View Full Version : Graphite Pencil Sketchbook

11-17-2010, 06:43 PM
I felt I needed to get back to basics and decided to pick up my graphite pencils again. This sketchbook will be the place I experiment with different pencils, subjects and styles. Anything goes, as long as it is just grathite.

The sketchbook is made of 8.5 x 11 inch 100% recycled paper and has a spiral binding. It has 50 sheets and I will be using both sides.

Here are my first 4 posts. I decided to tackle some landscape subjects to start things off. All posts are 8.5 x 11. Most references used were from the IRL and The Classroom in the D & S channel.

Thanks for looking.






11-17-2010, 06:52 PM
These are my kind of sketches! Welcome to the fun forum Doug!


11-17-2010, 07:50 PM
Welcome, Doug!! Great pencil sketches. . . look forward to seeing more. really like that big tree in the the third page.

11-17-2010, 11:46 PM
These are wonderful. Welcome to the forum.

11-18-2010, 01:38 AM
Glad to have you jump into the forum, Doug! Great textures on your sketches - I like the last couple trees especially. Looking forward to more.

11-18-2010, 01:40 PM
great work on the sketches.
Love the softness of the tree and the detail in the trunak and bracnches.

Joan T
11-18-2010, 03:45 PM
Great shading on these. Love the tree bark!

11-18-2010, 09:40 PM
Very nice sketches, like your shading and texture :)

11-19-2010, 07:23 PM
David- Thanks for the welcome and kind words.
Rainy- Going from colorful pastels to graphite:eek: . Thanks for looking.
Debby- Thanks for the encouraging words.
John- It always amazes me how much texture you can create with a few pencil strokes. Thanks for the welcome.
Elain- Thanks for your comments. I am starting to love drawing trees.
Joan- I had fun drawing the bark. A few marks and some shading and there it is. Fun stuff.
Chuck- Thanks for taking a look.

Here is my latest attempt. I stuck to the tree theme for now. I like this one the best so far. I don't think it looks as flat as the others. It is on a full 8.5 x 11 page and I used 2B mechanical and clutch pencils and 4B and 6B wooden pencils.

Thanks for looking.



11-19-2010, 07:49 PM
Hi Doug. . . I like this tree, nice lights/darks and patterns. Trees are not an easy subject for some of us. . . and I'm one of those folks. In fact, I'd been considering doing a sketchbook on them much like John is doing portraits but I don't know if I could stick to it. I totally understand how it must be to be limited to just graphite in this book and no color! That would be hard, too!

I like the mechanical pencils, too, lately for sketching. I used to use regular graphite pencils all the time and then on my trip I started using a plain on .5 mechanical pencil and liked it. Also, I think with pencil maybe even more than color media, the paper really makes a huge difference to me. I have a few sketchbooks that I really hated using for graphite. . . had them up on the shelf neglected. . . one of those 'rejects' is what I started doing some doodling in watermedia in the other day after finishing up my other two books before the end of the month.

Anyway. . . gee, I'm just rambling on. Sorry!
Again, glad to be seeing your work here.

11-19-2010, 08:30 PM
Nice progress Doug. Trying to mass the foliage on a tree is quite a challenge, it's jhard to see past the color and texture, squinting helps. Since you are working from photos it my help to edit the digital image and blur it in a bitmap editor such as Photoshop or Gimp.

As a side note, from what I understand in Carlson's Guide to Landscape painting he says the beginner aspiring landscape painter should spend a year or more first sketching from life with charcoal to develope that ability to mass foliage as well as other landscape elements as well as learn to see everything in planes.

Since I hate the cold I'm stuck working from photos myself for the winter. I am planning to do some tree sketching practice myself in that manner, however I might get out and do some sketching from life from within my car. Trees are everywhere, right? Makes sense it shouldn't be difficult to find a place to park and sketch trees in relative comfort. The good thing about doing that during the winter is you get to learn how to draw the "skeleton" of the tree. Heck, there are plenty of trees I can see out of the various windows of my home. That's the great thing about trees, no shortage of subject matter and they are always very patient models. :D


11-19-2010, 08:39 PM
Marvelous tree. I really like the dapple shade on the ground too.

11-20-2010, 07:11 PM
Doug, a your graphite sketches are looking good, looking forward to more.

I rarely sketch with pencils in my books because I don't like the smudging - are you using fixative?

11-20-2010, 09:02 PM
The last tree is definitely less flat - good darks and resulting modeling!

11-20-2010, 11:28 PM
the trees look good, the last one shading pops it out... good job!

11-21-2010, 01:28 AM
Really like how the sketches are coming out as.

11-21-2010, 09:28 PM
Hey Doug, thanks for sharing your sketchbook. Graphite pencils are one of my favourite mediums. With the absence of colour it makes me really look at the form of what I am drawing.

Graphite is a great start for looking at solid subjects and structures because you can get such a variation in tone with just one pencil. I am no expert on trees (I know there are lots of useful threads of "how to" information on WC). The main thing to remember is to vary the tone whatever you are drawing, from darks to lights and you will soon have those trees jumping the page.

Look forward to seeing more of your work :)

12-02-2010, 12:58 AM
Great tree studies!

I knew a girl who said she used to work in "Houston BC, not Texas" lol :)