Why start with pencil sketches?
The idea of preparatory sketches is a tale as old as art. While graphite pencils weren’t available for artists until the late 1800s, the idea of starting with a pencil sketch was already well established. “Pencil and paper let you get your ideas down super fast,” notes artist Tammi Heneveld. “You can do a brain dump until you find something that you really like.” Sketching a rough draft can help you develop creative concepts, tweak your composition, and experiment with shading. From there, it’s simple to transfer your pencil drawing into a digital space and take it to the next level.
An essential part of the creative process.
Pencil is a very versatile artistic medium. From quick caricatures in a sketchbook to polished landscape drawings, pencil has the potential to bring all kinds of creative ideas to life.
“I use a regular HB or No. 2 pencil to sketch things out roughly. Then I use a mechanical pencil to tighten up the details,” explains artist and illustrator Jung Hu Lee. With art supplies like gum erasers and blending stumps, you can create incredibly detailed, realistic, and imaginative drawings. “Blending can turn pencil into a whole other medium,” notes artist Violet Reed. “It’s fun to experiment with that.”
Don’t stop there. Once you’ve finished a pencil sketch, you can scan or digitize it. Turn your drawing into a polished logo design in Adobe Illustrator, or open your pencil sketch in Adobe Fresco and add onto it with custom brushes. With the pencil, pen, and watercolor brushes available, you can elevate your drawing from doodle to masterpiece — moving your sketch into the digital space allows you to edit and transform it in interesting ways.