Which is correct ‘’drawn in pencil’’ or ‘’drawn by pencil’’?

 Which is correct ‘’drawn in pencil’’ or ‘’drawn by pencil’’?

Last Updated on July 9, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

The correct phrase is “drawn in pencil.” This phrase indicates that the drawing was created using a pencil as the drawing tool. The preposition “in” is used to describe the medium or material used for the drawing. On the other hand, “drawn by pencil” is also grammatically correct but it is not the usual way to express the idea.

Key takeaways

  • ”drawn in pencil” is correct
  • Most artists prefer pencils to pens when drawing.

This article highlights the meaning of a drawn-in pencil, the definition of a pencil, and the available types. It also highlights how to choose a pencil and tips to improve pencil drawings. Read on!

What is the meaning of ‘’drawn in pencil’’?

‘’Drawn in pencil’’ shows that no other medium was used except the pencil. The person who did the art project did not use crayons, colors, paint, markers, or pens. For example, it is correct to say ” That picture over there is drawn in pencil”. ”He was excited to see an image of him drawn in pencil.”

If you use other items besides the pencil while drawing, it would be more appropriate to say ”drawn with pencil”.

What is the meaning of “drawn by pencil”

“Drawn by pencil” refers to the act of creating a visual representation or artwork using a pencil as the primary medium. It implies that the drawing or illustration has been made by hand, with the artist using a pencil to apply graphite or colored pigments onto a surface, such as paper or canvas.

The phrase “drawn by pencil” emphasizes the manual and artistic nature of the creation, as opposed to using digital tools or other mediums like pen, charcoal, or paint. Pencil drawings often showcase the artist’s skill, creativity, and attention to detail, as they can convey textures, tones, and intricate details through the careful application of graphite or colored pencil strokes.

What is a pencil, and what are the main types?

A pencil is a tool for drawing or writing. It consists of a thin graphite stick enclosed in a long wooden piece. The graphite stick could also be fixed in a cylindrical case. A pencil is one of the most commonly used items in drawing since it is readily available and inexpensive.

There are three main types of pencils, i.e., F, B (black), and H (hard). The table below shows these pencil types, uses, and features.

What is a pencil, and what are the main types?
  Pencil type  Features  Categories  Major uses
  H pencils  Require a writing tool. The pencils make easily erasable light marks.  2H, 3H, 4H, 5H, and 6H (Lead’s hardness depends on how large H is)  Ideal for sketching and other applications.
  B pencils  Bright and easily erasable. Soft and make better contact on the paper.  1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, and HB  Best for note-taking and sketching
F pencils  Slightly lighter than HB pencils. They produce lighter and darker marks. They also stay sharp for an extended period.   It is used to make fine drawings.

How do you choose a drawing pencil?

The pencil you pick for your drawing depends on various factors, including;

a. The amount of pressure you apply on the pencil

Some people apply a lot of pressure on the pencil while drawing. If you are such a person, a ”4B’’ pencil will be your perfect choice. But, if you are the type that produces lighter marks naturally, then you can go for a much darker grade such as ”6B” or ”8B”.

b. Paper’s texture

The texture of the paper you are using also plays a significant role in your choice of a pencil. A harder pencil would be more suitable if your paper has a smoother surface. If you use a soft pencil on smooth paper, the pencil marks may not show clearly. But, if your paper has a heavier texture, you can choose a softer pencil.

c. Your approach to developing the drawing

If you want to make quick sketches of your drawing, you can use only one pencil. A softer pencil (2B is ideal) will give you a suitable value range. But, to produce more refined drawings, you can pick different pencils, including soft and hard ones.

How do you choose a drawing pencil?

How can you improve your pencil drawing?

Drawing in pencil can be fun whether you are a beginner or a pro. But, without the necessary skills, it can get tedious and discouraging. The following tips are necessary to help you improve your artwork using colored or graphite pencils;

Use the correct setup.

Before you start sketching your drawing, it is always necessary to have the correct setup. You can get a large drawing board to help hold your paper in place. It is essential to ensure that the drawing board is perpendicular to your line of sight. Doing this helps to prevent distorting the drawing since both eyes will be at the same angle with your piece of paper.

Use basic shapes to break your subject.

Sometimes it cannot be easy to draw complex objects. But, you can break them into simple shapes to make them easier to draw. You can first study the images to determine the shapes making up the object.

Do enough practice

Regular practice drawing the shapes and objects will help perfect your artwork. You can make it a habit to draw common shapes such as ovals, circles, and straight lines. Doing this will enable you to implement them in your drawings with ease.

Use basic shapes to break your subject.

Do not rely on what you know but on what you see.

Most people may draw what they know instead of what they see. Doing this could shift your focus, and you may end up with a different drawing altogether. Instead, look at the object before you and concentrate on the lines, shapes, and angles. This way, you will be sure of an accurate drawing.

Draw on the space around the object.

You can try to draw on the negative space around the object instead of the object itself. Drawing on the space helps to improve your accuracy since your brain will not have a preconceived image. It also helps the brain to engage in creativity.

Incorporate emotion

One of the easiest ways to stimulate creativity and imagination is to bring emotion. It is easier to communicate what you want by showing sadness, anger, calmness, joy, or other emotions on the diagram/drawing. While you may not predict the viewer’s interpretation, it is possible to control the outcome.

Try different skills for shading.

Varying shading techniques exist which can express your artistic style. These types include blending, hatching, stippling, and cross-hatching. You can try practicing each technique until you get the right one. It is advisable to severally draw one object (for example, a tree) and practice multiple shading skills.

Start with simple objects.

Like most skills, you can start with a primary object before moving to more complex ones. Doing this can help captivate your interest and master your skill. It will also prevent you from forming bad drawing habits that can be hard to eliminate.

Learn from the experts

One of the most remarkable ways to improve your drawing is by copying from your favorite artists. You can look at their stylish piece and try to borrow their ideas into your drawings. You could look at their methods and techniques as you copy their work.

Add color to your pencil drawing.

Once you feel confident with your progress in basic skills, you can think of incorporating color. You can look for online courses which teach using the color wheel. Make sure to learn to use and blend the different colors to improve your skills further. The last tip is to practice more and more.

Add color to your pencil drawing.

Which is better to draw with, pens or pencils?

Your choice of tools for drawing depends on whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist. But, most people, especially beginners, prefer using pencils to pens. The following factors make pencils a better option;

You can quickly correct mistakes.

Using an eraser, you can quickly rectify mistakes you make in your pencil drawing. On the other hand, correcting errors you make when using a pen and ink may be difficult and leave some marks.

You can control your pencil’s sharpness.

Unlike when using a pen, it is possible to sharpen your pencil at will and control its sharpness. If your pencil has a fine point, it will give your drawing better details. It will also be easy to erase such points in case of a mistake. You will also get nice sharp lines as you draw, which is not the case with a pen.

You can get better shading with a pencil.

You can shade better when you use a pencil than with ink and pen. You will gradually get a build-up of darkness with the pencil, which is not possible with a pen.

You can get better shading with a pencil.

Pencils are excellent for multiple artwork pieces.

A pen has limited applications in drawing compared to a pencil. You can create different art pieces using pencils, such as fine lines, drawing cartoons, or writing letters. But, a pen would be ideal for professional artists who do not want to draw a lot.

You can blend pencil shades.

It is possible to use a blending stump to blend your pencil drawings. Doing this helps to produce smoother shades. You will also have better control

What are the benefits of using a pen when drawing?

  • Pens are fast and draw more accurately
  • Pen drawings dry fast and don’t smudge like pencils
  • You do not need to sharpen the pen
  • No erasing and the drawing remains neat
What are the benefits of using a pen when drawing?

Final thought 

”Drawn in pencil” is more suitable when referring to a pencil drawing. When you use ‘’drawn by pencil’’, it may appear like you are talking about the agent who did the job. A pencil cannot draw by itself since it is not an agent.

A pen will be ideal if you don’t erase your work a lot since it is more durable. Different pencils are available, and your choice depends on how dark you want the drawing to appear. You may also use a pen if you are an experienced artist who likes drawing quickly.