As a mostly self-taught artist, I have been experimenting with different techniques and new ways to do things for pretty much my whole life! There have been a lot of successes…as well as a good amount of failures. If you have taken a look at my gallery, you will definitely be able to tell that I have used a variety of tactics to complete an art piece, including collage work, spraypaint, colored pencil and more! One in particular that draws a significant amount of attention is the drawing of a woman covered by a scarf (pictured below). I always have people asking me “how did you get the scarf to look like that?” or “that must have been so complicated!” Well, today I am here to address both of those comments and reveal exactly how I got the texture just right.


First of all, let me just encourage you and say–it’s easier than it looks. The delicate grooves and stitching on the scarf were created by a simple household item–the mechanical pencil. A.k.a, my best friend! This cheap, dollar store pencil is the sole backbone of this entire drawing, and I am going to tell you how to use it.

The Technique

Every drawing starts with a blank slice of paper, and this project was no different. It is important to take advantage of the whiteness of the paper, because once color is laid down, it is difficult to utilize the technique.

Step 1: To achieve the grooves like the ones in the scarf, take your mechanical pencil and empty it of lead. No, it is not useless without the lead 🙂

Step 2: Press the tip of the pencil firmly into the paper and “draw” your design. This step is completely up to you. You can follow a cloth pattern such as the one above, or come up with your own, depending on the piece you are working on.

Tip: If you are trying to simulate bark on a tree, this is a wonderful way to go about doing it!

Step 3: Once you have finished “engraving,” feel free to add color to the drawing, lightly at first, then layered blending. I use Prismacolor colored pencils, which you can learn more about here. In the photos above and below, I did not press hard with the color, but if you want a vibrant drawing such as the scarf lady, press as hard as you like! The white lines will stay.

Step 4: As with all good drawings, there needs to be a certain level of shading/depth. To do this on an engraved piece of paper, you must either: 1) Press extra hard, using a darker shade of your main color, or 2) When in the actual engraving stage, press lighter, or not at all, with the mechanical pencils in the areas you want to stay dark. This way the white lines will not permeate the shaded areas.

So that’s the jist! This technique is mine, so please give credit if you decide to share. And don’t forget to have fun experimenting on your own artwork! Feel free to use these photos to guide you along your way, and let me know how it comes out for you!
























If you liked this, be sure to check out 15 Must-Reads for Bookworms for more great ways to spend a summer afternoon!

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