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Drawing an Elephant with Pencil – Timed Drawing Train

Drawing an Elephant with Pencil – Timed Drawing Train

Pencil sketch of an elephant

Gettin’ Sketchy – Drawing an Elephant with Pencil – Season 4 Episode 7

This episode aired stay on YouTube on July 14, 2021.

Seize your sketchbook and a smooth pencil and let’s get able to sketch an elephant.

On this timed drawing train, we’ll deal with drawing an elephant strolling in the direction of the viewer. This angle presents a number of challenges. We are able to see that the animal is foreshortened and there may be some awkward overlapping of the entrance leg and trunk. However these challenges are simply met by means of cautious commentary and visible comparisons. The actual problem right here is the time constraint of simply 45 minutes.

See additionally: Foreshortening

Right here’s a have a look at the finished drawing…

Laying Out the Drawing

Usually, I prefer to assemble a drawing by stacking shapes. I have a look at the general form of the topic and visually break this form down into less complicated shapes. These shapes are loosely sketched with many traces as I attempt to discover the bigger form. This strategy, generally known as “development”, permits me to work quicker and with higher accuracy.

See additionally: Drawing Fundamentals – Building

Nonetheless, for some topics and compositions, I favor to work by means of the structure course of by making pure observational comparisons. Often, this isn’t a aware choice, it simply occurs. In different phrases, I simply “glide” and do what feels pure.

That is the strategy I took with the drawing of the elephant.

The drawing begins with a number of easy measurements. First, a lightweight line is drawn from the highest of the top to the underside of the elephant. This preliminary line helps to make sure that the drawing will match inside the image aircraft.


From there, I drew a line for the width of the top, together with the ears. I used the peak of the elephant to measure this line towards. So with simply a few traces, I knew the peak and width of my drawing.

Utilizing these two traces as a place to begin, I started constructing every part of the elephant from the highest down, frequently making visible comparisons.


Shading the Drawing of an Elephant

Shading is the method of creating the worth inside the drawing. Worth, one among the seven components of artwork, refers back to the darkness or lightness of shade. In almost each scenario, our purpose needs to be to develop a full vary of worth inside the scene. This implies we should always try to incorporate the darkest darks and the lightest lights.

For the reason that paper is white, we depend on the paper to affect the lighter values, whereas utilizing our pencil to develop the darkish tones.

As the worth develops by means of shading, the feel can also be addressed. Texture in a drawing is commonly developed by means of worth. The relationships of the values inform the viewer of how gentle behaves on the floor. The relationships of values consequence within the phantasm of texture in a drawing. There are different influences as nicely. The drawing medium and the floor texture of the paper additionally performs a job within the creating convincing texture.

On this case, our sketch topic – the elephant – includes a textured pores and skin so the worth and the feel are developed concurrently. As a result of time constraint, the shading and texture are developed slightly shortly.

Since velocity was essential, unfastened directional strokes have been made through the shading course of. By adjusting the quantity of strain positioned on the pencil, center and darker values have been developed shortly. This strategy is nice for sketching, however for longer drawings, a slower strategy could also be higher.


Under, you’ll discover one other graphite pencil drawing of an elephant that I created for a Reside Lesson collection. On this lesson collection, we labored on Stonehenge drawing paper (a better high quality paper that’s 100% cotton). As an alternative of only one pencil, a number of completely different grades of graphite have been used.

See additionally: Artists Graphite Pencils Defined

A gradual, methodical strategy to shading was taken. However identical to our fast sketch right here, the strain positioned on the pencil was adjusted in an effort to develop the textures and vary of worth.

See Also
Taking a Break | Seeing.Thinking.Drawing

See additionally: Pencil Shading Strategies

In distinction, this drawing took round 20 hours to finish…

realistic pencil drawing of an elephant

Watch the total lesson collection of the drawing right hereGraphite Pencil Drawing of an Elephant Reside Lesson Sequence

So it’s essential to notice right here that the extent that you simply develop a drawing usually occurs through the stage wherein you might be creating the worth. When extra time is spent creating the worth and texture, the result’s often a extra practical drawing. Nonetheless, even with a fast sketch, we will nonetheless talk the topic so long as there’s a full vary of worth developed.

Supplies Used For Drawing the Elephant

On the floor, the supplies used on this sketch of an elephant are comparatively easy. We solely use a single pencil and white drawing paper. Nonetheless, the particular paper and the pencil are essential. On this case, the paper is 80 lb. white drawing paper that includes a weak to medium tooth (texture). The pencil used is the Matte pencil by Blackwing. This pencil is smooth like a 3B pencil however will not be fairly as shiny as conventional graphite, making it extra intently associated to a carbon pencil.

The Blackwing pencils are additionally smoother in really feel in comparison with different manufacturers of graphite pencils. This makes the marks made with this pencil a little bit extra gratifying because the pencil appears to glide over the floor.

See additionally: Blackwing Pencil Overview

Picture Reference

The picture reference for this drawing train comes from The picture was barely altered to incorporate a white background. The values have been enhanced and the distinction was adjusted. A forged shadow was added on the bottom to the left utilizing Photoshop.

Right here’s a have a look at the picture reference…

Photo reference for drawing an elephant with pencil

Drawing an Elephant with Pencil – Timed Drawing Train – Conclusion

Any drawing that we undertake will current challenges. The extra challenges that we face, the extra that we develop. Though this elephant sketch was accomplished in simply 45 minutes, we have been in a position to train the identical “creative muscle tissues” we use once we create an extended, extra developed drawing. Sketching is essential and needs to be practiced usually. Setting a time constraint provides us a beginning and ending level. It provides us a window of follow so we’re not overwhelmed.

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