Holding the pencil – Enhance your drawing

Do you want to draw a small line or shape with precision?

Or you want to draw a long line or a larger curve at one stretch?

Or do you want to draw a hazy line for shading?

The way you hold the pencil influences how seamlessly you can shade or draw these lines and curves.

Now, this does not mean that you have to hold your pencil exactly in this way, even if you are not comfortable with it. Your comfort matters the most as long as that keeps you in the flow of drawing rather than getting distracted by the grip. But these grips are generally found to be used, hence I am guiding you on how to use these grips.

There are two common ways to hold a pencil while drawing. While there are other ways too, they are either slight variations of these grips or lesser-used ones.


Tripod grip

This is the same grip that you use for writing, the basic and common method of holding the pencil. This grip allows you to have tighter control over your pencil and, hence you can draw details with more precision. This is ideal for drawing small lines and shapes. Also, this grip works well when you have to do detailed shading.

You can move your grip farther from the tip of the pencil to draw longer lines. You can do more freehand drawings like this as you would not be resting your palm on the paper. You can also avoid smudging. This grip works best when held lightly.


Overhand grip

This grip is popular for sketching. You can use the tip as well as the side of the pencil. You can draw pointed lines, darker shades as well as lighter hazy lines depending on how you tilt the pencil while drawing.

Now, as I had mentioned earlier, there is no specific rule to hold the pencil in this way while sketching. I have seen people drawing excellent sketches with tripod grip as well. But as we hold the pencil firmly in the tripod grip, we start feeling pain in hand and become tired fast. Overhand grip gives you a firm grip with a lighter hold. This makes you feel relaxed and allows you to go on with the flow of the drawing.

Here too, you can move your grip farther from the tip of the pencil for more freehand drawings.

In this video, I have shown you all these variations.

There is another grip too, called the underhand grip. But in my opinion, this is sparsely used. You can go ahead and try this as well!

Now that you understand and know the basics of all aspects required for sketching, I will show you how to draw an opaque object in the next session.

Keep learning!!!


  1. Time to try out the grips!

    • Sure, try and let me know!!!

  2. Hurrah! After all I got a web site from where I be capable of genuinely take useful information concerning my study and knowledge.

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