Online College Courses for Credit

How to Control Your Pencil

How to Control Your Pencil

Author: Jim Pappas

Students will be able to use the following DRAWING techniques upon completing this tutorial:

  • Tripod grip
  • Overhand grip
  • Wrist -vs- Shoulder control
  • Muscle Memory


There are basically two styles of holding onto a pencil.  Once you've had experienced drawing with both of these methods, you'll notice that specific techniques lend themselves to different parts of drawing better than others.

To help you practice using these techniques, try the following "Warm-Up" techniques before we start a pose:

  • Ghosting Circles
  • Ghosting Boxes
  • Shifting Curves (thick/thin)
  • Fill in the box (shading tones)
See More

Try Sophia’s Art History Course. For Free.

Our self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to many different colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

29 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

311 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 27 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


How to Hold and Control Your Pencil

Warm-Up Practice

Download this PDF file to start with your warm-up exercises. Once you feel like you have started to get the hang of it, you can transfer these exercises over to your sketchbook.