Friday, June 11th, 2010

A not so much love affair with pencils

Stephanie

Image by Biffybeans © All Rights Reserved.

I really, really, would like to love using a pencil. I have several different kinds- some for writing, some for drawing. Some wooden and at least a few mechanical. I have thick graphite sticks for sketching and colored pencils made by 4 different companies.

And yet I struggle with them all…. 

I pulled out my set of drawing pencils the other day and attempted to utilize several different grades on the image above and just didn’t have the patience to finish. To work with a pencil feels too delicate to me and I don’t really like that they can smudge/be erased. I think what I like more about using pen/ink is its permanence. I’ve been known to (make a mess of) do Sudoku and crossword puzzles in ink.

The only pencils I really like to use are my Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils. The leads are creamy and work nicely on any paper whether or not the nibs are sharp or dull. You can touch the nib to a wet brush and paint, color over a surface and then run a wet brush over top, or dip the nib in water and draw. I think I enjoy their versatility while a regular pencil seems to be… just a pencil.

Your thoughts?


20 thoughts on “A not so much love affair with pencils

  1. I’m the furthest thing from an artist but I use pencils almost every day for meditation while I work on stories/books. This is a new development so I’m still figuring out what I like. I have some old Prismacolors (nice), some Koh-i-noor woodless (different and fun) and now some sketching pencils (Daler-Rowney) and Staedtler graphite. Gotta say I’m loving the Staedtlers. I wish I could draw a straight line or even a curved line. I’m pretty much reliant on other people’s lines and then I fill ’em in. I still love my fountain pens and inks for writing. I used to use nothing but a mechanical pencil for writing and now that just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Go figure.

  2. I’m the furthest thing from an artist but I use pencils almost every day for meditation while I work on stories/books. This is a new development so I’m still figuring out what I like. I have some old Prismacolors (nice), some Koh-i-noor woodless (different and fun) and now some sketching pencils (Daler-Rowney) and Staedtler graphite. Gotta say I’m loving the Staedtlers. I wish I could draw a straight line or even a curved line. I’m pretty much reliant on other people’s lines and then I fill ’em in. I still love my fountain pens and inks for writing. I used to use nothing but a mechanical pencil for writing and now that just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Go figure.

  3. Pencils…love ’em I’m the pseudo architect that works with mechanical drawings for my company. I always carry the Rhodia #11 with the mini pad holder in my back pocket. It has just enough room for a Retro 51 Tornado Elite pencil(1.1mm). It’s my ubiquitous capture tool, in GTD language.

    Other favorites I use are the Pentel 120 (.9mm), Levenger Graphiti Grip (2mm), and a Muji mechanical pencil which I was given. Love their gel pens and the mechanical is darn good too. This pencil is adjustable, so it can handle various sizes of lead, all less than 1.0mm.

    Finally, the sleeper tool in my arsenal, is My First Ticonderoga. As you may be able to tell, I like pencils with bold points. Yes, this is the same pencil, with which many kids learn how to write. I get them by the dozen because my co-workers just love them. Some folks ask for one, other times, they just turn up missing. It’s not just nostalgia for them, as they actually get used around our offices. I wish I could customize them as they’d make a great business card for me!

  4. Pencils…love ’em I’m the pseudo architect that works with mechanical drawings for my company. I always carry the Rhodia #11 with the mini pad holder in my back pocket. It has just enough room for a Retro 51 Tornado Elite pencil(1.1mm). It’s my ubiquitous capture tool, in GTD language.

    Other favorites I use are the Pentel 120 (.9mm), Levenger Graphiti Grip (2mm), and a Muji mechanical pencil which I was given. Love their gel pens and the mechanical is darn good too. This pencil is adjustable, so it can handle various sizes of lead, all less than 1.0mm.

    Finally, the sleeper tool in my arsenal, is My First Ticonderoga. As you may be able to tell, I like pencils with bold points. Yes, this is the same pencil, with which many kids learn how to write. I get them by the dozen because my co-workers just love them. Some folks ask for one, other times, they just turn up missing. It’s not just nostalgia for them, as they actually get used around our offices. I wish I could customize them as they’d make a great business card for me!

  5. I went through a pen phase, but I’ve lately gotten back into pencils. I’ve come to love the smudginess and uneven lines of soft lead in 2mm and 3.15mm pencils for sketching. It keeps me from getting overly fussy and too detailed when I’m still trying to work out ideas.

    I just got a haul from JetPens which included a Staedtler 2mm pencil. I’ve only had it for about thirty minutes, but I think it may be my new favorite. I also got some 2B leads for my .3mm Kuru Toga. It’s amazing how 2B lead instantly makes a pencil better. I can’t believe that I used to use 4H woodcase pencils.

  6. I went through a pen phase, but I’ve lately gotten back into pencils. I’ve come to love the smudginess and uneven lines of soft lead in 2mm and 3.15mm pencils for sketching. It keeps me from getting overly fussy and too detailed when I’m still trying to work out ideas.

    I just got a haul from JetPens which included a Staedtler 2mm pencil. I’ve only had it for about thirty minutes, but I think it may be my new favorite. I also got some 2B leads for my .3mm Kuru Toga. It’s amazing how 2B lead instantly makes a pencil better. I can’t believe that I used to use 4H woodcase pencils.

  7. Combining the right graphite pencils with a suitable support with the right amount of “tooth” for your style might help reduce frustration. Mitsubishi leads, Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, and Tombow Mono 100 would be my top choices to try for the least smudging problems. A nice workable fixative spray can might also be an option, but I never seem to use mine. Since I also share a fondness for the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, I’d think that perhaps trying some watersoluble graphite pencil might be more to your liking. Perhaps the Caran D’Ache Technalo could fit the bill.

  8. Combining the right graphite pencils with a suitable support with the right amount of “tooth” for your style might help reduce frustration. Mitsubishi leads, Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, and Tombow Mono 100 would be my top choices to try for the least smudging problems. A nice workable fixative spray can might also be an option, but I never seem to use mine. Since I also share a fondness for the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, I’d think that perhaps trying some watersoluble graphite pencil might be more to your liking. Perhaps the Caran D’Ache Technalo could fit the bill.

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