Photo Quality Pencil Drawing Techniques (5 Easy Steps)

How To Create A Photo Quality Pencil Drawing Without Losing Your Mind

If you’ve always wanted to create photo-quality pencil drawings, but didn’t know where to start, this article is for you.

From what tools you’ll need to how to create a photo-quality pencil drawing, you’ll learn everything you need to know to break out of your creative rut.

Depending on your artistic ability, it might be frustrating to keep trying to draw the same thing, but with different techniques and art styles.

It’s easy to get stuck drawing the same subjects over and over again, and it can be hard to find new techniques that will let you break out of your creative rut.

Well, this article is here to help! In this article, you’ll discover drawing tips and techniques you can use to create photo-quality pencil drawings, even if you’ve never done it before.

We’ll explore everything from the exact tools you’ll need to how to create a photo-quality pencil drawing. Let’s get started.

Step 1 - Get To Know Your Tools

First things first, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the most common drawing tools and their uses. This way, you know exactly what you’ll need to pick up when you head to the art store.

#1 - Pencils

The most common drawing tools are pencils, and for good reason. They’re easy to work with, and their tip is easily erasable, which is perfect for sketching out ideas.

#2 - Sketchbooks

Whether you use them for your art or as a journal, a sketchbook is essential. You can sketch out your ideas and store your creations in it, so there’s no need to worry about memory or having a computer.

#3 - Colored Pencils

If you’re looking to create a more vibrant drawing, colored pencils are a great option. They’re pretty easy to work with, their colors don’t fade with time. The biggest downside is that they can’t be erased.

Click here to read our Blog about the Pros and Cons of Pencils and Charcoal.

tips on how to draw with pencil and charcoal

Step 2 - Break Out Those Sketchbooks

Now that you’ve got your tools and know how to use them, it’s time to start breaking out of your creative rut!

Sketchbooks are a great place to start, because you can use them for everything from recording your ideas to taking class-based notes.

Try to sketch out different subjects each time. This will help break you out of your creative rut, because you’ll realize that you’re not as limited with what you can draw as you thought.

Sketch out your daily experiences, too. This is a great way to record events that happen throughout the day, such as food you eat, places you go, or people you meet.

If you’re in art class, try to break away from the traditional drawing subjects and try out some unusual things. This could mean sketching out your thoughts or a doodle of a new idea you have.

Step 3 - What Makes A Photo-Quality Pencil Drawing?

Before we get into how to create a photo-quality pencil drawing, let’s first discuss what makes one a photo-quality drawing and not just a sketch.

There are a few factors that come into play, but the two most important are the speed at which you draw and how detailed you are. Both of these are set by you and determined by how much time you have and how much effort you want to put into it.

If you want to create photo-quality pencil drawings, you need to be ready to draw quickly. You don’t have time to waste in the pose, especially since you only have so much time to create the drawing.

You also need to be ready to sketch with a quick and dirty approach, rather than meticulously drawing each individual pencil outline. The goal is to get the general shape down quickly, so you can refine it in later stages.

Step 4 - Learn Your “Photo-Style”

If you’ve never created photo-quality drawings before, you might be wondering what makes them photo-quality. The quick and dirty is this: the closer you stay to the rule of thirds, the more photo-quality your drawings will be.

So, the first thing you need to do is get yourself acquainted with the rule of thirds. You can learn more about it here, but in a nutshell, it’s the idea of dividing your drawing into three equal parts, and then dividing those parts into thirds again.

The other thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the angle at which you’re drawing.

Since you’re making a pencil drawing, you don’t have the luxury of being able to rotate your subject, which means you need to pay attention to the angle at which your subject is placed in the photo.

Step 5 - Work On Adding More Details

Once you’ve created a photo-quality pencil drawing, you need to add more details to make it look more authentic.

The closer you stick to the photo, the more likely it is that your drawing will be accepted by a gallery or published.

You can add more details by adding more lines. This way, even though it’s a pencil drawing, you can accurately recreate the shape and texture of the subject.

You can also add more details to the background to make it look more realistic. This is best done by adding tonal values and shading to the background.

Pencil Drawing Made Easy

If you want to speed up the process of learning with intuitive courses that walk you through exactly how to draw like the image above, click the button below for access ⇓ ⇓


Making a photo-quality pencil drawing doesn’t require a special occasion, an expensive art supply, or an advanced degree in drawing. All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and a bit of practice.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

What is your biggest challenge when trying to draw? Has this article helped to give you any new focus that you’re going to start applying right away?

Share your experience in a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

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