A recent pencil drawing I drew of an English tudor revival house (or mock tudor style). I particularly like drawing houses with lots of brickwork like here because it gives me the chance to use the hard / soft pencil relief method.
This involves drawing the mortar joints first, which are often lighter in colour, with a hard 2H pencil with just enough pressure to leave a slight indentation in the drawing paper. Because a 2H pencil is hard, it leaves a depression but with a lighter mark on the paper than with softer pencils. I then use much softer ( and darker) 6B to 8B pencil to draw over the top of these brickwork lines which only leaves a pencil mark on the higher relief areas of the paper and not in the mortar joint lines that were drawn with the 2H pencil. I hope that makes sense?...
The problem is that sometimes the mortar joints appear darker than the brick, either because they were built that way or due to weathering or light conditions. This was the case with this house and it requires a second phase of sketching back through the mortar lines with a soft 6B pencil to make them darker where necessary. If you used a dark pencil at the beginning to make the indentation in the paper the results would be too overpowering and 'flat'.
You can see in the image above that this technique has been used in the mullioned windows too, but this time they are lighter than the strong shadows of the glass panes and only a 2H pencil was used for the mullion.
If you would like to see more examples of my house portrait drawings and paintings visit my portfolio page.