Get more from graphite with these tips

Graphite illustration of a woman holding a dead swan looking up at a flock of birds

For the past three years, I've been using graphite as a medium for illustration, first only with mechanical pencils, then over the past two years adding powdered graphite into the mix. The art I make is all about subtlety of sentiment and narrative, and I wanted to find a medium in which I could really explore that nuance.

Even prior to exclusively working in graphite, I was always a fan of using light and shadow to tell a story or communicate an emotion. Regardless of what medium I used, I learned that the key was to work in layers: no darks were going to look deep enough or properly integrated unless they were built up patiently.

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Jenna is a NYC native, living in Astoria with her fiancé and a fine dusting of graphite powder. She loves creating dreamlike explorations of the melancholy, and wishes her lease allowed for a cat.