How To Hold Your Pencil When You Draw

Get More Control Out of Your Pencil

While doodling can create amazing pieces of art like the ones we’ve recently shared in our facebook posts, for the most part wont produce the kinds of lines you want to make to really get your drawings to show off the fluid or gestural lines you really want. So what can you do about it? Well, here at The Splatter, we at the Blog Squad have been practicing our drawing and sketching and wanted to help share some pointers to help make you a better drawer. 

To avoid messy lines that are no where near straight, try these two grips:

The Writing Grip

Going back to grade school we learned how to hold our pencils in order to write. This method gave us the coordination to draw small lines and curves in order to form letters and numbers. To create small details and short lines, we can use the exact same grip!

To make these smaller lines-

  • Grip the pencil like you would when you sit down to write a letter- between your thumb, index and middle finger.
  • Draw with your whole arm instead of just your wrist.
  • Do not keep your wrist on the desk or drawing surface. Instead, you want to move both your hand and forearm when you draw as this will give you control without grounding you which leads to more unplanned curves in your lines and details.
  • Let the knuckles on your pinky barely touch or glide along the paper as you draw. Doing this will keep your forearm up while keeping your pencil just a bit more sideways so that you can choose how thick to make your lines-either with the point or along the side of the lead.

The Underhand Method

Artists Drawing

To make longer and straighter lines, we need to turn to a different grip. By drawing from your elbow and holding your pencil a different way, you will be able to increase the range of the straight lines you can draw. This is called the “underhand method” and it takes awhile to get comfortable with it, but once you do, you will be able to draw anything.

To make grander/longer lines-

  • Grip the pencil between your thumb and your index, middle and ring finger.
  • As you draw, the knuckles of your ring finger and your pinky finger should glide across your paper.
  • Use your hand, forearm and elbow to do most of the moving while you draw, while keeping the pencil and your fingers pretty still. This will keep you steady as you create longer, steadier lines.

By following these general rules of thumb, you will be able to draw better. Experiment with both and figure out which one makes you feel more comfortable with the results you’re looking for. It seems like some simple tips, but it just may save your life.

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