Indenting involves creating deep valleys or grooves in your paper that subsequent shading skips over. The result is a pristine white, parallel-sided line, with a sharpness that erasing cannot obtain. Harness the power of indenting by learning how to indent effectively, and how to avoid common problems.

This comprehensive video suggests various indenting tools, introduces you to methods that produce perfect white lines, explains the need to experiment before using it, advises on its appropriate use... and much more.


An introduction to direct indenting to create white lines in pencil drawing


Fed up with erased lines being soft edged? Or not being pristine white? Indenting is what you need. Learn how to create a groove, or indent, in your paper that your shading will skip over, leaving a clean line with crisp edges.
Finding and making tools for indenting drawing paper

Indenting Tools

You can't walk into an art store and buy a tool specifically for indenting. Mike suggests a few suitable candidates, displays tools he's used in the past, and introduces you to the two tools he now uses.
The basic technique of using an indenting tool in graphite pencil drawings

Using Your Indenting Tool

Mike explains the basic operation - the creation of a deep, steep-sided groove in your paper.
Demonstration of indenting a line in drawing paper


Mike walks you through the stages involved in indenting a line. And offers advice for shading over it if you are new to indenting.
Indenting lines and dots in pencil drawing

Indenting Lines and Dots

Indenting your first lines, and how to make them visible. Mike suggests you then set about destroying those lines by shading with increasing pressure. You need to know the limits.
Indenting dots to protect the white of your paper as you draw

Dot Indenting

Mike demonstrates the indenting of dots, and suggests suitable uses. As you draw and shade, this technique preserves the whiteness of your paper where it really matters.
An exercise in indenting a wide variety of shapes, lines, and dots


An exercise in indenting a wide variety of shapes, lines, and dots. Mike introduces two common problems and explains the causes and solutions.
When to use - and not use -indenting in a pencil drawing

Indenting or not...

Indenting has many practical uses but in some situations it is not suitable. Mike demonstrates a drawing where the choice of indenting is not appropriate, and explains why.
How to indent perfectly, and problems to avoid

Indenting in Use

Indenting cannot be erased, so Mike explains the steps to take that help to ensure your indenting is correctly carried out. That includes maintaining an even pressure - and what occurs when you fail to do that.
Indenting fine tapered lines

Tapered Indents

A cat, or any other whiskered animal, doesn't have whiskers that just stop - they end in a fine taper. Mike shows you how to taper those ends perfectly.
Practical uses of indenting in a drawing

Practical Uses

Mike dissects one of his drawings to show you where indenting was used. He explains why, and shows you how to make an indented line flow into natural drawing.
Additional uses of indenting in a drawing

Additional Uses

Seven more examples where indenting produced a variety of effects - from frizzy hair to a top lip's narrow fringe. Mike concludes with general advice on the use of indenting.

Watch the 2-minute PREVIEW:

Indenting Basics
Duration :
13½ mins
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Simon Sanders
Indenting is so much more useful than I imagined it might be. Thanks!

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