Drawing Lessons: Drawing Rocks with Diane Wright

 Drawing Lessons: Drawing Rocks

drawing lessons drawing rocksHere is the reference photo in color that we will be using for the rest of this drawing lessons entry. A grayscale photo can help to match the tones, but color helps in the details.

Diane Wright is a very talented artist that will be posting more of her tutorials on Pencils.com over time! Visit her website for more tutorials or you can buy her book on landscaping. She has 2 blogs that she updates regularly (here and here) and allows commenting…feel free to ask her any questions that you may have.

Step 1

We are going to draw the large boulder on the left. I start with a 2B pencil and sketch in the darkest areas. The lighter areas are sketched in using an F lead weight. Using short random marks, I concentrate on the indents and shadowed areas. Be sure to draw in all of the darkest areas in this step (I will explain further in the third step)

drawing lessons drawing rocks

Step 2

Once you have the preliminary details drawn, use the clutch pencil with a chisel edge to apply a smooth even layer over the surface. The lighter areas I use the 4H, and use 2H in the shadowed areas. Remember the planes and angles for lighting.

Step 3

drawing lessons drawing rocks

Now the fun starts! Using a softer lead in the mechanical pencil, start creating the texture! I use random short marks to create pits and a rough surface. That’s right; use a softer lead over the harder lead. We all know that using softer lead over harder lead creates a very uneven surface. But it works wonders in creating a random, uneven texture for rocks.

The chisel edge is important as it creates a flat wide mark. To create a chisel edge, use sandpaper; angle your pencil and scrub!

Using these harder leads may be new to some of you, but they create wonderful light values that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve.

Continue building and layering. Use the Blu-Tack to create subtle highlights. Press the Blu-Tack onto an area and lift the graphite off. Use the battery-operated eraser to create small strong highlights.

I mentioned in step 1 to be sure you have all your darkest areas drawn before you proceed onto step 2. The reason should be obvious. Once the harder lead is laid down, you will not be able to achieve those rich blacks!

Here is my completed rock study…


drawing lessons drawing rocks










If you want to see more drawing lessons, including more drawing lessons from Diane Wright, check out the “Drawing Lessons” section of Studio 602.


1 reply
  1. Linz
    Linz says:

    Fabulous tutorial. I can’t wait to try this out on a scene I remember from my childhood. We went to Whales. And all the beach are River Rocks and Stone. This lesson will be a great help. Also to my memory. I was 6 years old and on one of my Dads ‘ day trips’ ( thousands of them)
    We lived in the UK till I was 7 years old. So I have a lot of sketching to do. I’ll be back, thank you.!


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