Diane Wright artist - graphite pencil drawings
Diane Wright artist - graphite pencil drawings

Drawing Rocks

Tutorial by Diane Wright

part two

Reference photo

Here is the reference photo in both color and grayscale that we will be using for the rest of this tutorial. I like to draw and study from both images. The grayscale helps to match the tones, but color helps in the details.
Drawing Rocks tutorial - colour reference photo
Drawing Rocks tutorial - B& reference photo

Step 1

We are going to draw the large boulder on the left. I start with a 2B pencil and sketch in the darkest areas. The lighter areas are sketched in using an F lead weight. Using short random marks, I concentrate on the indents and shadowed areas. Be sure to draw in all of the darkest areas in this step (I will explain further in the third step)
Drawing Rocks tutorial - step 1

Step 2

Once you have the preliminary details drawn, use the clutch pencil with a chisel edge to apply a smooth even layer over the surface. The lighter areas I use the 4H, and use 2H in the shadowed areas. Remember the planes and angles for lighting.
Drawing Rocks tutorial - step 2

Step 3

Now the fun starts! Using a softer lead in the mechanical pencil, start creating the texture! I use random short marks to create pits and a rough surface. That's right; use a softer lead over the harder lead. We all know that using softer lead over harder lead creates a very uneven surface. But it works wonders in creating a random, uneven texture for rocks.

The chisel edge is important as it creates a flat wide mark. To create a chisel edge, use sandpaper; angle your pencil and scrub!

Using these harder leads may be new to some of you, but they create wonderful light values that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve.

Continue building and layering. Use the Blu-Tack to create subtle highlights. Press the Blu-Tack onto an area and lift the graphite off. Use the battery-operated eraser to create small strong highlights.

I mentioned in step 1 to be sure you have all your darkest areas drawn before you proceed onto step 2. The reason should be obvious. Once the harder lead is laid down, you will not be able to achieve those rich blacks!

Drawing Rocks tutorial - step 2
Here is my completed rock study...
Drawing Rocks tutorial - completed drawing

Tutorial © 2007 Diane Wright