How to Draw Dust & Smoke

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Drawings of dust and smoke vary in opacity and size. Capture a small curl of smoke from the flame of a candle or billowing plumes of black from a raging fire. Likewise, drawings of dust vary from small puffs of dirt blown up from from a feather duster to long trails of dust kicked up by the wheels of a car. When completing your drawing of smoke or dust, pay careful attention to lighting to properly capture the distinct appearance of your particular subject.

  • Study your intended subject, observing size and shape.

  • Lightly draw the outline of the area of smoke or dust that you intend to draw.

  • Turn your pencil tip on its side and shade in light, circular motions to capture the blurry appearance of smoke and dust. Keep your shadows rounded and irregular, avoiding patterns.

  • Apply pressure to your pencil to darken more opaque areas of your subject.

  • For lighter areas, apply very little pressure to your pencil, creating soft, transparent smoke or dust.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the smoke or dust that you draw is lit by a light source against a dark background, follow the same process but use your eraser, rather than a pencil, to draw it.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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