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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Best Pencils...

I've been meaning to share this article with you for some time, and I'm finally taking care of some "to-do" list items!  http://wonderstreet.com/blog/choosing-the-best-pencil

As always, "the best pencil" is a very personal thing, of course, and depends as much on what you're doing at the time as it does the person using it.  I recently rediscovered one of my mentor Ann Zwinger's favorite pencils, a Berol Turquoise HB--I treasure the two I had hoarded, and was afraid to use them much, but picked one up at the cabin recently and loved it, all over again.

(Unfortunately, we discovered when we went to buy more that Turquoise is now made by Prismacolor, and though they're okay--they're not the same.) 

These days, when I'm sketching in my journal, it's most often a Pentel Forte HB or B mechanical pencil, with that nice soft white vinyl eraser.  Convenient, versatile, no need to sharpen, and with enough range of value to satisfy me.

And sometimes, I love the pick up a dark-colored Prismacolor and add watercolor wash...an old favorite technique.

What's your favorite pencil?  What do you pick up most often?


  1. I always love reading about pens and pencils and what people like. I love to use wood Ticonderoga Soft pencil, but most often I use a Pentel Twist-Erase .7mm mechanical pencil with HB or B lead (the B smudges more, but makes wonderful darks). I also have been using a Prismacolor Black Grape colored pencil recently, sometimes adding watercolor, but usually just the pencil.

  2. I have 6 berol turquoise pencils from when I took art classes in 1980. I didn't know they aren't made by the same company. I'll treasure them and use them more!

  3. After collecting bunches of them I think my favorite pencil is the one I'm using, lol! But I have a Pentel technical pencil with .3mm leads for close detail, and a Derwent 4H and 6B in my field sketching kit. Those seem to do, though I want to try out some Tombows soon. I think I have some Berol Turquoise from my dad's drafting kit - I'll have to check! When he passed, I (as the only child) inherited his leatherette briefcase full of drawing tools.

  4. My favorite pencils for sketching are the Tombow Mono ones. So far, out of the ones I have tried, they have the smoothest laydown. I enjoy reading your blog!

  5. A friend gave me an unwanted box full of old Mars Lumagraph pencils and I LOVE them. Buttery smooth!
    And years ago I found your book "Artists Journal Woekshop" at, of all places, a JoAnns fabric store while waiting for my wife to shop. What a great find! It inspires me over and over. Thank you!


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