Sketch Sunday: Caricature

For this Sunday Sketch I drew a caricature style figure and again looked at various shading and hatching techniques.


For this sketch I used the following:-

  • Different grades of graphite pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B
  • Strathmore Windpower Drawing Sketchbook
  • a kneaded eraser
  • pencil sharpener

First of all draw a square on your sketchpad as a border. This will help contain the drawing area and make it easier to keep the proportions aligned well for your caricature to sit and to help you shade the background easier.

Next with an HB pencil lightly sketch the outline of the hair. Add outlines to show the position of the ears. At the midway point add eyebrows and eyes.

Lightly sketch in the nose and mouth.

Outline the neck, the collar of the shirt and the shirt.

Before continuing check that you are happy with the position of all elements and amend anything using the eraser.

Now it’s time to add the shading using various pencils, such as HB, 2B, and 4B. For example, an HB makes lighter lines than 2B or 4B.

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Sketch Sunday: Funny Frog

As part of my new feature series, Sketch Sunday, I will sketch a new drawing and explain how I made it. My first sketch is a comical looking frog.


For this sketch I used the following:-

  • Different grades of graphite pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B
  • Strathmore Windpower Drawing Sketchbook
  • a kneaded eraser
  • pencil sharpener
  • Q-tip

First I drew a square box on the paper to help contain the proportions of my sketch. I then drew a dividing line down the center as an aid to get the symmetry of the frog on either side.

I then drew the top half of his face and body and a couple of lines to mark where the legs and feet would go.

Roughly sketch the outline of the frog using a H pencil.
Roughly sketch the outline of the frog using a H pencil.

Two ovals become eyes. A slight curved line becomes a mouth with a couple of goofy teeth. I then erased all the guide lines and center marks so I was left with a plain frog sketch.

Next I used a 2B pencil to make some neat thin dark lines around the eyes, mouth and teeth. I then added some circles of different sizes that would become warts over his body. I finished off marking up the rest of the drawing with thin dark lines.

With a 2B pencil define the frog outline with a nice dark edge.
With a 2B pencil define the frog outline with a nice dark edge and add some different size circles to make warts on his upper body.

Next up is shading. First of all I used a HB pencil and added light shading to the frogs eyes, body, legs and feet. As I was shading I followed the contours of the lines, for example the curves in the eyelids. I continued in the same manner across the body and the legs with the darker shadows on the left and the lighter shadows on the right.

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The Drawing Pencil Guide

I’ve recently bought some Tombow Mono Pencils. They range from 4H to 6B but what do those numbers and letters mean?

Tombow Professional Drawing Pencils
Tombow Professional Drawing Pencils

Let’s find out in this quick Drawing Pencil Guide:-

The grading scale number first gives a clue of how hard the graphite in the pencil will be. The higher the number, the harder the graphite, and the lighter the mark will be on the paper. The higher the number, the darker the mark will be on the paper and the graphite in the pencil will be softer.

The second grading scale on the pencil is the letter. The letter H indicates a hard pencil whilst the letter B indicates the blackness of the pencil and a softer graphite pencil.

The letter F is the middle point pencil sitting between HB and H and has a very fine point. This pencil has a limited amount of graphite and more clay in the mixture.

A 4B pencil would be softer than a 2B and a 3H harder than an H.

Drawing Pencil Grades
Drawing Pencil Grades

Hard4H to 3H

Medium Hard2H to H – This pencil makes light marks. It is good for drawing details and preliminary drawings that are not permanent
MediumF to HB
Medium SoftB to 2B  – good for outlines

Very Soft5B to 6B – these pencils make dark softer marks.
Soft3B to 4B


The B pencil is good for medium to light shading and the 2B for medium to dark shading. You can get more variety of shading from using the B pencils depending on the pressure used.

The H pencil is the harder grade and is good for fine, light and some shading.

I’m looking forward to testing them out.


I hope you found this drawing pencil guide useful. Other art related articles you may be interested in:-
Sketching in the Wolfsonian
The Best Stylus
Drawings and Doodles on Tumblr