself. For example, if you want to draw a dog, you must start pencil drawing its head, body and finally the remaining parts. This is a well-known technique that both, experts and novices do because it allows them to sketch everything in parts.

A complex sketch is achievable easily and with possibilities of modifying it in the process. Learning to draw involves staying to the process, so you must master how to draw effectively, shapes, form, and straight lines in order to master the pencil art.

The rest is passion, practice, and a desire to improve day by day.

I have mentioned possibly, the best and most useful tips and practices you must take in order to make a real nice sketch. Of course, everything is a matter of practice and passion, with practice you are going to be drawing things you thought you could not.

Pencil Sketching is a Fantastic Way to Express Yourself.

Sketching is not only a hobby or a technique to draw things, rather it is an excellent way to express yourself, your feelings, and your emotions. It is like any other art such as music or acting, they work to express how you are feeling and it is a way to be happier with yourself.

It’s said that art is the way to express what soul cannot express. Sketching can fill your soul and help you to communicate with others and with yourself, you will be proud of the things you may produce with only a pencil and a paper sheet.

Art is something essential for any person, it is a key to being happy by doing what you love!

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How To Draw A Realistic Face!

Realistic Pencil Drawing is one of the most unique art forms that we have been given. A pencil as a tool of expression is so pristine and basic. There is no sloppy or messy paint created by chemicals or oils. There is no need to clean paint brushes. All you have is a wooden pencil with lead or “graphite”  inside. As simple as this sounds, marvelous, realistic, and absolutely beautiful portraits can be created.

The beauty of pencil drawing is that realistic, natural beauty can be captured with such simple tools. An awesome pencil sketch has an organic appeal to it, unlike other types of artistic creations. The most specific detailed features of a person’s face can be captured as well as the broad structures and shapes.

Pencil art continues to gain ground as a very formidable and respectful art form. Some pencil drawings and portraits have actually been sold for hefty sums of money as more and more are starting to see the value of very well done pencil sketches.

Pencil portraits are showing up in increasingly higher numbers at some of the most respected art galleries and art exhibits….not just domestically, but also internationally. True proof that this style of art is getting the attention it deserves.

pencil drawing - clint

Getting started is the first piece of the puzzle. When people initially decide to learn to draw or get involved in sketch drawings, their decision is normally inspired by an impressive portrait or drawing they’ve seen. Even though they are inspired, there is still a bit of intimidation.

Some will see an incredible piece of work and feel like it will take many years to be able to do the same. Much worse, some will feel like only “gifted” or “naturally talented” people can achieve such a level. One of my favorite quotes is this…..”Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.” This comes directly from Thomas A Edison.

 No matter the choice of the endeavor, most of a person’s success is going to come down to; a) receiving professional, accurate, proven training and ; b) diligent and determined practice. If you are sincerely interested in pencil drawing, pencil sketching or portrait drawing, a cohesive linear step by step approach is an absolute must!

pencil drawing - emma_watson

Too many novices spend  the early part of their development winging it or they piece together bits of information here and there. If you do that, you miss out on all the fundamentals that are needed before you get to the more advanced secrets. This results in progress that is “slow and poor.”

Investing in a proven plan that teaches professional sketching and drawing techniques from the very beginning to the end is certainly smarter than wasting precious years because you fumbled, stumbled and just got by on limited knowledge.

The many benefits of a step-by-step comprehensive method that is laid out by true professionals cannot be overstated. Years of experience and knowledge can be conveyed through the right sketching course or drawing tutorial.

pencil drawing - 4-man-portrait-realistic-penci



See A Realistic Pencil Drawing In Process!


      Our Reviews!

How To Draw A Realistic Face!


Pencil Drawing - Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery Course

First up in our reviews is the “Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery” course! When it comes to drawing a realistic face, this is definitely one of the best step-by-step online home sketching and drawing courses available.

This course comes from famed pencil sketch artist “Christopher Sia.” He was inspired to design this course for pencil drawers who are experiencing what he personally went through himself, which is “that feeling of being stuck.”

There are so many pencil artists  who have a few skills and some knowledge, but they simply cannot “get over the hump” and create better, more realistic drawings.

What We Found

When we went through this course, this is exactly what we found. We saw quite a few examples of basic sketches, but then we saw the finished products after these drawings were completed. The difference was like night and day. The end drawings definitely looked more realistic and life-like! There was much more character, personality, identity, and emotion within the end drawings. These completed drawings definitely looked more professional, captivating, and real!

His Three Secrets!

Christopher Sia credits this ability to take mediocre or average drawings to a higher, more realistic level to his 3 Secrets.

#1) “Focus On Mastering The Depiction Of Every Facial Feature Individually!”

#2) “Observe The Small Details In Every Facial Feature!”

#3) “Learn To See What Others Cannot See!”

Inside of this course, he goes into further detail about explaining this 3-pronged attack. At any rate, it actually works. The final drawings look so much more detailed and realistic!


5 Key Facial Features

Within this course are 5 lessons or modules for the 5 key features of the face.

Lesson 1 – “How To Draw A Realistic Eye” – Here, Christopher deals with the basic mistakes people make when drawing eyeballs and eyelids. (Total of 55 pages with 127 Illustrations.)


Lesson 2 – “How To Draw A Realistic Nose” –  Even though the nose doesn’t move much, the shape, form, and contour of the nose can still represent character and identity. There have been many famous singers and actors who have distinctive noses. (Barbara Streisand, Jimmy Durante etc.) Here, Christopher examines what he feels are the most important keys to drawing a realistic nose and bringing out it’s identity. (Total of 49 pages with 163 Illustrations.)


Lesson 3 – “How To Draw a Realistic Mouth And Teeth” – Unlike the nose, which doesn’t move much, the mouth is very expressive and can send many messages in a drawing. In this portion, eliminating the 3 common mistakes that are made when drawing the mouth are addressed. (Total of 24 pages with 61 Illustrations.)


Lesson 4 – “How To Draw A Realistic Ear” – Ears are often overlooked because they are on the side of the head and are motionless most of the time. Christopher breaks down the important parts of the ear and discusses their details. (Total of 35 pages with 126 Illustrations.)



Lesson 5 – “How To Draw Realistic Hair” – A lot of students hate drawing hair because hair seems so complex, fine, and detailed. This is why Christopher loves drawing hair. These details can actually make a drawing look more realistic. Here, he goes into his approach for drawing realistic hair in an easier and faster way.



Our major issue with this tutorial is that there are no video demonstrations to go along with the illustrations. We sincerely feel that with any great tutorial, there should be a way for students to “actually see” real time demonstrations. It is so much easier to learn any method when it is put right there in front of you and you can see it materialize. So far, video is the best way to do this.



  • Learn how to draw a Realistic Eye!
  • Discover secrets to drawing a Realistic Nose!
  • Methods to drawing a Realistic Mouth!
  • 126 Illustrations on drawing a Realistic Ear!
  • Learn to draw Realistic Hair!
  • It demystifies the “lie” about having to be gifted or naturally talented.
  • Proves that all you need is sincere interest, proven techniques, and determination (good work ethic)
  • Gives you Hidden Secrets on how to make drawings look unbelievably “Realistic.
  • You are taught specifically how to realistically draw the different areas of the face.
  • 208 pages with 605 illustrations and images.
  • 100 High-Resolution Practice Pictures to practice along….from Beginner to Expert!
  • Learn professional skills and techniques that will last a lifetime. (Your drawings will no longer look like they were created by some hack drawer.)


Conclusion : Overall, we were really impressed with this course. The 3 Secrets method to creating better, more realistic drawings actually works. There are actually quite a few independent testimonials from pencil artists that took this tutorial and found it very helpful. Christopher Sia is a real professional and has the experience, background, and portraits to prove it.

Our main problem again is that there are no videos to aid in showing “real-time” transformations of these drawings. If  Christopher Sia would like to take a very good drawing tutorial and make it into a “great” drawing tutorial, my advice is to add video lessons. All in all, we feel this course is definitely helpful for those who are struggling at the mediocre to average level . This can definitely make your drawings more realistic, life-like, and natural. We Give It 4 Out Of 5 Stars!


Click Here To Check It Out!




How To Draw Realistic Faces And Portraits!




Next up is “Pencil Drawing Made Easy!” The first thing we noticed about this course is that it is “loaded” with information. When we say loaded, we mean “loaded.” There are literally over 42 hours of HD Video lessons. I have stated before that there is nothing like video lessons because you are given “real time” or “slow-mo” demonstrations that will allow you to see a great drawing materialize.

This course comes from expert pencil artist Nolan Clark, who specializes  in “realistic” drawings and paintings. Nolan has an extensive background in pencil drawing and has taught over 3 million people.


The Introduction

In the beginning, Nolan goes over what he feels are the best fundamental building blocks of realistic drawing…..(1) SHADING TECHNIQUES,  (2) CREATING TEXTURE, (3) CREATING DEPTH, (4) NEGATIVE DRAWING, and (5) REFLECTIVE OBJECTS. There is a thorough, 2 hour video lesson dedicated to each topic. Surprisingly, he does a very good job of not just explaining these techniques, but also showing them to you.


7 Key Facial Features


“How To Draw Realistic Eyes” – In this class, you are taught to shade the different features of the eye. You will learn to make the eye look glossy and wet, how to make the eye look recessed into the eye socket, and how to draw realistic eyelashes and eyebrows.


“How To Draw Realistic Noses” – In the nose class, you will learn about the subtle shadows and reflections of the nose. This is what makes the difference between a real nose and a flat nose. This module specializes in teaching you to draw any nose at any angle, making it appear as it is raised up off the sheet of paper.


“How To Draw Realistic Mouths” – In the mouth class, you are taught to draw the definitive cracks and creases in the lips. You are also taught to make the teeth look sparkly and white. After this class, you will be able to draw any mouth, whether it is closed, open, smiling, or shouting.


“How To Draw Realistic Ears” – With the ear lesson, you will learn about the six different areas of the ear. You are taught to make the ear stand out and become three dimensional.


“How  To Draw Cheeks, Chins, Foreheads, and Necks” – Here, you are taught to draw subtle features like frown lines and dimples. Some courses ignore the neck, but since the neck is connected to the head, it has to look realistic and in proportion. This video lesson covers that.

“How To Draw Realistic Hair” – Nolan takes an in-depth look at drawing straight hair, light hair, curly hair, and dark hair. He gives you tips on creating the illusion that you have drawn every strand of hair without actually having done so.


“How To Draw Realistic Beards” – Oftentimes, beards are overlooked in drawing tutorials simply because most men do not have them. But what happens if you need to be able to draw a beard? In this lesson, you will learn how to draw stubble, short beards, long beards, and even grey beards.





  • Fundamental, introductory HD Video lessons on Shading Techniques, Creating Texture, Creating Depth, Negative Drawing, and Reflective objects
  • HD Video Lessons on drawing Realistic (1) Eyes, (2) Noses, (3) Mouths, (4) Ears, (5) Cheeks, Chins, Necks, and Foreheads, (6) Hair, (7) Beards and Mustaches
  • Bonus video lesson on drawing “Clothing and Knitwear”
  • Bonus video lesson on drawing “Realistic Hands”
  • Bonus video lessons on drawing “Realistic Birds, Animals and Objects”
  • Over 42 Hours of Total HD Video Lessons!
  • Accompanying downloadable PDF Templates!




All in all, this is an excellent and complete pencil drawing tutorial. Not only does it teach you to draw the features of the face realistically and in detail, but you are also taught to draw different animals and objects. What we truly like about this course is that the 42 Hours of HD Video Lessons are crisp and clear.

You can specifically see for yourself how to execute each technique. We feel that this is the best way to learn. Nolan Clark has put together a step by step, easy to understand, yet professional pencil tutorial that will definitely increase your ability, skill level, and make your drawings more realistic. We Give It 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars!


Click Here To Check It Out!


Another Great Resource!

pencil drawing - Big Book Of Realistic Drawing Secrets - carrie stuart parksThe Big Book Of Realistic Drawing Secrets is another great resource. What we like about this learning to draw book is that it doesn’t just deal  with drawing people. It gives you  intricate and detailed plans about drawing and sketching animals, flowers, and nature.

It helps you to build the essential skills that you thought were beyond your reach. It does a good job of breaking these skills and techniques down into smaller, digestible portions so that they are more easily understood.





  • Learn to draw people, animals, and nature.
  • Putting personality into your portraits.
  • Proper smudging and blending techniques.
  • Erasing techniques to enhance your drawing.
  • The art of measuring.
  • How to handle curved surfaces.
  • 224 pages – 40 step by step demonstrations.


Click Here To Check It Out!



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