Whether or not you know your ‘H’ from your ‘B’ from your ‘F’ when it comes to the , sketching in graphite is a great way to kick off or restart your creative drive. Here we’ve sourced a selection of inspiring that demonstrate the wonderful (and sometimes wacky), art you can produce with a humble pencil.
01. Venetian Morning Light
In this wonderfully atmospheric drawing, artist uses graphite pencil to explore how light disperses around Venice’s confined waterways. Murphy works mostly in pencil and oil paint, and focuses particularly on architecture, emphasising the layers and textures of the buildings he recreates. To see more of his sketches and his paintings, visit his .
02. Estudios internos (Internal studies)
Many of Colombian artist surreal pencil studies depict voided human faces with unusual objects, landscapes or natural phenomena in the place of facial features. You can view the full collection of these abstract sketches on Osorno’s page.
03. Standing Man & Stretch
We just couldn’t pick a favourite from Mike Lee’s superb pencil drawing collection , so we chose two. Lee uses only simple lines and shapes, reducing his subjects to their most basic forms. He has an extensive portfolio of pencil artwork, and you can discover more .
Is it a bird? Is it an eye? Or could it even be a pencil? This weirdly wonderful sketch was created by Danish illustrator , whose is full of bright and bold illustrations, favouring coloured pencils and gouache. We love the contrast between the foreground image, drawn in solid lines, and the wavy lines of the now-empty cage.
Less weird but no less wonderful, our next choice is Belgian artist untitled sketch of a girl. Combining a close-up focus and bold shading, Dufourmount uses light and dark to add life to the girl’s face.
Bristol/Falmouth-based artist sketch is inspired by the story of Ye Xien, one of the oldest known variants of the Cinderella fairytale. This illustration – one of two influenced by the story – depicts Ye Xien at a New Year Festival. You can see the second Ye Xien illustration, and Lorna’s other work, .
Gillian Lambert’s series is stunning, and we struggled to chose just one illustration to feature. In the end we went for ‘Hands’ because we love the simultaneous indifference and exasperation of the subject’s face as it is moulded by their own hands.To see the full series, and Lambert’s other work, visit her .
This sketch of a commuter on a train uses watercolour pencil, which we think conveys the artist/commuter relationship brilliantly. It provides enough detail to give the subject an individual face, but detail is deliberately missing. Artist Josu Maroto works in a variety of mediums, and you can explore more of his work .
09. Self portrait with a cup of tea
21-year-old French illustrator quirky self-portrait is fascinating for its use of colour. The hint of red pattern on the cup immediately attracts the eye, and together with the contrasting blue cup and orange top – opposite colours on the – keeps focus away from the girl herself. To see more, check out .
10. The Least Likely Thing
Composed using soft and therefore much darker graphite, this sketch by Charley Mackesy shows how effective blurring can be through two indistinct figures. Mackesy is a master of painting and sculpture, as well as drawing, and you can browse his portfolio .