The Delicacy of Graphite

For years I’ve ignored graphite and consistently used charcoal. But I really love the delicacy of graphite now especially with this drawing of Yoda.

Yoda Drawing

The wonderful thing about graphite is that you can erase almost all the way down to the white page. With charcoal, once you put it on you could only, at best, get back to a gray with erasing.

Plus graphite allows for super sharp subtle lines and values that are so light they are almost imperceptible. Although, graphite doesn’t get near as dark as charcoal and once you work graphite to it’s maximum dark value it gets burnished and you need a dual polarization setup to remove the glare.

It’s important to remember that neither of these materials have any negatives or positives. They have options, and what your trying to achieve should determine which option you use.

Yoda Drawing in graphite

Previous Yoda Drawing Posts

Warm-up and DrawABox exercises

I sat down for my warm-up exercise this morning and honestly I didn’t feel that sitting and resting my hand on my drawing board gave me any extra control. Maybe a little, but the ability to use larger muscles when I’m standing balances out my hand resting on the board when I’m sitting.


My Draw a Box exercises have continued on to planes. I loved this exercise so much that I include it in my warm-up every day.

Steve Huston Perspective Exercise

Again I’m really flexing my brain muscle with this exercise to try and feel the form, know it completely and understand what it would look like if my viewing position has moved slightly.

The first drawing on the top left was from an image of a model. I’m adding some sanguine lines to help understand the form. Then I drew it again, bottom left, with the idea that I was viewing it from a little lower.

The second drawing on the top right is drawn directly from this great site of virtual poses. Then I drew the figure again, bottom right, and tried to visualize how it would look if I was viewing it from a little to the right. Lastly I moved the 360 drawing a little to the right and corrected my mistakes. That’s wonderful feedback and deliberate practice!

Steve Huston perspective study

Head Study

I think this is the second time I’ve done exercise 19 in The Natural Way to Draw and both times I’ve just done a basic head study. I’m supposed to do it a different way per the exercise though. Maybe next time.

Nicolaides Head study

Daily Composition and Daily Sketch

It’s getting hot here now so I have the fan going while I work. Thank the universe for fans!

The daily composition is of another crazy guy mowing. He was going about 30 miles per hour on this little mower. But in his defense he was mowing the whole park on this little thing.

Daily Composition and daily sketch

What went well?

Loving the delicacy of graphite and how my Yoda drawing is looking so far.

What needs work?

Even though I don’t have much to go on here I really want to focus more on the motive and idea for these fandom fitness drawing rather than just copying the photo. Unfortunately the drawing of Yoda is a copy of the photograph.

What did I learn?

Rough newsprint is not the best paper to use for a portrait, it’s too grainy. Plus graphite is so delicate that rendering with it can take forever.

Session Details

  • Session: 2729
  • Work: 1723
  • Width: 12"
  • Height: 19"
  • Medium: Charcoal, Graphite, Ink
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 4.25
  • Creative Time:



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Christopher Beaven

Christopher Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

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2 Responses

  1. Most of the time, while I don’t personally understand the whole logistics of your warm-ups, I love that you share them. (Actually, though, I see you did pretty good with the Steve Huston perspective exercise, at least it looks like it…) That’s not *quite* on my list of #1 habits I want to employ, but it’s up there. Once I get my fundamentals down, I really want to work on incorporating a warm-up writing exercise every day. Good work. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks! Yeah I did well on those exercises. Fundamentals are super important! Just like many of the greatest athletes they always practice the fundamentals even after their success.

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