Choosing the Best Drawing Pencil

Pencil Drawing of Strawberry Pickers

Pencil Drawing of Strawberry Pickers in Watsonville, CA

I learned how to draw when I was a little kid.  I used to amaze friends and family with my SPOT-ON crayon drawings of Snoopy sleeping on top of his doghouse.

Well, spot-on for a little kid.

Then, I moved up to pencil sketching.  This involved yellow number 2 “lead” pencils (actually, they are usually graphite)– with a slightly chewed eraser.  I decided I could only go so far with one of these (plus, the chewed up eraser left a lot to be desired. Oh yeah, and my pencil was normally as chewed as the eraser.

I soon discovered that having a palette of pencils really makes life more enjoyable.  These sets usually come with varying hardness– from about 4H (Hard) to ‘HB’ in the middle of the hard/soft spectrum– and ending in 9B (Soft).  These are great, because you can get a lot darkness or lightness without having to apply so much pressure.  I use a 4H to sketch the picture, and can get really dark areas with the 7B (like the shadows in the strawberry picker drawing above).

Make sure to get two kinds of erasers for this work–a kneaded rubber eraser, and a soft white vinyl eraser, also called a White Mars Plastic.  Having these types of erasers are essential to drawing in pencil, and I will probably do a post just about erasers, because these two will keep you from having to clean partially-chewed pink eraser stains out of your future drawings.

I’m going to add some step by step drawing posts pretty soon.

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.