One of the best things that happened during my lettering challenge is that I started drawing a lot with pencils. For a long time, I avoided using this basic tool and preferred working with ink instead. The idea of smashing a pencil sketch with my hand and ruin the whole piece always terrified me. When it comes to working with ink, I pay much more attention to keeping my hands out of the freshly painted area. Most of the time my hand and the ink do not interfere, so there is no mess. Working with pencils was more challenging. I had to be careful with my hands when going back and forth over the drawing. Recently I found a few tricks that help me to keep the pencil sketches clean:
1. Go from light to dark.
I usually start my sketch with a hard pencil such as F or HB, which gives a light line. It allows me to work all over my sketch without any fear to make it messy with my hand. Also, light sketches are easy to correct with an eraser.
2. Use a protective layer of paper.
Sometimes I put a piece of paper on top of the pencil sketch to protect it from my hand movements. This trick works pretty well, although it demands an extra attention each time when moving the protective layer of paper to cover a new area of the sketch. I always check the paper’s “down” side that was in contact with my drawing to make sure it has no traces of pencil. If it’s dirty, I use a new clean piece of paper.
3. Redraw the final work.
Nothing works better than redrawing the final work. When all the details are placed in place, I put a new piece of paper over my sketch and redraw everything. This process is clean since I move my hand from top left to bottom right of my drawing without going back and forth.
That’s all for today. If you have other tips and tricks on how to keep a pencil drawing clean, I would be glad to hear them from you. Also stay tuned for the last part of my lettering project!