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Basic Graphite Realism Tutorial by PMucks Basic Graphite Realism Tutorial by PMucks
Mainly for beginners, but contains tips and tricks that can also benefit more advanced artists.

Contains detailed information on:

Materials
Choosing a reference photo
Creating an initial sketch
The grid method
Shading
Finishing touches
Protecting and presenting your art

UPDATE: In the tutorial I recommended getting a good brand of pencils and I specifically named Derwent pencils. I no longer recommend Derwent. I now use Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils. I also said using a scanner is ideal. I take that back. Scanners (at least mine) make the drawing look harsh and grainy. The part about taking a photo in bright sunshine, I meant to say take the photo on a sunny day, but don't let the sun hit the drawing directly. You can also take the picture indoors if you have a very bright room. Also, I no longer use a grid, but I still think it's a good way to get the proportions right.
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:iconjcecalaiv:
JCecalaIV Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice job bud. Look into purchasing an electric eraser. The highlights you can achieve using that are great. It costs about $8 but worth it. The refills are relatively cheap, about $1.50 for 30 I think. It is a great tool for precise highlights and cleaning up edges and what not. 
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the tip! I'll look for it next time I'm at the art store. :)
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:iconelektrastarstorm:
ElektraStarstorm Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Student General Artist
I never would've thought of using the kneaded eraser for highlights. :D This is really helpful.
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:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
Thanks for the information.
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
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:iconel-ste:
El-Ste Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much! Great tutorial!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome, and thank you! :)
Reply
:iconmszilvi95:
MSzilvi95 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Really helpful and detailed tutorial! :D Thank you!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful. :)
Reply
:iconkirstenrowe:
KirstenRowe Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a whole lot of help in a small space.  Thank you!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! Glad I could help. :)
Reply
:iconkaynyman:
KayNyman Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
We use almost identical materials! I do prefer the Vellum Bristol board however. :) Love to see other artists process - thanks for sharing!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I still like Vellum, especially for colored pencil work. Lately I've been experimenting with other kinds of paper. I bought a pad of Strathmore Mixed Media paper just because it was the right size that I wanted and it turns out I really like the texture. :)
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:iconkaynyman:
KayNyman Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like to mix it up sometimes, but I'm really not a fan of the straight smooth Bristol board; I definitely prefer something with a little tooth to it! Lately I've been really into just doodling illustrations with watercolor and ink on some really toothy watercolor paper. It's been great!
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:iconginesthoi:
Ginesthoi Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist
This is just what I needed. Thank you so much!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome. Glad I could help. :)
Reply
:iconlemgras330:
lemgras330 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks a bunch Patrick! :hug:
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome Cher :D
Reply
:iconpevansy:
Pevansy Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great insight. Lovely tutorial .
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks Paul :)
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:iconjusta-watcher49:
Justa-Watcher49 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
Thanks for the tutorial! Much appreciated! 
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem :D
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:iconlulu-3:
Lulu-3 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is amazing. THANK YOU THANK THANK x10000.
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome. I'm glad you found it useful. :)
Reply
:iconaprillikestodraw:
AprilLikesToDraw Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Student General Artist
this is really helpful! i'm about to look at your gallery, but do you have any tips on drawing realistic white/blonde hair?
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I draw light and dark hair the same way. The only difference is in the amount of light areas compared to dark areas. Blonde hair still has a few black shadows, but more light and medium light areas. Dark hair will have large areas of dark shadows, and a few wisps of highlights.
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:iconaprillikestodraw:
AprilLikesToDraw Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you, i'll bear this in mind next time i do a drawing.
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:iconeridan-ampora101:
Eridan-Ampora101 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
wow, thanks. very helpful. :)
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're welcome! glad I could help :)
Reply
:iconedogori:
edogori Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
great tutorial!
thank you so much for that!!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks, no problem :)
Reply
:iconmundomadness:
MundoMadness Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
Just reviewed this thanks
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome. I hope you find it useful. :)
Reply
:iconmsjocelynn:
MsJocelynn Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you, this is very informative
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome. Glad I could help. :)
Reply
:iconcmq1976:
cmq1976 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Thanks for you help
Reply
:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconoddboy7:
Oddboy7 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks for a great tutorial, much appreciated!
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconinsert-brain-here-0:
insert-brain-here-0 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fantastic tutorial, very helpful thank you
Reply
:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:icontheskaldofnvrwinter:
TheSkaldofNvrwinter Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is good, but I feel using a grid makes a drawing too mechanical, too sterile
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you. I can see how that might happen if you rely on it to plot every detail, but it can be very helpful if you just use it to get the general proportions right, then freehand the rest. I no longer use a grid, but when I first started drawing it really helped.
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:icontheskaldofnvrwinter:
TheSkaldofNvrwinter Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've seen artists use such a minute grid that their reproductions of photos are almost like the photos themselves. Very talented, but...doesn't make me feel it.
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:iconreneekeuh:
Reneekeuh Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you so much this is really usefull :D
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconayami-s:
Ayami-S Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is so useful!! thank you so much! =D now I understand a lot better
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:iconpmucks:
PMucks Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad I could help! :)
Reply
:iconafiya-numbuhnine:
Afiya-NumbuhNine Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you soo much!! :iconilikeitplz:

One time I accidentally bought a 9H pencil and I was thinking "WHY IS THIS PENCIL RIPPING UP THE PAPER???" then I actually looked at the label :iconfacepalmplz: lol :XD: -what are 9H pencils used for?
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:iconbergholtz:
Bergholtz Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
I would also like to add that you can use the lighter pencils instead of using blending tools to get the very fine gradiants.
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