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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The 5 Best Pencil Sets for Drawing

Woman hand with pencil writing on notebook at coffee shop
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Hobbies should be indulged. If you spend a lot of time writing or drawing, a good pencil can be the difference between a relaxing sketch session and frustrating wrist pain.

What Makes a Pencil Good for Drawing

A lot of factors makes certain pencils better than others for drawing. It’s important to consider a few things about drawing pencils before you purchase a product.

  • Hardness: The hardness of a pencil affects how easily the lead can leave marks on the paper and how dark those marks are. Hard pencils need more pressure to leave graphite behind, so they make lighter strokes. Hardness is signified by a capital H accompanied by a number that represents the degree, so a 6H is a harder pencil than a 3H. Softer pencils don’t need as much pressure to leave darker, blacker marks. They’re signified by a capital B for blackness and accompanied by a number that represents the degree—6B is darker and softer than 2B, for example. The standard HB pencil falls right in the middle of the hardness scale, which is why it uses both letters.
  • Blending: The ability of a pencil to smudge well is actually a good thing. Life doesn’t use many straight, defined lines. Reality is smooth and blends together. Because of this, smudging and blending the different sections of your drawing together is an integral part of creating shadows and depth while still maintaining realism. So, for a drawing pencil to be able to blend smoothly is important.
  • Erasability: Half of drawing is going to be erasing, especially when you’re just getting started. You’ll need to erase sketch marks when you’re drawing general shapes and outlines without leaving any smudge marks behind. A good eraser is necessary for this, but the lead itself can be easier or harder to erase. The more pressure you use, the harder it will be to erase, so make sure to use the right hardness for the darkness for what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Feel: Finally, the pencil needs to feel good in your hand and on the paper. Most pencils are made in a similar fashion, but you’ll be gripping these pencils for multiple hours. It’s important that they glide over the paper well and don’t have a ton of resistance and unnecessary strain.

The Best for Most People: Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils

Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils
Derwent

Derwent’s Graphic Pencil set gives you a professional feel and a full range of grades for an affordable price. These pencils are sturdy and comfortable to hold for long periods of time, decreasing drawing fatigue. They are also engineered to blend easily, erase without leaving marks, and sharpen to a fine point.

There are three sets you can order. The hard set ranges from B to 9H; the soft set ranges from H to 9B; and the medium set ranges from 6B to 4H. This makes ordering pencils regularly much easier. If you use more hard pencils than soft ones, you won’t want to waste money on more soft ones every time you order pencils.

Also for a little more money you can upgrade and order a  24-count set that has a huge range from 9B to 9H. On the cheaper side, they offer small four pencil sets for hard, medium, and soft ranges in case you just run out of a select few.

The Best for Most People

Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils, Medium, Metal Tin, 12 Count (34214)

The Derwent Graphic Pencil Sets give you a professional feeling product while also allowing you to choose the lead grades that you want to order.

The Budget Pick: LYRA Rembrandt Drawing Pencils

LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Drawing Pencils
LYRA

If you go through pencils quickly, you should consider the Lyra Rembrandt drawing set. This set includes twelve different pencil grades and is fairly cheap, so ordering multiple sets won’t break the bank. The pencils in this set range from 6B to 4H with a pencil for every level in-between, including an F grade pencil, which is a harder pencil that can be sharpened to a fine point without breaking. Using a large range of pencils will give your drawing more contrast and appear more defined. These pencils are also easy to erase with little leftover markings and are easy to smudge on the paper.

The Budget Pick

LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Drawing Pencils, Set of 12 Pencils, Assorted Degrees (1111120)

The Lyra Rembrandt Pencil Set gives you a wide range of pencils for a cheap price. Perfect for people who quickly use up their pencils.

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