Pencil Sketch: Pikes Peak Portrait

| November 22, 2009
pikes peak pencil sketch graphite

Graphite Sketch of Pikes Peak, 8×10

Pencil Sketch of Pikes Peak

Since I can’t paint everyday, why not draw everyday? It really shouldn’t be that hard to find an hour a day to put some graphite to paper. What’s more, every professional artist I have talked to says it will ultimately help my painting. To get started, I picked up some Prismacolor woodless graphite pencils and took a stab at a pencil sketch of Pike’s Peak…from life. The piece above is of the view from our kitchen table, although I’ll confess that the foreground is entirely invented. We live on rolling mountain prairie surrounded by distant hills and trees with houses peppered in between. Drawing seems much like painting without the 800 pound gorilla called color. I painted this scene a couple of weeks ago and although I liked the overall impression, the colors were way overdone and there was no foreground to give the Peak context or scale. Much like painting, I had to really look for value changes and determine where best to emphasize edges. I was also forced to simplify the subject in much the same way we are taught when we compose a painting. This was a pretty gratifying exercise so I plan to do several of these over time to see how they evolve. Please click for a larger view to see the pencil stroke detail.

cinque terre pencil sketch graphite

Italy’s coast south of Cinque Terre

Above and below are a couple more I completed. Above is of the west Italian coast just south of the Cinque Terre and the one below is a view of the coastline in Carlsbad, California. Both are inspiring sights in person!

carlsbad pencil sketch graphite

Coastline in Carlsbad, California

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (2)

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  1. José says:


    This reminds me that I should practice drawing, since I’m a champion of a good draftsmanship.
    You’ve acomplished some convincing perspectives and the work on those values is also good.

    Best regards,


  2. Lee says:

    Thanks for stopping by and for the comment José . I find that it is good for me to squeeze in some drawing when I am unable to paint. It all adds up to experience in the end pointing to the same goal!