Pure pencil

Pure Pencil style: pencil portrait of 'Margriet'

pencil crayon pencil & colour pure pencil tinted strokes


Pure pencil is a useful, realistic style for newly literate readers.

Pure Pencil is a beautiful and expressive style to use for black-and-white printing, especially with a tight budge. The first three drawings above, ( leaves, fruit, lion) were for visual education textbooks in Mozambique.

The two women come from a story on woman abuse (see also tinted strokes). The street-children are part of the same story featured under pencil & colour for Shuters. These shown here were intended for the b/w pages.

The squirrel remains in suspended animation, incubating in The Mall, a movie project.

Many private projects are in pure pencil or charcoal, including the portrait of a friend’s lost love.

The drawing of the young man with wet hair was done for my own pleasure. More such pure pencil nudes can be seen on www.southafricanartists.com

Pure pencil is also the star of the entire show throughout my drawing courses (see free stuff)We explore the full glory of pencil drawing step by step.

Everything in the studio here (except the paper sculptures which are cut free-hand) starts with a pencil drawing or even just a pencil sketch. It seems to give birth to everything else, to complex airbrush pictures for example. Then it fades off into the background, its work done until it’s needed again.

Pencil is one of the most subtle media available to an artist and it would be good to see it used more often in illustration. It’s rather underrated and, admittedly, tricky to use. This is because of its very subtlety and the nature of the printing process. But with extra care at the scanning and enhancing stages, it can come into its own and be appreciated in all its moods.

And… no, the computer can never properly imitate a pencil drawing. I’ve tried.

Clients whose work appears here include Longman Mozambique; Jan de Groot (portrait, private commission); Shuters; The Mall, (private animation project)