Graphite is a metallic grey writing and drawing material, primarily used in pencil form. However, artists also use graphite powder for drawing.
Graphite can be combined with pigments to produce a wide array of colours. Nowadays, it comes in various particle sizes and shapes, offering artists the ability to create different levels of darkness, textures, and perspectives, expanding the diverse applications of the medium.
Historically, artists kept sketches, sometimes referred to as esquisses, for personal use as inspiration and ideas for larger works. These sketches were considered preparation for the 'final' artwork. One limitation of the graphite pencil is its monochromatic nature and susceptibility to smudging, prompting artists to view it as a tool in the artistic creation process.
Today, graphite is commonly referred to as a 'pencil,' or occasionally a 'lead pencil.' This nomenclature emerged because, before the discovery of graphite, lead had been used for writing since ancient times. Graphite was initially believed to be a type of lead until 1779 when K.W. Scheele, a Swedish chemist, determined that the material in pencils was, in fact, a mineral form of carbon. The name 'graphite' originates from the Greek word for writing. The term 'pencil' is derived from the Latin word for brush, 'penicillium.'
12 results found for "Graphite"
And the Oscar for Best Movie Poster goes to…
We speak with Hollywood’s favourite poster artist James Jean about art, film and a new category for the Academy Awards.
The Face Before You Were Born
A solo show debut in London marked a tangible moment of inflection for Nigel Howlett and his faceless figures. In parallel, we collaborated to archive works from the show with a series of limited edition books and hand-finished prints.
French artist William Mapan (he/him) was born in 1988 and is currently based in Paris.
Ryan Travis Christian
Ryan Travis Christian (he/him) was born 1983 in California, USA. He currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Nigel Howlett was born in 1979 in Croydon, UK, and now lives and works in London.
American visual artist Mike Lee was born in 1983 in Placentia, California, and now lives and works in New York.
Robert Nava was born in 1985 in East Chicago, USA, and now lives and works in New York.
Aya Takano was born in 1976 in Saitama, Japan, and now lives and works in Tokyo.
With a blossoming symbol of growth and renewal, Marcela Flórido explores the beauty of self discovery. Playful, sensitive, bold – Flórido’s first print edition, BLOOM, embodies her intentions as an artist. The edition is based on a large-scale painting from 2022, an experiment in symmetry. Flórido foregrounds her cartoonish pseudo-self, a recurring subject for her recent artworks. She draws from a wealth of art historical references, from Modernism to Baroque, Hilma Af Klimt to Tarsal do Amaral, culminating in a vibrant exploration of selfhood. Each print has been uniquely hand-finished by the artist with flowers in a variety of colours, patterns and mediums, inviting collectors to connect with their print on a deeper level.
30 unique artworks form an ensemble of grinning bronze cats by Ryan Travis Christian.The devilish cat originates from Christian’s drawing Cut Dick, depicting a row of cats standing in hell. In a sculptural re-imagining, each cat holds a framed graphite drawing, riffing on vintage rubber-hose animation.Spanning loaded themes such as gunplay, medication, self depreciation and dizzying abstract patterns, each drawing is a dive into the artist’s mind. With a plethora of satirical connotations attached to each illustration, Christian hopes for the viewer to determine what story each cat holds.Please note that works from the edition will be randomly assigned.
Anna Weyant’s precisely rendered works depict figures embroiled in tragicomic narratives. Everyday objects in her still life compositions adopt an uncanny, portentous air.Loose Screw reprises a graphite study for an original painting as an edition of hand-pulled lithographs. The scene centres on a lone woman at a bar, laughing forcefully over a glass of wine. A column on the right acts as a stand-in for a second figure – leading us to question whether the subject is indeed happy to be alone, or starting to unravel in an age of self-isolation.A percentage of profits from this edition will be donated to World Central Kitchen.
How Do You Keep Your Heart Open? (For Susan)
With community and care running throughout her practice, Christine Wong Yap works towards a universal homecoming for all who encounter her art.How Do You Keep Your Heart Open? (For Susan) was created as a tribute to the life and legacy of the artist’s late friend Susan O’Malley, the work — realised as a pencil drawing with the telltale marks of a preparatory sketch — intentionally retains a sense of being in progress, and of continual exploration.This work is launching as part of a wider collaboration between Avant Arte and artist-run collective For Freedoms.
Other words in the glossary
Your questions, answered
We collaborate with artists to create both limited editions and works on paper.
A limited edition is part of a unique series of pieces. Limited editions are fixed in quantity, meaning we will only ever produce a certain number.
Framing options vary for each piece and are listed on the individual artwork pages. Our standard glazing offer is a minimum 90% UV acrylic plexiglass, or you can upgrade to an anti reflective Optium museum plexiglass.
Yes, 100%. We work directly with our artists to create editions that accurately represent their body of work. Additionally, every artist personally reviews and approves their final editions.
Each edition comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity (COA) signed by the artist. Additionally every edition will be signed, marked, or numbered on the edition itself.
Works on paper and some originals don't come with a COA.
No—the copyright is not transferred to the purchaser of the edition.
All the ins and outs can be found on our orders and shipping page.