The practice of using pencils to create art has been around since the 17th and 18th centuries. This is when Plumbago drawings of minor portraits were extremely popular.

Plumbago actually refers to the combination of graphite and clay. This is what makes up pencils to this day.

The plumbago paintings were drawn on vellum, and not on paper. The details and shading of the paintings were also much lighter compared to what you see today. They were also extremely marketable, beautiful and meaningful in their way.

In the modern-day world, our contemporary artists are mastering the art of pencil drawings. Unlike in the past where you would only get discovered years later after you are already dead, now, we can be able to enjoy these pencil artists work through social media and the internet.

No one can deny the need for talent.  You must be extremely talented in order for your work to attract attention from the public. It is however not the only thing, a creative artist needs to learn other technical things as well, in order for them to reflect realistic drawings.

Here are some of the top 5 most popular pencil drawings:


This particular pencil drawing won the 2012 ArtPrize competition. The artist Adonna Khare is from the United States, and she was able to realistically combine real-life animals with fabulist – which is image-based storytelling.

Just by looking at the drawing, it tells a story, and this is how the portrait was able to win the hearts of all the judges and declare her the winner.

The work that she created is also extremely relevant in our world. In so doing, she is asking everyone to see her messages through different perspectives of the drawing.

Her artworks are through graphite pencil drawings and large-scale carbon.

She currently has a coloring book with all of her work, and if you google her name, you can be able to buy the book and have a look at her world through her colored images.


This is an Italian artist, who combines botanical elements and modern design in his pencil drawings. He has also painted some 16-18th-century Sardinian herbalists.

His more recent work of butterflies, flowers, and critters show his knack for realistic drawing.

Marco Mazzoni’s drawings using coloured pencils make an imprint of the most powerful usage of negative space and an amazing flair for design.

The above image clearly showcases his intricate design, and his desire to become controversial. You need to be a real art lover in order to appreciate the movement of the shapes, and how his pencil work brings out his creativity.

His work has been greatly displayed in the US, and also throughout Europe.


It’s hard to believe that the image above is a pencil drawing, but it is. This particular artist has mastered the art of picking perspectives that easily change the appearance of his subjects such that they refract their images.

He is a master of drawing faces that are wet or drawing faces that are reflected through a glass. In fact, Diego Fazio has won numerous awards for this particular art, and his work has been shown all over the world.

He is a self-taught artist who is a master when it comes to shade and light, and how to translate them into powerful pencil drawings.

He draws his nickname, koi from drawing koi, and most of his work falls under hyper-realism which tends to challenge normal realism for everyone, as is the image above, that leaves you questioning whether it is a black and white photograph or a real pencil drawing.


This is a German artist, whose work is hyper-realistic. He is yet another artist whose work can easily be mistaken for black and white photographs, but if you look closely, like in the image above, you can clearly see the perfection in his strokes.

He is able to achieve his goal of hyper-realism by rendering his work to be images of photographic reliability.

The beautiful thing about him is that he is extremely capable of capturing all of the unique aspects of human emotions and features by observing and translating the tiniest of details in human appearances and transferring them using his pencil.

This is an artist that is widely respected, and most of his work has been displayed from all over the world, and looking at the image above, it is very easy to tell why. He has a knack for perfection and intricate details in his artistry.

Most exhibitions the world over have displayed his work proudly.


Paul Lung’s images will bring out the art lover in you. Not only does he capture the animals in their natural habitat, but he is able to also capture their emotions and feelings as well. This is the kind of artist whose work you will be proud to display in your home.

He is also self-taught and hyper-realistic in his sketches, plus, he is an individual that seeks to improve his artistry with each new work.

Currently, he works as a designer, but he posts most of his work online and uses DeviantArt for this purpose.

Most of his work is animal based, and for cats especially are drawn with particular attention to details, light, texture, and shade. He has a great volume of graphite portraits, and when you google him, you will have access to most of his work.

This is an internationally recognized artist whose work is still being discovered, and in addition, he has been displayed in numerous exhibits.


So, there you have it, out the list of the top 5 best pencil drawings from around the world. There are however plenty more, and you are free to have a look at all of their work.

What makes pencil drawings unique is the fact that the artist needs to do plenty of work to make their work beautiful as they do not use a wide variety of colours. For this reason, the best of them are widely recognized and beloved.