AuthorTopic: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..  (Read 14033 times)

Offline Froli

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proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

on: September 24, 2006, 12:33:13 am
I've read about 3 ways like the underhand, overhand and modified writing, but i like to know how do you execute this properly, do you just use your arms for directing each pencil strokes? fingers not moving and letting the wrists do the work? or combinations for effective result etc.. Please enlighten me because I'm sure some of the old timers here do traditional drawing.

Thanks in advance.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #1 on: September 24, 2006, 12:52:27 am
whatever works for you..
if you don't have anything that works, try different ways.
if you want some hard lines, hold the pencil near the tip, if you want some lighter lines hold near the end of the pencil.
if you want thicker lines, try holding the pencil on an angle so the lead scrapes near its side.
altering the pressure can help, and being able to use both your fingers and arm can be good. mix it up a bit and experiment and see what works.
could also try different types of pencils.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 12:56:45 am
anyone concerned with proper pencil holding would avoid me like the plague; i have a quadrupedal grip (as opposed to the normal tripedal)

but yeah, do what works for you.  arm motions will be looser, finger motions tighter.  the wrist is great for quick curves, the arm necessary for larger.  i sketch standing, refine seated (though when painting i simply never sit unless working with aquarelle). 

oh, and clenching your lower arm muscles can get and interesting jitter effect
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Offline Faktablad

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #3 on: September 24, 2006, 01:51:19 am
anyone concerned with proper pencil holding would avoid me like the plague; i have a quadrupedal grip (as opposed to the normal tripedal)
Mine's almost quintipedal.  It's horrendous.  I hold the pencil near the end with four fingers (my thumb, index, middle and pinky) and then sort of rest my ring finger on the other two fingers next to it.  I get a lot of control, however it's easy to press down too hard (combined with the fact that I play piano, so have a lot of strength in my lower arm) and I have a lot of problems with smudging.

Offline ptoing

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 01:56:13 am
I hold my pens with 4 fingers as well :B Child grip. Whatever is comfortable.
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Offline Sohashu

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #5 on: September 24, 2006, 06:19:15 am
IM quadraple due to the fact that I draw small and I need a lot of fine control.  But yeah, what works for you. 
Back from hiatus, just remembered how excellent this community is at forming technique in a fledgeling artist of any kind.

Offline Froli

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #6 on: September 24, 2006, 08:02:17 am
Thanks for the replies, I'll keep this tips in mind.. since I'm trying to restart everything back to basics  :y:

Offline Helm

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #7 on: September 24, 2006, 08:06:49 am
hum, strange, I hold my pen or pencil with index and thumb, and provide fine control with middle finger, like an evolved mammal  :P

Offline Panda

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #8 on: September 24, 2006, 08:09:35 am
I hold mine with thumb + index and use my middle finger for support, moving it depending on when I want to do hard strokes or not :X

Offline Godslayer

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #9 on: September 24, 2006, 01:06:01 pm
hum, strange, I hold my pen or pencil with index and thumb, and provide fine control with middle finger, like an evolved mammal  :P

 :y:
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #10 on: September 24, 2006, 03:38:18 pm
actually i guess my thumb doesnt really hold the pencil exactly, its held by the middle and index fingers, resting on the ring finger, and the thumb goes over the pencil and rests on the second joint of the index, and the pinky flicks across underneath to brush....like i said, its a bit odd
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Offline Feron

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #11 on: September 24, 2006, 03:55:34 pm

Offline Weasel

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #12 on: September 24, 2006, 04:56:30 pm
The 'quadrupedal grip' seems to be a lot more common than I though, I've always held my pen that way, and have often been told it was the wrong way. Though that said I do change my grip to draw in a certain way sometimes, if I'm sketching/doing loose work I tend to hold the pen very oddly. Examples follow...

The way I generally hold pens -


The 'correct' way to hold a pen (notice how awkward it looks when I try it  :P) -


And two ways I'll tend to hold the pen if sketching/doing loose work, which look horrific, but are actually more comfortable for me than the 'correct' grip -
 

So I'd just stick with what feels comfortable for you, if I hold the pen the 'correct' way it feels awful and nearly falls out of my grip half the time.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 05:07:53 pm by Weasel »
WARNING - This post may contain incredibly bad spelling and/or grammar due to the dyslexic nature of the poster. Please ignore this until the problem can be rectified.

Offline hawken

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #13 on: September 25, 2006, 02:04:11 am
wacom advise that you should rest the barrel buttons under your thumb.

I always try but they end up under my index finger 9 times out of 10

Japanese people often hold pens vertically, or even with the eraser end pointing slightly away from ones body.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2006, 02:05:48 am by hawken »
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Offline goat

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #14 on: September 25, 2006, 12:28:11 pm
IMO, anyone who argues that there are one or more "proper" ways to hold a pencil or pen is just looking for another way to divide artists up among pointless lines.  If you've been taught that way, I'd advise trying new things.  The grip that works best for you in a given situation probably isn't in the drawing handbooks.  I tend to change mine up every minute or so depending on what I'm doing, and with what.
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #15 on: September 25, 2006, 01:05:18 pm
IMO, anyone who argues that there are one or more "proper" ways to hold a pencil or pen is just looking for another way to divide artists up among pointless lines.  If you've been taught that way, I'd advise trying new things.  The grip that works best for you in a given situation probably isn't in the drawing handbooks.  I tend to change mine up every minute or so depending on what I'm doing, and with what.

well said man
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Offline Ensellitis

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #16 on: September 25, 2006, 01:05:43 pm
i get told all the time i hold my pencils wrong, however i draw better than those people.  it is all about what fits you.

this is how i usually hold mine hold mine:

thanks weasel, i was feeling to lazy to get a pen/camera then download from camera/upload to server  :P

but that changes depending on what i am drawing...  kinda like goat said, there is no true proper way...

Offline Feron

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #17 on: September 25, 2006, 03:25:00 pm
There arent any set guidelines on how to hold a pencil, therefore deeming this thread pointless.

My uncle is paralazyed from the neck down and is a better artist than anyone here.  He holds his brushes/pencils in his mouth, so you should be grateful you have hands to draw with  ;)

Offline Weasel

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #18 on: September 25, 2006, 06:28:49 pm
wacom advise that you should rest the barrel buttons under your thumb.

I always try but they end up under my index finger 9 times out of 10

How very odd, I find it impossible to hold it like that. Plus, you have more movment in your finger, therefore it's easier to use the buttons with fingers than your thumb.

Anyway, I agree on the whole 'no right way'. Seems to me teachers just get paranoid about details or now the whole 'the child might develop some problem with their hands' thing. Especially for artists, holding a pen whatever way is most comfortable and produces your best work makes sense.

WARNING - This post may contain incredibly bad spelling and/or grammar due to the dyslexic nature of the poster. Please ignore this until the problem can be rectified.

Offline Skull

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #19 on: September 25, 2006, 07:44:36 pm
I've been told, that infact, some people were taught to hold a pencil/ pen between their index and middle finger.. now that to me is a little odd.. I think it wouldn't give the flexiblity as needed, which is given in the images shown above.

Offline Xion

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #20 on: September 26, 2006, 01:57:01 am
i get told all the time i hold my pencils wrong, however i draw better than those people.
:lol:

Ya, das me. I've tried other positions but they all feel so wierd and pointless. I'm sure that some people find it useful to switch positions for drawing/sketching/shading, etc., but I could never get the hang of it.

Offline ptoing

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #21 on: September 26, 2006, 02:08:35 am
How very odd, I find it impossible to hold it like that. Plus, you have more movment in your finger, therefore it's easier to use the buttons with fingers than your thumb.

In fact I tried it today, it's not that hard, and you don't need much movement anyway to press that button. Also I use the buttons on my wacom an awefull low, second colour in ProMotion and i can assure that that's not good for the tendon if you do it alot, thumb seems to be healthier.
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Offline sharprm

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #22 on: September 26, 2006, 11:04:39 am
I hold mine weasel's way. In highschool one year my handwriting was so bad I changed how i held the pen and practiced like that
for a while so people could read my essays. But when i tried drawing (holding in new position) i had no control and drew really badly. It really freaked me out and took me a while to remember how i use to hold my pen. Moral of the story is never try to improve your handwriting.
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Offline Weasel

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #23 on: September 26, 2006, 07:31:28 pm
In fact I tried it today, it's not that hard, and you don't need much movement anyway to press that button. Also I use the buttons on my wacom an awefull low, second colour in ProMotion and i can assure that that's not good for the tendon if you do it alot, thumb seems to be healthier.

I don't tend to use the buttons an awful lot, unless I'm using my tablet for browsing the internet. Though I might try to get used to the whole using the button with your thumb thing, I'm not all to keen on the sound of it being bad for your tendons.

Although, that said, I really have to pull my thumb back to use the button and (as I tend only to use the first end of the button) with my finger I can just click. Thumb feels really uncomfortable, might have something to do with the fact I have small, stumpy little hands (as you can likely see in the picture), being only just over 5 foot tall and female.
WARNING - This post may contain incredibly bad spelling and/or grammar due to the dyslexic nature of the poster. Please ignore this until the problem can be rectified.

Offline Keops

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #24 on: September 26, 2006, 07:43:11 pm
I didn't thought there was a "proper" way to hold a pencil or any artistic instrument for that matter...

Whatever floats your boat as they say. However, just for those curious I hold a pencil with three fingers and I feel pretty comfortable doing so.
I guess there's no proper way, to each his own.

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Offline hawken

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #25 on: September 27, 2006, 10:47:52 am
finger:




thumb:




If anything, I think Wacom are correct, using your thumb looks a lot less painful over time. Well, thats the correct way for a wacom anyway ;)
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Offline Rox

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #26 on: September 27, 2006, 11:51:27 am
I've always held pencils in a strange, and eventually painful way, but that's what I'm used to. I let the bottom of the pencil rest against my ring finger, the above two resting next to each other on the top of the pencil (close to where the buttons are on a Wacom pen, but further apart) and the thumb just rests around the pencil so its tip touches the side of the index finger.

It's a weird position... I guess that position helped make my pencil drawings so damn small. It's perfect for the tiniest of movement. Hurts to write with for long periods of time...

Offline ndchristie

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Re: proper way to hold a pencil while drawing..

Reply #27 on: September 27, 2006, 11:16:00 pm
I've always held pencils in a strange, and eventually painful way, but that's what I'm used to. I let the bottom of the pencil rest against my ring finger, the above two resting next to each other on the top of the pencil (close to where the buttons are on a Wacom pen, but further apart) and the thumb just rests around the pencil so its tip touches the side of the index finger.

It's a weird position... I guess that position helped make my pencil drawings so damn small. It's perfect for the tiniest of movement. Hurts to write with for long periods of time...


...its like we are twins :D

and yeah, the eventual pain.......it's a killer on essay tests

a friendly tip to those who share my suffering:: this pilates exercise releases the tension in moments

just make sure the arm you are balancing on is the one you write/draw with, as this does nothing the other way around

a forget who showed me that, i think it was my friend steph
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.