The Humble Pencil

7/07/2010 09:35:00 PM Posted In Edit This 21 Comments »
My first love in making art is  the pencil.  I just love it.  I love the texture, the feel of it in your hand, the forgiveness it has, and its warmth.  There's something immediate about it - it's humble and very basic.  It has no airs of importance and it's almost universally available.  It hangs in there when other media run out, dry up, or spill.  It fits in your pocket or purse and will make marks on almost anything, including your cuff, in a pinch.  It doesn't stain your clothes, even when you write on them, and it won't leak in your pocket.  You can borrow one from someone, and they don't worry about what you might do to its point.  Most of the time, they won't even mind if you walk away with it!  Also, they're cheap, come in several degrees of hardness (which greatly expands their flexibility), and they can be blended and smeared.  You can make a myriad of different kinds of  marks with them, and you can use  them on the tiniest piece of paper.  You can use an eraser to change a mark, or in a pinch you can use a rubber band or even your finger.   But best of all, I find a pencil completely non-threatening. Put a paintbrush or a pastel in my hand, and I have a clutch of fear (especially with the brush).   Now I ask you, what's not to love about a pencil?

So, in honor of the pencil, here are a few drawings of my hands.  They are gnarly and old, bony with stubby fingers.  But here's the thing about them.  They are always with me, so they are like a captive model!  I find hands very difficult to draw, and I intend to draw more of them, starting with my own.





21 comments:

Melanie said...

You have beautiful hands ... and I will never look at a pencil the same way again. Thanks.

Alex said...

Awesome pencil work and these are really great hand sketches! It's really nice to have you back =)

curiouscrow said...

What beautiful drawings of your hands. Really lovely. And I know exactly how you feel about the pencil :)

And welcome to Sketchbook Challenge - I'm delighted you're joining in!

Vicki Holdwick said...

Gotta "hand" it to you, Nancy - these are beautiful. And since when are your hands gnarly and all that other negative stuff? They are beautiful, as are you.

xoxo

pencil sketch said...

wow, these are the very good tips for me. Thanks for sharing it.
Actually, I have also very much interest in pencil drawing. And I want to be famous artist. So it is very useful tips for me.

thanks a lot for it.

Sandy Coleman said...

OMG! These hand drawings are so lovely and confident. I find hands the most impossible thing in the universe to draw. Actually I panic when I have to draw a hand and end up drawing my vision of a hand instead of what is actually there. But these, these are so masterful. I can feel the texture of the skin just by looking at them and I can see your love of the pencil as well. What a lovely reflection on a tool we don't often think of. Thanks for sharing.

Shirley said...

Your hand drawings are FANTASTIC!!! I'm so jealous...I obviously need much more practice!

Mary said...

NOT gnarly and old, NOT bony and stubby! Beautiful hands, beautiful drawings. And I know exactly what you mean about pencils.

raena said...

I join in on your praise of pencils!! And you've done a fantastic job of sketching your hands! Hands with 'character' are the best ones to draw in my opinion. I'm clapping for you on this one. Really, really good.

freebird said...

Cough, choke, gasp! These are your drawings of your hands just using pencils?! These are ART girl. I don't think Da Vinci did better! Wowsers. I think pencil is your tool! So use it.

perfectingmyperspective said...

Those are amazing drawings! Hands can be very difficult but you've mastered them!:)

Aarti Harish said...

Good hand drawings.I don't know...I never get them right whenever I try...

AutumnLeaves said...

Absolutely hands down (LOLOL) some of the best hand drawings I've seen, truly. I love your love of the pencil and I think you've given me new insight into their greatness.

donna said...

Amazing drawings. Please use these as exhibits A B and C when that critic acts up! That should silence him but GOOD.

Kat said...

Beautiful studies and shows the wonder of the simplest of art instruments! Maybe I'll pull out pencil and paper...

Dan Kent said...

These drawings are stunning, stunning, stunning! You blow me away! So well done!

Ann said...

Beautiful, expressive drawings - beautiful hands! I love pencils too.

Jennifer McLean said...

I agree with you about pencil being humble but so comforting and immediate. I always feel like I should use something more than just pencil but I'm working on embracing it's value.
Love your hand drawings. About the watercolor painting, I had the same problems you're having in the beginning. I found going bigger for my subject matter really helped. Just a suggestion.
Thanks for coming over and commenting on my site, nice to meet a fellow artist! :o)
Best,
Jenn

Kristen (Creative Stash) said...

love your ode to the pencil and your drawings are lovely. The last one in particular is very poetic. Kristen ~ CED

ChatElaine said...

I have to say I am the opposite, I find the pencil more difficult I prefer a pen or paint. Each to there own as they say!! I think your hand drawing are fab I love them all, I cant see how you feel you can draw them they look totally great to me!!

Anonymous said...

good start