While the ink is drying up in all of my fountain pens, 2013 for me has most definitely become my year of the pencil. I’ve got *piles* of them. (Albeit small piles, they seem to be everywhere in both my house and studio.) While I’m still trying to work out my favorites, I can tell you that so far I am quite fond of the 0.7 Super Hi-Polymer 2B Pentel leads that I have loaded into two different mechanical pencils and for a close second, California Republic Palomino’s in 2B or B.
See the Blackwing pencil above? You know the story about them, right? Eberhard Faber began manufacturing them in the 1930’s and stopped production in 1998. These pencils were so well loved that a single pencil was commanding upwards of $40 on Ebay. People longing for their favorite brand of pencils began to notice a similarity in Palomino’s pencils and eventually, Palomino decided to re-inroduce the beloved 602 as well as a similar version, “The Blackwing” with a slightly softer lead geared towards artists.
I’ve tried both the Blackwing and the 602 and while I want to love them for the sake of nostalgia, they feel a little unbalanced in my small hands with their large eraser/ferrule. I agree that the Blackwing is pretty sweet for sketching.