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Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade

isanbill

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Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« on: March 12, 2015, 09:36:57 PM »
When I started drawing about a year ago, I bought a set of VERY cheap graphite pencils. I didn't want to spend a lot of money just to find out if I would like drawing or not. Now I know and want to continue and I am getting to the point where I feel the lack of quality in these pencils. So I decided to upgrade my tools but the choices out there are huge and very confusing. So I need help.

My questions are: what brand is the best quality for the price? Is there a big difference between brands such as Derwent, General's, Primacolor, etc? Should I get a full set or individual pencils? I travel a lot: should I get mechanical pencils for convenience? What do you use and why?

Any insights on those questions would be very helpful. Thank you
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 09:44:45 PM by isanbill »

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Re: Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 02:34:34 AM »
When I started drawing about a year ago, I bought a set of VERY cheap graphite pencils. I didn't want to spend a lot of money just to find out if I would like drawing or not. Now I know and want to continue and I am getting to the point where I feel the lack of quality in these pencils. So I decided to upgrade my tools but the choices out there are huge and very confusing. So I need help.

My questions are: what brand is the best quality for the price? Is there a big difference between brands such as Derwent, General's, Primacolor, etc? Should I get a full set or individual pencils? I travel a lot: should I get mechanical pencils for convenience? What do you use and why?

Any insights on those questions would be very helpful. Thank you

HI Isanbill,

Thanks for your question. I also got your question through the Member's Minute and will be answering it for you and the other members in next week's episode. But in the meantime....

I typically only use a couple of graphite pencils. I tend to stick with an "HB" pencil, sometimes a "2B", and then for darker values, I'll use the General's Layout pencil. I never use a mechanical pencil, but it really simply boils down to what you prefer.

I'll use the "HB" pencil for the lighter values and midtones, and then the General's pencil for the darker values. I personally like the General's pencil because I can make dark marks without the pencil becoming too dull.

As far as brands go, I prefer Derwent pencils for graphite. Again this is a personal preference. I haven't really noticed a difference in the quality of the graphite itself between Derwent and Prismacolor Turquoise pencils ( I have both). The coating on the outside of the Derwent pencils seems to be slightly easier for me to grip, so that's why I prefer them to Prismacolor. (When it comes to colored pencils, Prismacolor is the winner.)

I don't typically use "H" pencils, because sometimes the lead can be so hard that it creates grooves in the surface of the paper. Many people love to use the "H" pencils though, so it really comes down to your preferences.

I also use a General's Layout Pencil for dark values. This pencil is my absolute favorite.  It's capable of creating nice rich tones but doesn't dull easily like other softer pencils.  It does produce a grainy texture, which I like, but may not be right for everyone. 

I definitely don't believe that you need to have all those pencils that come in sets. There's really not that big of a difference between a "2B" and a "3B".  I really think that for most people, a "2H", an "HB", a "2B", and a "4B" is all that is needed. Of course, you can substitute the "4B" with the General's Layout Pencil, if you like.

And brands like Prismacolor, Derwent, and even General's Kimberly line are all quality.  My suggestion is to find the pencil that feels right in your hand, because the quality of the graphite will be very slight between these manufacturers.

I hope this helps.

isanbill

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Re: Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 10:25:48 PM »
Thank you so much for your insight, Matt. It is very helpful.
Now that you have mentioned it, I realize that I don't use all the pencils in my set that goes from 5H to 6B. I'll try using the mechanical pencil and see how it feels.
Some people have said that those pencils are very good for details because they are consistent in the mark they make. The drawback is that they lack the richness of a regular pencil with which I can make wider marks depending on how I hold the pencil.
Again, thank you for your quick response,
Isabelle

Joshuami

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Help needed to decide on pencils up
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 09:34:13 AM »
Is there another bike around the same year that Honda made that had bars that may be longer and swap out for yours?

Mrs Doodler

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Re: Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 06:22:30 PM »
Hi there, yes I bought cheap pencils at first and soon learnt that they were not that good.
So I got a derwent set and they are really good quality pencils, but like Matt says I've never used any in 'h' range, I did get a faber castell mechanical pencil with 'hb' leads and I find them ok for outlines but to be honest you have to be careful as they can make marks you don't always want as they don't have as good a point as pencils do.It is down to individual taste like Matt says.
I've actually managed to get some generals layout pencils because I'm interested in.trying them with Matt saying how he loves them, I like trying new pencils out as I'm a bit of a pencil nerd lol 😁.
I also got a tin of Conte a Paris and I've not done a drawing with them but I've practiced marks with them and they feel quite nice, I'm going to use them for my nxt portrait and use the generals instead of the '4b' so will let you all know on herd what I think of them :-)

KleinerE

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Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 01:28:08 AM »
Thanks for the help guys  I appreciate it greatly and so will the client.

Dj

Daniel Y

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Re: Help needed to decide on pencils upgrade
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 04:58:58 PM »
Prismacolorused to have a very high quality pencil. but they where sold to a company I'm mexico and the quality fell apart completely. Blick Studio pencils are now highly recomendedas a quality and price choice. there are opinons that Blick Studio pencils are simply repackaged Koh I Noor pencils produced in the Czech Republic. Based upon this reasoning. both pencils are made in the Czech republic and there is supposedly only one pencil factory in the Czech republic. More on Koh I Noor quality in a bit. I personally like the Faber Castell 9000 pencils. I use them in 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, and 4B. I realize this does not match typical pencil selection recommendations and is specific to a method I study. Spice to taste as you wish. As a rule of thumb I consider pencils on the H side of the scale are for drafting while pencils on the B side are for drawing. but only generally. As you can see I slit the scale dead center. I also use 2mm drafting leads and holders in both Faber Castell and Koh I Noor brands. told you I would have more to say about Koh I Noor. I find them to be consistent with the quality of the Blick Studio Pencils which is high if not the best I have found. I will use Koh I nor interchangeably with Faber Castell with no perceivable difference in quality.

The cream da la cream as far as pricing would be CARAN d'ACHE at over $2.50 per pencil. sadly there quality falls far short of there extravagant price. still a very good pencil they are larger than typical pencils and cost a fortune.

My recommendations to anyone seeking a better quality pencils are. Blick Studio in your choice of grades. Faber Castell 9000 and Koh I Noor depending on if you are European or American. they are the same pencil. Any other pencils I have tested and that is a lot of pencils are not worth the wood wasted in making them.

As for mechanical pencils. they work for very small detail but for drawing in general there is not a lead made for them that is quality enough for drawing. they will make a mess of your work. nuff said. I use them for drawing hair where inconsistent marks are acceptable they simply add to the ever changing tone of hair. The fine lead lends itself to sharp lines as well. as for keeping a sharp line. turn the pencil which you should be doing anyway.

2mm drafting lead holders are I find a far more suitable choice if you want something with the advantages of a mechanical pencil with the quality of a wood pencil. I have found two choices in brands of 2mm refills that are suitable for drawing. Faber Castell TK 9071 and Koh I Noor Duo. Be ready to part with a fair chink of change getting set up with the refills and holders. but once past it these have a lot of advantages and refills then are far lower priced than wood pencils.