Intro to Graphite Pencil Drawing
4.7 (8 ratings)
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Intro to Graphite Pencil Drawing

With Diane Julia Flick
4.7 (8 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
91 students enrolled
Created by Diane Flick
Last updated 1/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Recreate a simple landscape photo using graphite pencil.
  • Use measuring techniques for drawing accuracy.
  • Create textures and values with graphite pencils.
View Curriculum
  • No prior knowledge is needed to begin this course.

In this course, you will learn how to accurately draw from a simple reference photo using a range of graphite pencils, and I hope you will have fun doing it. It's meant to be lighthearted, but also with focus on precision in order to furnish you with a new set of tools for your toolbox

In order to take this course, you will need at least 2-4 graphite pencils in a range of values (lightness and darkness).  I'll talk about how to find and select these in the "Materials" section of the course.  Additionally, you'll need a flat surface to draw on, tape, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, an 8.5" x 11" or similar sized piece of drawing paper, a ruler to draw your 8" x 6" frame drawn on the paper, a high-quality printout of the reference image for this course, and a small square of white paper with a tiny hole cut in the middle (fold in half to cut out hole). Lastly you'll need an open mind and a positive attitude!

You will be carefully supported and guided through the entire process, from discussing which materials you will need and how to select them, to set-up, then onto accurate measuring in order to replicate the image realistically.  From there we will walk through how to add value including shading and mark-making, in a way that allows for the entire image to be built up simultaneously, resulting in a cohesive, rich and beautifully finished drawing.  When we are finished, you will walk away with a new set of skills you can use to create more beautiful drawings.

My hope is that you find the process and outcome as enriching as I do, and that it both ignites and feeds a spark of creativity for you.  Enjoy and be merry!

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginning artists or people who are new to realistic pencil drawing.
  • People who want more accuracy in their drawings.
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Curriculum For This Course
20 Lectures
Introduction & Preparation
3 Lectures 05:23

Learn to draw a simple image using Graphite Pencils. The skills you will gain in this class: 

  • Drawing a simple image from a photograph
  • Applying graphite to represent different values (lightness and darkness)
  • Creating textures
  • Measuring methods
  • Improving drawing accuracy
Preview 00:34

How to get into the mood and headspace for success! Have fun and enjoy yourself. 

Preview 00:53

Supplies you will need: 

  • 8.5x11 sheet of Drawing Paper
  • Ruler or something with a straight edge (to draw your frame)
  • Range of 4 Graphite Pencils (used in this class: 2H (or 4H), HB, 4B, 9B)
  • Eraser
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Tape
  • A small square of white paper with a square hole cut in the middle (fold in half to cut out square) (this is to compare values)

You will need to download and print the following reference materials: (attached)

  • Original Photograph (for reference)
  • Finished Drawing (if you'd like to see the finished piece)

Prepare your drawing surface:

  • Draw a 6x8" frame on your drawing paper with a ruler or straight edge
  • Note: make sure the final photo is the same size as the frame you draw
  • Tape your paper down to a table or drawing board
Preview 03:56
6 Lectures 28:48

We are going to start with composition and basic line drawing using measuring techniques.

Preview 00:17

In this video we talk about how to set up your drawing space. Make sure your photograph is parallel to your drawing. Look at the photo and place yourself there. 

Preview 00:48

In this video lesson we are going to be talking about measuring. You are going to learn to use your pencil as a tool to measure.


We will start by measuring and drawing the hills and main lines of the background. It's best to work back to front, and to do the biggest shapes first - adding in details later.


In this video we will lay down our foundation and outline the tree. Measuring techniques include distance and angle.

Tree Outline

In this video we will be measuring and drawing the fence posts in the foreground of this image. For this you will need your 2H or 4H Pencil. After you’ve drawn your outlines, if they are too dark, you can lightly erase the lines so they are very light.

Fence Posts
7 Lectures 58:14

In this section we will be adding a range of values from light to dark.

Preview 00:14

We will now add the first, lightest layer of value, including textures. Look at the reference photo before beginning adding values. We will start the lightest shade (2H or 4H Pencil). Starting with the sky and working forward. 

Things of note:

  • 07:45: Tip: note how to do shading around branches. 
Light Tones (2H Pencil)

We will now add middle layers of value, including textures.

Things of note: 

  • 03:40 Tip: example of shading
Mid Tones - Layer 1 (HB Pencil)

Mid Tones - Layer 2 (4B Pencil)

We will now add the final layer of the mid tones. 

Things of note: 

  • 00:15 technique: adding texture 
  • 02:15 technique: flicking your wrist for natural-looking grass
  • 05:15 technique: coloring in the tree
Mid Tones - Layer 3: Textures (4B Pencil)

Now we will be using the 9B pencil for the darker layers and textures. 

Dark Tones (9B Pencil)

In this video we will be adding more branches for texture. Use the 9B pencil for this. Note: Your drawing doesn’t need to be exact. Focus on big branches first and add small branches after.

Things of note: 

  • 00:31: Tip: flick your wrist to get the whipsy edge to the branches
  • 07:40: Tip: going fast at this stage adds a quality of loosens and life
Branch Details (9B Pencil)
3 Lectures 04:41

Now that you've added all of your range of values, we will take a final look for any finishing touches to add: you can erase out any lighter areas, add darker areas, or add more branches.

Preview 00:24

We will now go back to add darker darks, and erase lighter lights. We can bring in accents to define the edges, and add more branches. The final step is to add your signature.

Preview 03:30

The last step which is optional, is to apply a spray fixative. This will preserve the pencil from smudges. Caution: only use spray fixative outdoors or in a well-ventilated area as it can be toxic to inhale. Hold about 12 inches from your picture and spray a light coating over your drawing.

Preview 00:47
1 Lecture 00:35

In this course, you've learned how to draw a simple image from a photograph using measuring techniques, used graphite to represent a range of light and dark values, and learned how to create textures. I hope you've enjoyed the course!

About the Instructor
Diane Flick
4.7 Average rating
15 Reviews
126 Students
3 Courses
Artist and Art Teacher

Diane Julia Flick majored in art during college and went on to graduate school, receiving her M.A. in Humanities with a creative study emphasis in 2001. She has been making art her whole life and teaching art to children and adults since 2005. She loves to share this joy with folks who are interested in the same. 

In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, playing her ukulele, dancing, and wearing wigs while talking about herself in the third person.  Though truth be told, she hasn’t actually tried that last bit about the third person self-talk yet.  She conceived of it upon writing this and is now anxious to give it a go.