I’ve tried to like pencils, really I have. I love their woody simplicity, but never found one that felt right on the paper (too waxy, too smudgy etc). But a couple of weeks ago I tried a Grafwood 6B. It’s consistently very smooth (no sharp grit), and very dark, but doesn’t smudge too much. The softness makes it highly responsive, and using it feels half-way between a brush and a pen. With almost no pressure the tip glides over the paper, making it wonderful for expressive ‘blind/contour drawing’. Increase the pressure and the line widens and darkens; turn it slightly and you find the sharper edge and get a clearer narrower line. It’s lightweight, won’t leak in your pocket, water-proof, and blends brilliantly with ink-wash and water-colour, the line vanishing when needed. I’m clearly a very late arrival at the pencil party, but here are some initial attempts, exploring it’s versatility… Two streets in Bath, a concert audience, people in a park, a rose, and my left hand.
I’m an Urban Sketcher…
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