1. Locate the light source and stay with it. Never lose the light source.
Keep focused on the light source as a meditation. Never violate the light
2. Start lightly, gently, softly. Very very slowly and patiently work your
way to dark. Only at the very last should you place your darkest tones, when
you have arrived at a Third State drawing.
3. Start working your chiascuro shading at the upper left corner if you
are right-handed, upper right corner if left-handed. This is to avoid
smudging and dragging bits of graphite across the drawing surface.
4. Work slowly and carefully. This means: work slowly and carefully.
Another way of putting it is, "work slowly and carefully". Patience rules.
5. Keep your pencil totally absolutely sharp. Sharpen your pencil
often. One way to keep your attention rooted is to use a pencil easel which
holds 12 very very sharp pencils. This is a necessity if you are not within 18
inches of a very good electric pencil sharpener such as a Boston or
Panasonic. I do not advise an Xacto sharpener unless you want a 1 inch
stubb within 10 seconds of starting a new pencil. Did I mention that a sharp
pencil is very, very important? Never let your pencil get dull and rounded.
Keep it sharp. Sharp means sharp, not sorta sharp.
6. Use a Prismacolor turquoise, Berol or Eagle 9B. If you cannot find a
9B, use a 6B, 7B or an 8B. If you cannot find any of those, use a 2B. If you
cannot find anything but an HB, consider buying online. Jerry's ArtORama
7. Hold the pencil correctly...not the same way as you'd hold a pure
graphite pencil -- caveman style. To develop true classical drawing skills,
hold your pencil as you would hold it for writing, the way they taught you in
your basic penmanship class...for those of you who are younger than 65
years old, you never had penmanship classes, so just do your best.
8. Be patient with the pencil, the paper, and yourself.
9. Don't forget to breathe as you work. Holding your breath will not
help you to master good drawing skills. It will just cause you unnecessary
10. Did I mention that the pencil must be sharp at all times???