Best Drawing Pencils For Artists – When it comes to drawing pencils, every artist has a good set of graphite pencils. Whether it is used to sketch compositions before painting or as a separate tool.
However, there are more types of pencils than you might think. In this guide, I will cover all types of pencils, from traditional graphite to watercolor pencils and oil pencils. I explain their uses and the best brands for each type. Check out the content navigation and if you see a section that interests you, scroll down.
Best Drawing Pencils For Artists
The pencil is a versatile and forgiving tool. It’s often the first art medium people experiment with—it’s off, so it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. You can create different effects – draw in a hyperrealistic style or create a more illustrative line drawing.
Best Drawing Pencils
If you are an art addict like me, you can enjoy a wide selection of pencil drawings.
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The most common type of material used for drawing, graphite is a type of crystalline carbon that is bound with clay and coated with wood to make pencils. Graphite pencils are known for their smoothness and erasability. They come in different levels of softness from 9H (hard) to 9B (soft). H indicates that the pencil is “Hard” and B indicates that the pencil is “Black”.
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Soft pencils such as 6B or 8B are ideal for techniques such as shading, blending and dark areas of drawing. They are very interesting for realism painting, as various levels of darkness and shading can be created depending on the amount of pressure applied.
Hard pencils like 4H produce clear, bright lines. This makes them great for technical drawings – 3H will be more useful to an architect than 9B. Because pencils are hard, they should only be used by applying light pressure to the surface or you may damage the paper.
Soft pencils wear out quickly, and if you use them frequently, you may need to replace them after a shorter period of time than hard pencils. You’ll find yourself reaching for the launcher more often.
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2H pencils are useful for any pencil artist — sketch compositions without worrying about black lines to erase. If you choose, you can go over the light line with a dark pencil.
Quality graphite pencils provide a reliable, smooth and consistent tonal range. Better quality pencils are less likely to break, and softer quality pencils blend easily.
The luxury option on this list, graphite line pencils are made of finer graphite and the wooden case is varnished in a color that reflects the hardness and depth of the black. The pencil has good light resistance, which means it will not fade over time. They are covered with silver tones and velvet.
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Another professional quality graphite pencil, but it’s a little cheaper. The tips are made of shatter-resistant and smooth graphite.
These pencils are lacquered, not wood-cased. This is great if you want to create bold lines.
Apply this powder on the paper to get a smooth blend and create deep shadows. It is a dry medium, but bridges the gap between drawing and painting. Use this tool to add unique textures to your artwork.
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Kneadable graphite is a soft, pliable putty that encourages patterning. It can be modeled into interesting shapes to create different effects. It also dissolves in water, which allows artists to create dark spots on paper.
A beautifully presented professional drawing set that includes all the different pencils an artist needs. The quality of Swiss Caran d’Ache pencils is unmatched.
Water-soluble graphite is very versatile – use it to enhance watercolor sketches or in regular graphite drawings. They look like graphite, but when water is added, smooth tonal transitions can be made. Make a wash like a watercolor pencil.
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Mechanical pencil leads are usually made of HB (medium hardness) graphite. The advantage of mechanical pencils is that graphite maintains its sharpness.
Therefore, because it is sharp and quite hard, it is suitable for technical drawings, precise lines and preliminary sketches for paintings. Light sketching with this pencil and erasing lines will be easy. If you want to do a lot of shading, a mechanical pencil isn’t the best choice, but for line work, it’s perfect.
Charcoal is made by heating wood such as willow. The drawing material is made from carbon waste. It can be used to create light and dark, thick strokes. The result of charcoal drawing can look expressive, but with a little pressure with charcoal, you can also achieve lines that look fine. Apply charcoal and mix or sprinkle with fixative to keep the layer in place.
What Are The Best Colored Pencils For Artists To Use?
Available in soft, medium and hard, charcoal pencils are easy to hold and clean. They have similar properties to charcoal sticks, but in a useful pencil form, meaning they can be sharpened to make fine points.
These charcoal sticks are heated evenly to produce smooth and consistent results when painting. Charcoal is great for outlining in drawings and making permanent marks.
Colored pencils are simply pigments carried in various binders and coated with wood. There are several different options for artists when it comes to colored pencils, whether you choose oil colored pencils, watercolors or pastels depending on the effect you want to achieve.
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Oil crayons are great for layering and creating very vivid and realistic creations. It is oil-based and contains small amounts of linseed oil and pigmented waxes.
It can be thinned with a solvent to imitate or wash oil paint. Oil crayons can be mixed, blended and layered in the same way as oil pastels.
Or any surface with a slight “tooth” (surface texture) for optimal coating effect. Many artists with a hyperrealistic style like to use oil pencils for the control and level of detail they can achieve. By building up layers of oil pencil drawings, the finished product can look like a painting.
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Choose to use this to sketch your work under oil paint or as a standalone tool. Oil pencils are harder to erase than other types of pencils, but you can still erase lines. Paint lightly to erase marks easily.
Oil-based colored pencils are shatter-resistant, and the tip remains intact even with the heaviest technique. Oil pencils can be layered over other mediums such as markers, watercolors and gouache.
Pastel crayons are softer than wax and oil based crayons. Blend, layer and blend in the same way as oil crayons or pastels. It is easier to erase than a grease pencil. Tips break more easily than fat pencils because they are softer; it wears out quickly and requires frequent sharpening.
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Wax-based pencils can produce a wax coating or “wax flower”. This is where the wax build-up produces a slight sheen. Artists can fix this by wiping their paintings with a slightly damp cloth to remove the blooms.
Solvent blending is best used with oil crayons rather than wax crayons, and colorless blenders are used for blending with wax crayons.
Use it with watercolor paints to achieve fine detail, or use it alone. You don’t need to add water to watercolor pencils, but you can get a different effect by adding water to a drawing.
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When used as a dry medium, it can be blended like regular crayons, making it great for beginners because of its versatility.
Using watercolor pencils can actually be a great way to make experimenting with watercolor mediums easier. If it feels more natural to draw with a pencil instead of a brush, you can finish the drawing and then add water in a controlled manner.
The color becomes stronger when water is added, it becomes brighter and more saturated. This pencil is a great choice for animating some line work, illustration or travel, as drawing with watercolors outside can be messy. To apply with a brush, first apply a watercolor pencil to the paper, wet the brush, and then paint the colored area. Or you can wet the paper and then trace with a pencil to see how the pigment spreads. Another way to use it is to dip a pencil in water to make thick marks on paper.
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Metal point is a traditional medium that dates back to medieval times. Leonardo Da Vinci used silver points to create many of his famous paintings.
Various types of soft metals can be used as pencils, lead is easy to use because it
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