A List of Drawing Mediums and Their Characteristics

by AVA
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Drawing is the process or technique used while medium is the actual material used to create the artwork. There are a variety of different drawing media that can be used to create drawings. Each medium has different characteristics and produces different effects. There are also different drawing techniques associated with each medium. Many of these techniques are explored in the video art lessons listed above. (Remember that this list of drawing lessons is added to on a consistent basis, so if an art or drawing lesson is not listed above, it may be coming soon. So check back often.)

Graphite- most commonly referred to as pencil or lead. Graphite is a grayish material that is available in a variety of different grades. "HB" is most commonly called a # 2 pencil and is found in the middle of the grades. Softer graphite pencils are named "B" pencils and range from "B" (soft) to "9B" (extremely soft). "B" pencils generally make darker marks because of the softness of the graphite. One downside to "B" pencils are that they become dull easily. "H" pencils are made of harder graphite and range from "H" (hard) to "9H" (hardest). "H" pencils make lighter marks but keep a sharp point for a longer period of time. Graphite also comes in large chunks that are not in pencils. This graphite is used for covering large areas of a surface quickly.

Charcoal- While graphite is grayish in value, charcoal provides rich, dark blacks in the creation of drawings. Charcoal is burnt organic material and is usually some type of wood. Charcoal comes in a variety of different types. Vine charcoal is soft, makes lighter marks and is easily erased. Compressed charcoal is harder, makes darker marks and is harder to erase. Charcoal is produced in both stick and pencil form.

Colored Pencils- Colored pencils are made of a pigmented stick held together by a waxy binder. Colored pencils vary in brand quality and price. They are available almost anywhere.

Chalk Pastels- Chalk pastels are powdery pigmented sticks that are held together by a gum binder. Finished chalk pastel drawings can look like paintings and are often referred to as paintings.

Oil Pastels- are colored sticks that are held together by linseed oil. They can be thinned and spread by using traditional oil painting solvents. Finished oil pastel drawings are also referred to as paintings.

Pen and Ink- Ink that is applied to a surface through the application of a pen is considered pen and ink. Inks come in a variety of different colors and can be applied in a variety of different pens. Hatching, cross hatching, and stipping are most commonly the techniques used in pen and ink drawing.

Markers- Markers are typically used for design work. Markers are generally not permanent, (despite what it may say on the marker). Therefore, marks are used in fashion design, graphic design, industrial design, and illustration. Rarely are marks used for what is considered "fine art".



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