Drawing newbie here

Late start to drawing here. I’m using graphite pencils but even though I’m colorblind, protan, I hope to eventually give color pencils a try and see how funny that looks.



Hi Jeff, I’m new here also. I’m really interested in seeing what you draw. because seeing everything in B&W, you’ll probably have an excellent handle on value differences in your drawing. Hope you share some of your work.


I can see most colors until I get into the reds. But you’re correct with the levels of shading I can see. It’s what lead me to graphite.
Thanks for the welcome.

Hey Jeff,
Since you new here. What type of graphite pencils are you using?

And we’ll checking out Colored pencils is a great idea. Also don’t worry about not seeing the colours or not seeing the red tones. Actually, if a portrait is only in blue, it still looks amazing. What you can try when you use Colored pencils, try out monochrome drawing by using just one Color.

You can also use just blue or any other Color and it’s different tones like light medium and dark ones but all are related to the original colour.

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I’d suggest a few things. First, an electric eraser, then Mono Zero eraser (which uses the 2.3mm small eraser size). The Mono zero erasers and electric erasers aren’t compatible with each other directly, just the same size and material, the mounting methods are different. The electric eraser is like a laser and will remove fine lines quickly, even colored pencils.

Here is a combo pack of the 2.1mm x 5mm rectangular Mono Zero and the 2.3mm Diameter round, these are awesome for getting into tight spots.

Then I’d suggest the brown “Gum Eraser” which pulls off graphite in large areas in a single swipe.

I’ve learned about erasing as much as drawing. :rofl:

For pencils, I like thee 2mm lead holders and HB and 4B leads in them. The NicPro set has been good to me giving 3 pencils and several grades of lead to use in them.

Otherwise, the Mars Lumograph Black pencils are good for drawing in pencil but “black”, not so grey, no rush on those as they are difficult to erase and there is still a bit of grey remaining.

Most of my drawing (on all projects, watercolor, pen and ink, or charcoal or pastel, I start with pencil) is with a HB lead in a 2mm holder and liberal use of eraser after drawing lots of lines around the right spot then picking which one(s) to keep with the big brown gum eraser which takes away the others in a single swipe. Not sure why those aren’t more common. The white Vinyl ones (power eraser, mono zero, and rectangular) seem the most popular but they smear just a little bit though they do not shed nearly as big of mess as the brown gum erasers (I got the Sax brand). The little sharpeners with the NicPro set let you keep a super sharp tip on the graphite without grinding away pencil length.

For paper, there’s a difference between printer paper and drawing paper that will change your world so get sketchbooks for pencil/charcoal and maybe some charcoal and “white charcoal” to do some of the Getting Sketchy episodes. Charcoal doesn’t erase very easily at all, even with electric eraser, but using the vine charcoal to start (which can be removed with kneaded eraser) lets you get the layout done before putting down compressed charcoal block or pencil.

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Thanks, good idea with the color. Right now I’m using Derwent graphic

Thanks for the tips.
I have a lot of that but I’ve been lost trying to pick a paper😂
I’ll give those a try.
My next purchase once the holiday shipping calms a bit is an electric eraser.

Thanks a bunch,

Strathmore 400 is the common suggested but is pretty spendy. I’ve got several of the “no name” drawing tablets. Arteza are good but stay away from the super low cost options.

Some artists won’t draw on anything but 100% cotton paper but that’s more for watercolor and advanced colored pencil. The regular paper with light to medium tooth and a thick enough weight (> 50 lb) make a good enough paper. I’d rather get a couple 9x12 no-name pads than one 11x14 Strathmore book of only 12 pages.

Getting better means practicing a LOT and I can’t budget practicing on Strathmore paper for everything, even the things I plan to be final I do completely on cheaper peaper then move up to the better papers to make the final project. It’s good to keep several around and trying to draw something in one of them every day. Write the date down and what you used (pencil type, ink, etc) and what you had problems with and what you see wrong. Then keep adding to it and don’t throw those away. You can then go through a flip book and see all of your improvements which will come. Looking at each one a couple days after drawing it and trying to find what is wrong with it will help you reinforce things to pay attention to next. I use a proportional divider to transfer key measurements from subject to paper now, kind of a cheat but without it I stretch and warp proportions pretty badly. In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing wrong to make them look OK but “not right” and then I got the proportional dividers and quickly saw my errors. Even being off 1/8" on an eye makes a drawing look goofy but you can’t put your finger on what exactly is wrong with it.

Get a decent cheaper paper and use a lot of it (but not printer paper, it doesn’t have the thickness and “give” cushion of thick drawing paper), always going back to see what you could have done better and making notes beside it instead of erasing/tearing page out. You’ll improve quickly over just tossing away drawings that don’t look right without critically figuring out what you did wrong.

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Thanks, that’s my thoughts exactly. I’m retired finally and shooting the middle of the road as far as paper cost. I tried a couple of no names and it didn’t work but of course that’s before I learned about poundage, tooth, etc.
Right now I’m using canson Bristol smooth but am having trouble finding it at the moment.
Love all the tips because I’m learning as fast as my brain will absorb but it can be a bit overwhelming.


Don’t be afraid to ask here. Sometimes there’s a lag in replies. I have drawing pads from Fuxi, Arteza, Strathmore, and about half a dozen other “americanized sounding names” of non name paper in spiral bound. Just look for the decent double bound spiral to flip easily and a Sturdy/thick backboard on it so you don’t need a flat surface to draw on. The “U-Create” stuff tends to suck in the 3 different types I’ve tried. For drawing paper most will work and it’s down to personal preference. Even the Hobby Lobby “Drawing Paper” is a good step above printer paper. The vellum finish bristol is common as is the smooth bristol for both colored and regular pencil. The black/grey/tan toned papers are commonly used with charcoal and pastels. Watch through some of the “Getting Sketchy” videos on YouTube and they drop lots of hints about paper characteristics. After 200 or so videos you get a good idea (and a huge time sink).

Watercolor is much more picky about paper type, but pencil is really flexible and most anything will work. Final works and things you’ll spend 20+ hours on you can splurge on paper like Stonehenge, (drawing) or Arches(Watercolor) but to use that to practice would be insanely expensive. You can also go to blick art materials and order full sheets of paper (30" x 40" or there abouts and cut down to the size to use which is a way to draw on nicer paper for same price but you need to tape it to a drawing board or similar compared to using a pad which I use 9" x 12" almost exclusively except for a couple 6" x 9" sketchbooks. I’m not confident enough to even attempt a drawing at 11" x 17" or larger, too impatient.

The “Subjects in Pen and Ink” Members course is a great one to get things to draw then ink over to practice hatching and drawing with direction on what to do, I just Finished it and improved greatly from first to last, though still shaky at end, nowhere near as bad as the first attempts were. There are a few courses on pencils and they have their own suggestions on paper type.

Maybe start with the 25 days to better drawing course if you’re a member and if you have time, punch it to 12 days doing 2 a day instead of one. It’s all about practice and almost any heavy drawing paper is better than coated printer paper (has stuff to help toner and inkjet stick) as well as being compressed super flat even for being a heavier weight in some cases.

The most important thing is to draw something real. Preferably objects in front of you or a photo you find on the net. So you have something to compare to. If just drawing from memory making a goofy character or bird you won’t know if you’re really drawing what you are wanting or deciding what you are wanting is what you drew, if that makes sense.


Thanks for the help :pray:

Welcome @Sketchlines ! I can’t wait to see your work and cheer you on! Jesus loves you!!!

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