Graphite pencils have been around since the 16th century. While the science of pencils may have moved on a bit since then, with today’s pencils more durable, easier to sharpen and more comfortable to hold than ever before, the basic principle of a cylinder of graphite, surrounded by wood to keep your hands clean, remains the same.
You can find a large range of drawing and sketching pencils, individually and in sets, as well as pencil leads and clutch pencils.
Medium-grade pencil [2B] Medium-grade pencils are every artist’s main work tool, combining flexibility with a nice soft mark.
tip: The best all-rounder is a 2B, but choose a 3B if you prefer a blacker effect.
These grades soften very well but are not so soft that they smudge when being erased.
Soft pencil [6B] Soft pencils from 4B upward darken the surface beautifully and are expressive to use.
tip: Make sure to keep your drawing hand off the paper as you work, as they tend to smear across the paper. Erase with care, as they smudge if attacked to vigorously.
Graphite stick [2B] Graphite stick is the drawing tool for covering large surfaces fast. You can buy most grades up to 9B as sticks.
tip: Try to use the side of your stick for rapid darkening, scraping the glaze off its surface if necessary.