Pencil shading techniques for beginners

Using a pencil to make a simple drawing can be really exciting, but there is a need for some techniques to be applied to achieve all sorts of artistic expressions.

Shading is basically the aspect of adding some value and light to all sorts of illusion, and shading can make your drawing seem to be a three-dimensional image and also help you come up with a compelling image, below are some of the Pencil shading techniques for beginners;

Smooth Shading

If you avoid any kind of patterns when shading, you will be able to achieve a very smooth result. If you would like to achieve smooth shading, the secret is avoiding the forth and back shading; this type of shading will only result in striping. But is important to note that forth and back motion can be used when you want to sketch. Another way of achieving smooth shading is to use a random circular motion and also during application, and you should remember to slow down your pencil.

Since this process is slow; you will have an opportunity to build up the value of your pencil by layering. It will enable you to achieve great results and is also a safe way that one can use to shade because those values have been built up in a slow manner.


This technique is very different when it comes to its approach, and it is very different from smooth shading. To smudge your pencil, you will require some dry bristles or the paper stumps, you can also use your fingers if you wish but this can be messy and may make your drawing dirty.

With smudging, you will be able to push graphite into all the parts of your drawing paper; smudging can be accomplished quickly; you need to ensure that you do not only use smudging as the only technique.

Textured shading

Many are the times when you will find your subject matter dictating the type of shading that you have to use when drawing a tree or foliage; you will have to avoid smooth shading at all cost, you should instead let your drawing have a textured look.

To break up the similarity of your drawing, you should use this technique; when you use a texture technique for the other object and compare to another smooth object, there will be a possibility of creating a visual separation between those two objects. You should avoid digging your pencil’s tip on the paper.


This is merely the art whereby one creates a value of their drawing with several layers of many parallel lines.

It is very easy to control the values when using this technique; you should ensure that the lines drawn are of the same spacing, several sets of lines can enable you to achieve a predictable value of changes.

However, people do tend to lose patience with this technique, hence the need to speed up arises, leading to the shading having lines that are very different from each other and messy as well, it would be great if you have extra patience with this technique to achieve the best results.