Top Tips & Techniques For A Successful Drawing

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Joanna Farrow is a British artist, centered in East Sussex. Drawing is main to Joanna’s get the job done no matter if it’s out and about with a sketchbook, or experimenting in the studio with a watch to sizing up ideas to a much larger scale. Joanna functions primarily on landscapes, notably trees, and draws inspiration from the attractiveness of her rural environment. In this article Joanna shares her top strategies for a profitable drawing.


My Guidelines for Successful Drawing

A selection of Joanna Farrow drawings made using Lyra Rembrandt Pencil Sets
Joanna Farrow drawings produced using the Lyra Rembrandt Pencil sets

Mark creating methods

  • Really don’t feel as well a great deal about depth as you start out a drawing. Use softer charcoals and pencils to block in the structure or ‘bones’ of a drawing. Increase detail with the more durable pencils as your drawing will come jointly.
  • Maintain pencils at the reverse close to the sharpened tip. By acquiring fewer management on the pencil, designs that arise will be looser and probably much more attention-grabbing.  You can normally insert far more managed, in-depth marks later on on in the drawing.
  • Tilt pencils and charcoal sticks at diverse angles as you get the job done to attain various, and unpredictable marks.  Keep pencils and charcoal sticks sideways to the paper for softer, wider and considerably less defined lines.
  • A good observe before drawing is to get the job done playful mark generating workouts for a handful of minutes. ‘Take a pencil for a walk’, draw with your eyes shut, or use the hand you would not usually draw with. See how numerous distinctive marks you can generate on paper.
Drawing by Joanna Farrow of a tree clump
The graphic over is quite pared again ‘tree clump’ that I swiftly labored in, keeping it incredibly free and smudging close to with a kneadbale eraser and crumpled kitchen area towel. Then I additional far more described but free trunks. This took me a few of minutes.

Making Up Layers

  • Developing up levels of pencil and charcoal adds depth to a drawing. Apply a smooth outline of a construction, whether a tree, flower, animal or human type, then smudge as a result of it. Use both with your hand or a paper mixing instrument.  Attract all over again on prime. This needn’t  be above the first define. Positioning the item in a marginally unique spot builds depth, solidity and movement to a drawing.
  • Contain distinction, area and a assortment of marks in a drawing. Make positive there are gentle and darkish areas i.e. shadow, light and space.  Resist filling each individual inch of the paper with data, specifically with land and seascapes.  As with a portray, the ‘quieter’ regions of a drawing allow the function to ‘breathe’ and direct the aim to what is truly heading on.  A specially efficient way of generating light-weight in a drawing i.e. daylight or lighter tones, is to rub out charcoal or graphite with the kneadable eraser.
  • Use thick and slim, light and darkish, powerful and delicate marks to hold a drawing lively and interesting.
  • Use your whole arm to perform the pencil or charcoal onto greater pieces of paper. This will make a extra energetic drawing.
Joanna Farrow drawing where the putty rubber has been used to create the tree trunk.
Right here, I loosely blocked in qualifications foliage, smudged again and a tree drawn on prime. I utilised a kneadable eraser by the charcoal for the trunk, then additional more depth on top. Keep repeating the process of drawing, smudging, rubbing out and then a lot more drawing to generate depth and viewpoint.

Include some texture

  • A tiny drinking water mist bottle that sprays a really great mist of drinking water is a superior addition to the drawing toolbox. Charcoal is pretty powerful when utilized wet, specially for softer parts of a drawing, such as the distant locations of a landscape.  Operate dry, spray with a mister and go the wetted charcoal around with a fabric, kitchen area towel or paintbrush.
  • Place pencil sharpenings to superior use in a drawing if you’re seeking a loose, organic and natural really feel. Permit the sharpenings fall instantly onto the paper. Then smudge them into the paper working with your fingers or a piece of kitchen towel. Use crushed organic charcoal (especially the finishes of a adhere) in the very same way.
An image of a charcoal pencil and craft knife with sharpenings left on the page and smudged in

Safeguard your perform

  • As soon as you have completed a drawing, never fail to remember to ‘fix’ it except if your drawing is entirely worked with oil pencils.  Deal with charcoal and carbon drawings which are extra very likely to smudge with a drawing fixative spray.

You may find my weblog publish On check: Lyra Rembrandt & Strathmore Collection 400 Toned Paper valuable if you are searching to purchase drawing provides.


Following finishing a high-quality artwork diploma as a experienced pupil, Joanna Farrow resolved to concentrate on painting. She works both equally in her house studio, as perfectly as at workshops with other artists in get to encourage and establish her thoughts and processes.  A whole lot of Joanna’s do the job is on canvas however her mediums are starting to be increasingly numerous as she experiments with numerous mixed media to raise her scope of methods and expertise.  Joanna has exhibited at many art fairs and is represented by galleries in the South East.

Take a look at Joanna’s internet site in this article www.art.joannafarrow.co.united kingdom and continue to keep up to date with her on instagram.

Joanna is using section in the South East Open Studio celebration in June 2022, locate far more info below www.seos-artwork.org.



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