Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pencil Nerding

I recently started working on a studio for a day a week to focus on a project. It's still a little early to tell you all about it, but the plan is to have a serie of pencil drawings finished by next year summer. Until then I will post some details every now and then, starting with this one above; cat & cabbage.

Speaking of pencils, I wanted to show you some my favorite tools -see photo below.

When making a drawing I prefer to work with soft pencils. I start sketching with an HB mechanical pencil, which always has a nice, sharp point. Then I decide where the most dark bits of the scene will be and use a 3B pencil to colour them. After that I continue to play with 'darks' and 'lights', leaving parts blank, making gradients (with my fingertips or a tortillion - the latter's not on the photo) or creating pitch dark parts or shadows with a 8B pencil.

One of the tools I can't imagine drawing without is the 'blast from the past' eraser shield (on photo, left, bottom). This device was part of my technical pen set. Those 'Rapidographs' are long gone but the shield is still a great help when I need to erase small bits in my drawing, without smudging or erasing more than I'd want.

I'm also a big fan of those old fashioned, red & blue Faber-Castell 'pencil/ink' erasers. They erase without too much eraser 'dust', small cuts of eraser (for detailed erasing -on photo, left) stay compact and don't break easily and, last but not least, they look good. Just how I think an eraser should look.


  1. with simple tools, you could make brilliant pieces of art!

  2. Oh I love these kinds of posts! It's fascinating to see what kind of tools people use and to learn about their process.
    And your drawings are fantastic in every sense of the word. I love the way you are able to capture light.
    Also I've been wanting to find a good eraser for ages, so I'll give those Faber & Castells a try.
    Do you have a preferred brand of pencils as well?

  3. Dear C,
    Thanks for the kind words! I use Faber-Castell pencils. I find them pretty smooth...

  4. Makes me want to go out and go pencil shopping! Hooray for pencil nerding! I'm pretty much a pencil nerd as well (^•^) so I can really relate to your post!!