This week’s submission comes from an artist who was only 16 at the time he completed this work. You can view more work by Mustafa at This rose is beautiful! The lights and darks, the water droplets, it is really nicely done! I only have a couple of tips for this one but the first is something that many of us forget.


Sharpen your pencil

My first tip is to make sure when you are getting to the edges from one petal to the next that your pencil is SUPER sharp. This is going to help your edges to be that much cleaner and your work to be even more detailed. When the pencil starts to dull, even a tiny bit, the graphite isn’t getting into all of the tooth of the paper. This creates a slightly fuzzy look instead of a nice sharp line. You clearly have the skill to create extremely detailed work, so just sharpening that pencil will make a huge difference. You can even use a mechanical pencil for some of the sharper detailing.


My next tip is to hype up your contrast a bit more. To be fair, getting a good photo of a graphite piece can be difficult so it may just be an issue with the photo, but look how much more striking the piece is with higher contrast. It will do more to pull the viewer to your work if you can really hype that up.