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What's Happening?


Artists Tools Week

with Kaz-D

F e l l a . 0 2 by thekidKaos

Find your favorite art form in education format by either browsing the galleries on the right or visiting #projecteducate's 2013 Roundup. To find out what's coming up in 2015 check out the schedule.

chalkboard resource


Artist's Toolbox

Usually while sketching with graphite or carbon pencils, we feel the absence of something in the quality of the strokes we get. This means that the pencil you're using,doesn't give an edge to your sketching experience. This is what I usually have felt while sketching portraits, animals and sceneries. To cure this absence we can do a quick makeover of our tools of sketching! This tutorial will help you getting to know more methods if making over your pencils . so that they give the unexpected, but great results ! Here's the index to what all will be explained in this tutorial :

  • The introduction
  • Tools required
  • Proceeding towards the makeover
  • Maintaining neatness
  • Usage


While introducing you to the topic, I'll first mention that the steps given below shall be performed with utmost safety, else you may hurt yourself badly! So take care if you are a teen and try to take help of your elders first! Don't try to experiment with the sharp tools yourself;So now , moving towards the topic, making over your tools can enhance your experience with the tool and also it makes it more fun when you get customized styles out of the modest pencil. Since pencils are of 2 types, the Carbon rich graphite pencil or simply the charcoal pencil used of sketching and the usual pencil used for writing; The charcoal pencil can be very helpful with shades and realism, so it can be customized easily with a razor or cardboard shown in the pictures given below :

The Tools Required:

Doing the makeover of your pencil supplies, will require the following tools which are easily available in a stationary shop. The tools are as follows:
  • A razor blade or cardboard cutter
  • A pair of scissors
  • Sand paper
  • A piece of spare cloth
  • A spare Paintbrush (flat-any size)
  • A common sharpener
  • A spare cloth or cotton

Since now we are aware  of our tools, we can start the makeover of our pencils. There are various methods, but to save your time, I'll be mentioning the most commonly known 4 types. These include :

  • Textured Pencils
  • Fine Details pencils
  • Hair and fur pencils
  • Special shades pencils

Proceeding towards The makeover :

Since you've got your tools with yourself, we'll be making up our pencils with the following pattern degrees:

1)   Textured pencils :

This style of pencils will require you the sandpaper, compass and a razor. What do you have to do is that let the pencil be fully sharpened and then cut a piece of sand paper. Then rub the lead of the pencil with the sand paper's rough side to gain a rough texture on the pencil. This texture will be a little grainy and can be used to get effects of our skin, or partly smooth surfaces as shown in the example pictures. This was the first texture we got. Now use the scissors to make lateral patterns on the pencil lead.Put the 2 sharp legs of the scissors on the lead and rotate the pencil to get grooves on the pencil lead. You shall take care that it doesn't break the lead. Then place the lead on a paper to try the pattern by rubbing the lead on the paper. If you get a pattern on the paper, then you're successful in doing so!
Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

2) Fine detail pencils :

If you have ever made a portrait sketch of a bird or even humans, you must have felt that there should be more details on your piece, but sharpening you pencils also doesn't bring enough seen details. So what to do in such cases? Pick up the razor of yours and the spare cloth. Use the razor to sharp the the lead of the pencil. Try this in all the angles of the lead till it forms a chisel like shape. Now use the ends of your newly made pencil to try and make detailed  curves!
Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

3)  Hair and Fur Pencils :

this is a pretty simple and useful type of pencil which can be used to create a fur-like pattern in a drawing. take your pre-sharpened pencil and then fit it in the sharpener. rotate the pencil inwards without applying pressure on it.Note that when you do this, only the pencil lead is being sharpened, not the wooden area. After doing this for a few seconds or a minute, just see the pencil lead for a second; Did you see that it now looked a bit more smoother? Yes! This is the pencil you need! The smooth body of the lead will be used to make the skin and the edge will be used to make the hair on the body.
Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

4) Special Shades pencil :

This is an extension to the hair and fur pencil, the special shades pencil is used to create different types of shades and tones by using the spare cloth or cotton and spare paintbrush.Use the paintbrush to remove some layer of the pencil lead, then wipe of the lead with the spare cloth or cotton. Use this pencil to make light shades! another method  of this pencil is to break the lead of the pencil and rub it on the sandpaper till it gets smooth. then use this pencil to create darker shades!
Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

Untitled Drawing by Tudalia

NOTE : You can use these methods on color pencils also! but these methods won't work on mechanical pencils with lead size under 2mm.

Maintaining Neatness!

The methods given above result in pencil shavings and leads spread all over your work space! so, how to maintain neatness? The methods are simple as drinking water and require no extra physical effort!First, pick up :
  • A spare newspaper !
  • A small container to use as a dustbin
  • The old spare cloth

The steps to Cleanliness :

First, spread the newspaper over your desk or workspace, so that it covers most of the area you need to work.Then perform the methods given above. After you're done with your pencilwork, the waste lead will be spread all over the newspaper and the shavings in the dustbin container.Now, collect the dust and lead residue in the middle of the newspaper with the used old cloth. Since the dust is collected is now in the center of the newspaper, wrap the newspaper and dispose off the waste in the main dustbin of your house! The work i done !

-3 by Tudalia

The Usage Examples:

Given below are examples of the texture usage of pencil make up!

-1 by Tudalia

-2 by Tudalia

-4 by Tudalia

-5 by Tudalia


Written By Tudalia
For projecteducate's Artist's Toolbox Week
Picture Resources by Tudalia

More Journal Entries

CRCP Award Winners

CRCP Award - March 2015 by Sserenita

Want to get involved?

There are many ways in which you can get involved with projecteducate and if you'd like to write an article we would love to hear from you!

Community Weeks

Next Week: 6th - 12th April
We have an upcoming Community Week which you can read more about here. Community Weeks are designed to get the Community involved in Project Educate. We want YOUR articles, whatever the topic, as long as the focus is educational.

Art History

Art History weeks are all about the history of art! You can pick the topic you want to write about and post it during one of our Art History Weeks. For the latest sign up information and to get involved visit here.

Handy Hints and Tips

We also have a a series of Handy Hints and Tips which you can get involved in by reading this article here. This series aims to deliver shorter articles focusing brief tips with visual examples to aid you with many areas of your art.

Artists' Toolbox

Next Week: March 30th - April 5th
Artists' toolbox weeks include a series of Art Tool themed articles intended to update you on what's out there, what the best tools are for the trade (in our humble opinions) and how to use them. Find out how to get involved here!

Community Volunteer Weeks

Our Community Volunteers regularly run weeks here at projecteducate and if you feel like you could help them out then check out the schedule here to see what's coming up and note the CV!

Suggestions, Feedback and Ideas?

We actively encourage all of the above and invite you to note the group with your thoughts and feedback. Look forward to hearing from you!


projecteducate Schedule 2015

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Add a Comment:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015  Professional General Artist
I think I could help a lot with Traditional Art (drawing).
I already do this on one of my Groups.
Learning how to look at shadow to make depth would help a LOT of young people.
(1 Reply)
heavenriver Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist

So hyped to be in here!
Ubblegum Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  New member Hobbyist General Artist
Hi!! I'm just wondering  if there's anyway I can help with project educate, or ArtHistory? Or anything else this group needs help with, I'm always willing. 
(1 Reply)
loginng Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Buen dia , no logro entender nada, favor publicar una versión en español. por ejemplo, no se o no entiendo que son las "LLAMA" no se que son los puntos cada vez que subo una imagen, disfruto del trabajo de los demás suscritos, pero no se nada del manejo de la pagina, Gracias.

good day, do not understand anything, please post a version in Spanish. eg not. or understand which are the "LLama" is not that they are the points every time you upload a picture, I enjoy the work of others signed, but nothing for managing the site, Thanks.
(1 Reply) (1 Reply)
FTSArts Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there, I was wondering (maybe you all have already made a journal about this) about white gel pens. Mainly I am looking for what is the best kind to use with colored pencil art. I was going to just buy a gelly roll pen but I didn't know if that is only suitable for writing, or if I need to buy something a bit more sophisticated. Thanks for the time anyone takes to reply :hug: 
(2 Replies)
iingo Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looking forward to the DD Week! :la:
arielniweihuang Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for accepting me~~~!
Lammebill Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave! :D (Big Grin) 
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(1 Reply)
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