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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 06:18   #1
nctexasbirder
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best kind of pencils to use?

What do you prefer to use for your sketches and drawings?
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 06:28   #2
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I use any pencil that's to hand, I suppose it all comes down to personal preference, I like soft pencils that leave a good dark mark on the paper, but also like a pencil hard enough to do a few drawings without having to sharpen it every few seconds. Best to try a few and find your own favourite.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 06:39   #3
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Sanford Turquoise drawing pencil.

Best brand in my opinion! The pencil is not turquoise, it's just the signature color on the outside. (This pencil does not have an eraser, it's great for drawing down quick sketches.)

If you're style of drawing is more harsh than delicate, I'd suggest a Sanford Ebony pencil. It's very dark and the graphite is very soft. Be careful! It smudges.

I hope this helps.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 06:53   #4
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Quote:
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What do you prefer to use for your sketches and drawings?
Staedtler pencil leads, various hardness grades, with a Kohinoor lead holder. Pack a portable lead pointer and you've got a small graphics shop in your pocket!

for example:

http://www.leadholder.com/index.html...pidomatic.html

And:

http://www.draftingsteals.com/catalo...-pointers.html
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 11:17   #5
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A nice, soft pencil for me 4B - 6B. Not concerned over the brand name, but I always use a surgical scalpel to sharpen it -it gives me infinite control over the type of tip I produce on the pencil. I don't personally like automatic pencils - I find that my drawings lack a bit of life whenever I've used one (although other artists can obviously adapt wonderfully to them).
Look at some of the art threads here - the magical use of ballpoint pens always leaves me in utter bewilderment!
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 11:46   #6
ARTHUR BISHOP
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I like to use 2B like Tim I don't like automatic pencils I personly find them a bit unwealdly especially in the feild where you need to be fluid and quick.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 12:39   #7
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Whatever comes to hand, usually HBs with the occasional 2B thrown in for luck. I usually have 4-5 sharpened and ready to go, I hate having to stop and sharpen midway through anything. If I do sharpen between sketches I always use a scalpel - Can't stand pencil sharpeners!

One of the best bits of advice I was ever given was - Use cheap sketchbooks and make 'em A3 to start with. That way you never worry about making a mess of things and wasting your expensive sketchbook. Also the larger size lets you draw unrestricted and flow more easily. I now use A4 hardback Daler Rowney pads bought real cheap through Cass Arts in London but that's only because I gained a lot of confidence using A3 pads I made myself from photocopy paper that I 'liberated' from work.

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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 16:37   #8
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thanks Woody-i was wondering about that also....i have aleays been afraid of ruining my nice sketchbook/pad with not so perfect sketches lol.....sketchbooks are better than pads aren't they? With a pad, it just seems odd because it "isnt all bound together". I think ill get cheap books from now on, if there is such a thing....A3, ill remember that, Thank you Woody!
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 18:57   #9
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You must never be afraid to ruin a page in a sketchbook, treat them roughly! My sketchbooks have been half-dissolved in rain, dropped in mud, had fish guts dropped in the pages (by Herring gulls - not one of my artistic quirks) and been ripped by the wind. The sketchbook is where all notes and ideas get drawn out and is not intended to be a showpiece (though I don't mind letting people look). I'll put my hand up and say that I have sketchbooks with an unfinished sketch of a barn owl (because when the wind blew it, it turned out to be a reed, sketches of avocets with black tail bands - because I wasn't looking at what I was drawing and just imagined, and basically lots of badly-drawn stuff - but with notes on how to correct it etc. Go into a sketch thinking, 'there's another page after this one, and I'll use it if I want to!'
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 21:05   #10
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2B or 3B for me preferably but anything will do in a pinch.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:03   #11
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also what is a good box brand of sketching watercolors? Here locally they have Cotman watercolors, but they are student quality, not pro! But would they be good enough you think?
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:13   #12
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cotman is perfectly good enough, better quality than what I use for my painting! Am starting to buy in artists' quality at the moment, but cotman is a fine choice, or daler rowney - especially for the blues, they just seem nicer from daler.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:13   #13
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I use those sometimes - er, maybe not such a good recommendation after all.
try to get Windsor & Newton half pans and invest in a small field box - something to love, cherish and use forever. Happy sketching!
Oh, don't buy too many colours - burnt sienna, prussian and aqua blue, yellow ochre, sepia and a tube of white gouache gives you the potential for all you'll need in the field.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:18   #14
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yes, W & N is premium quality...i know. thanks for the color reccomendations Woody.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:29   #15
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yes, W & N is premium quality...i know. thanks for the color reccomendations Woody.
Ah well, it's usually me getting credit for Woody's brilliant artwork, so I'll allow him credit for my innane colour suggestions - fair's fair, anyways.
All the best.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:36   #16
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LOL im sorry i get all you people mixed up on here. :)) thank you TIM.
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:43   #17
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LOL im sorry i get all you people mixed up on here. :)) thank you TIM.
Easy mistake to make, young birder - that's why I put my name in full
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:48   #18
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i do that alot-absentmindedness-but thats why im such darn good birder
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:52   #19
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Good to have your priorities in order!
Have a good day in the field - with or without burnt sienna!
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Old Saturday 23rd June 2007, 02:42   #20
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I have an unhealthy attachment to Bruynzeel High Grade HBs. (I don't know why ... I just like the particular softness of the graphite, the lack of smudginess, and the smoothness across the page!) They're hard to find, though -- my local art store carries them on occasion, never seen them anywhere else. But, I really don't think the brand makes much difference to my drawings. As for softness, I never go above a 3B, but the softer leads do seem to get me to loosen up more. If only they weren't so messy!
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Old Saturday 23rd June 2007, 14:18   #21
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I used to paint in watercolour all the time and always used tubes of the Cotman colours. Now, for the sketchbook, I've got a tiny pocket set of Windsor + Newton half pans that my kids bought me for my birthday and it seems to be working well. Since (Tim or) I seem to have already made some colour recommendations I'll go with what I (or Tim) said earlier but add that I couldn't be without raw umber and ultramarine blue!

Still think the important thing is to get out there an enjoy it, make as many mistakes as you like and as much mess as you like, it makes it more fun!

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Old Saturday 23rd June 2007, 15:41   #22
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yes, im pretty sure it was Tim that gave the first recommendations and you gave the last ones. I wont get you guys mixed up again. :) Thank you for the additional recommendations Woody.

Your kids know how to buy gifts all right!
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Old Sunday 24th June 2007, 00:10   #23
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today i got a Cotman watercolor sketch box and i love it-along with a pad of Strathmore Not 140-lb. to experiment. I cant wait to do some color sketches!
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Old Sunday 24th June 2007, 00:36   #24
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today i got a Cotman watercolor sketch box and i love it-along with a pad of Strathmore Not 140-lb. to experiment. I cant wait to do some color sketches!
Good kit - don't be tooooo precious about it, but also a tad of respect (can be an expensive trial period) - enjoy!
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Old Sunday 24th June 2007, 10:22   #25
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I use a Staedtler mechanical pencil with a 2B lead and love it. I use ordinary pencils, too, but all that sharpening can get irritating.
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