Graphite Indenting, and associated Graphite Resist, involves the creation of deep valleys or grooves in your paper. And, unlike Direct and Indirect Indenting, it produces very thin grey lines. Those lines are full of fine clay and graphite - the "resist" that softer grades cannot cling to.

The indented lines form fine highlights within areas of dark shading, which is particularly useful when drawing hair.

This in-depth video explains, and demonstrates, how and why Graphite Indenting works, with practical advice on its use.


An introduction to Graphite Resist and Graphite Indenting


Mike introduces you to the concept of Graphite Indenting, and using hard grades to "resist" soft grades - which he calls Graphite Resist. They combine to create sharp, thin grey lines within darker shading.
Erasing is not recommended for creating white lines or hairs in a pencil drawing

The problems with erasing

Erasing, as Mike explains, creates white lines, or hairs, with soft edges. And returning graphite shading to the original, pristine white of your paper is not guaranteed.
How erasing and graphite affect the tooth of the paper

The paper's tooth

The paper's tooth is often flattened by erasing and, combined with graphite/clay filled pits, soft graphite has problems adhering. This is equally true of perfect, pristine tooth, as Mike explains. But you can make positive use of this "problem" and turn it into an advantage.
The crystalline structure of graphite explained

The structure of graphite

The crystalline structure of graphite determines how it performs. An animation describes the structure, and explains why conventional erasing fails to be fully effective.
The properties of the various grades of graphite pencils explained

Graphite pencil grades

Graphite Indenting depends on knowledge of the paper's tooth, and the different graphite/clay mixes used in the various grades of pencil. Mike explains in an easy to understand way.
A demonstration of pencil shading - hard grade over soft, and soft grade over hard

Hard over Soft...

Hard grade over soft, and a soft grade over hard. Mike demonstrates and explains why one is possible, and has advantages, but the other can encounter problems.
Exercise #1: First attempt at graphite Indenting

Exercise #1

Try this: write a word with a hard grade. Then shade heavily over the word with a soft grade. Mike guides you along the way.
Exercise #2: Using graphite indenting to create the radial flecks and striations in an eye.

Exercise #2

Mike demonstrates his most common use of graphite indenting - creating the radial flecks and striations in an eye. These are permanent, so subsequent erasing and re-shading can take place without the striations being affected.
Graphite indenting used to create highlights in a the dark coats of two goats

Creating highlights

Mike explains how he used Graphite Indenting to, necessarily, speed up the drawing of two goats - destined to be a present for his wife Jenny.
A step-by-step demonstration of creating highlights in dark hair with graphite indenting


A practical, step-by-step, demonstration of creating bright highlights in dark hair using graphite indenting.
A recap, step-by-step, of how the technique of graphite indenting works

Step by step

Applying the technique of graphite indenting, step-by-step, in a close-up view. And advice on using it to create clearly defined highlights in hair.
Conclusion to graphite indenting

And finally...

Mike offers advice on the uses of graphite indenting. And a warning that you should consider before using it.

Watch the 2-minute PREVIEW:

Graphite Indenting
Duration :
12½ mins
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Scott Feighner
Love the new videos.
Colin R
Graphite indenting seems to be the answer I've been looking for. Thanks for the demonstrations and helpful advice.

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