How to hold a pencil 

You probably think you already know how to hold a pencil.  Maybe not!

Drawing is a different process than writing requiring some new strategies. 

Grab a pencil and write something. Observe how that feels. For most of us, the movement comes from the fingers, perhaps a little from the wrist. Often our hand rests on the paper. This is an extremely limited range of motion. The focus is solely on that tiny pen point. 

Sketchers need to see the bigger picture (no pun intended). They toggle between freedom and control.

Death Grip Pencil-hold
(writing position)

Try some new pencil-holds.  

Let go of that death grip. Don’t choke up on the pencil and keep your hand well away from the point. Use your arm rather than your hand to move about the page. If this technique is new, you may feel a little out of control. That’s normal. You’ll get comfortable soon enough. Keep the pencil at an angle and let the pressure at the tip steady your hand.

Balancing on the point variation

Holding to the side position

Exercise: Draw for a few minutes making lines as light as a whisper. After a time, increase the pressure of your pencil making darker lines overriding some of the lighter ones beneath. Now go back to the “writing pencil hold.” Work on a small area, perhaps putting in some detail. 

Feel the difference in the control. Go back and forth between the two pencil-holds. Both are useful!