Pencils have been around for centuries and are still a favorite tool for artists, writers, and students worldwide. However, not all pencils are created equal. With so many different types of pencils on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are best suited for specific tasks. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best drawing pencils, the best-coloured pencils, which pencil is best for writing, which pencil is best for sketching, and which pencil is best for shading. Whether you’re an artist looking to create a masterpiece or a student looking to take notes, this guide will help you find the perfect pencil for your needs.
Best Pencils For Writing and Drawing
There are so many different types of pencils available to consumers that when exploring the pencil world, it can be mind-boggling to know which pencil is the correct type for your work whether it is writing, drawing, or sketching. If the incorrect pencil type is used, the end product will be different from what you imagined.
Which Pencil is Best for Drawing?
The H and F ranges of pencils are used mostly by architects and people who draw technical drawings and who prefer very controlled and finely detailed drawings. The average drawer or sketcher can ignore this range of pencils while trying to find the best pencils for drawing and sketching. So this means that you have already cut down your choice of pencils by about half.
B, HB, and F are the types of pencils that are best suited for drawing as they are more relaxed. Softer B pencils can be used for children who are just learning how to write or draw and is usually the type of pencil most beginners start with when looking at types of drawing pencils.
The more advanced artist will look for a pencil with a medium degree of hardness which is of course the HB. The HB is one of the best sketching pencil types on the market. Those artists who want to express more feelings in a sketch will most likely choose grades 2B to 8B, which will help to add contrast to the drawing.
The 8B pencil type of pencil is a very dark choice and is used predominantly for drawing purposes. The 8B pencil will make very dark lines on the paper, causing the sketch to standing out when looking at the picture. With almost the same tone as the 8B, the 7B pencil is also very popular in the art world as it gives off a nice rich dark gray colour onto the paper.
Factors Affecting Your Choice Of Pencil For Drawing
The three basic factors that are used while choosing the right pencil are tones/shades, lines, and smudge.
- Tones or Shades: 9B pencil brings out the texture of the paper and is blacker in tone, while the harder HB pencil flattens the paper texture as you have to press harder and is more silvery grey in tone.
- Line Quality: Different pencils will produce different quality lines. It also depends on the combination of pencil manufacturer and choice of paper. There are too many variations to even begin writing about it. It simply takes time and experimentation to find your favourite combinations. The soft 9B pencil gives a soft fuzzy line, while the harder HB pencil gives a harder sharp-edged line.
- The Smudge Factor: This is a great quality pencil graphite and one you should be making good use of when drawing. Smudging with your finger can achieve beautiful results. Again it depends on your type of paper and the pencil you are drawing or sketching with. The 9B pencil can be smudged a lot more as more graphite is left on the surface of the paper, less so with the harder HB pencil.
Which Pencil is Best for Writing?
The pencils that are best suited for writing are HB-graded pencils. These pencils are neither so hard nor so soft. The mark made by hard pencils(H-graded) is very light and makes the writing barely visible. On the other hand, soft pencils(B-graded) leave too much graphite on the paper and make writing smudgy.
Which Pencil is Best for Sketching?
The best types of pencils for sketching would be HB, 2B, 6B, and even 9B. The harder the pencil type, the lighter the drawing, and the softer the pencil type, the darker the drawing will be. The pencil you need for sketching depends on the type of sketching you do.
Pencil Sketching – Architectural(or Technical Sketches)
If you are drawing buildings, automobiles, or technical sketches, a set of hard pencils are the best. Hard pencils don’t smudge easily, so your drawings will always be sharp and clean.
You won’t need to sharpen your pencils too often because the graphite is hard enough to hold a sharp tip longer than any B-graded pencil. If you want to add dark shark shading to your sketches, then use soft pencils of B grade.
Pencil Sketching – Potrait(or Animals)
In order to achieve realistic textures such as fur, skin, or fabrics, the type of pencils needed are the ones that blend well and are flexible enough to reach the darkest of tones in order to convey a realistic sense of depth. A set of soft pencils do this type of bob perfectly. The type of pencils that fit in this category is HB, 4B, 6B, and 8B.
Best Pencils For Drawing and Sketching – Summary
|HB||Use this pencil for light-line drawings on smooth paper. It can work really well for preparatory drawings as it does not leave too much graphite on the page. It has limited tone/shading capability but it’s especially good if you’re a beginner and feel a little unsure when starting your drawings and sketching.|
|2B||Use this pencil for general drawing and sketching. It’s great for sketching out, planning, and blocking in the main areas of tone/shade. It creates lovely quality lines and can be smudged a little and erased with ease. It’s still hard enough to sharpen to a point and use for fine detail in drawings and sketches and creating sharp edges to contrast with the soft areas in your drawings and sketches.|
|6B||This pencil is great for adding substantially darker tones/shading that will make your drawings and sketches come to life as a contrast to the lighter shades and white paper. This pencil has the excellent shading capability and creates some lovely rich dark grey tones.|
|9B||This pencil will give you the darkest of shades, some beautiful smudging and blending qualities, and a rich and varied quality line. But just take care of its softness as if overused will result in drawings that lack sharpness and definition and remember that 9B pencils usually shrink in size very quickly.|
Is There Any Pencil That Can Be Used for Painting?
There are pencils that you can use for painting purposes. The output produced by these pencils is similar to water-based colours. But these pencils are advantageous especially for beginners as using these pencils they can draw easily as they help in drawing sharp lines.
These pencils can be used dry, just like regular coloured pencils, but the binder they contain is a water-soluble gum that allows the pigments to be thinned out with water. Artist-quality water-soluble pencils are essentially dry watercolour paints in pencil form.
In practice, this means they are fully capable of producing watercolour paintings by combining them with water and a brush or sponge to blend colours or create washes. Other effects are also achieved by drawing on wet paper or dipping the tip of the pencil in water beforehand (creating very soft strokes). You can also use them in combination with regular watercolours and other media (including regular coloured pencils).
Overview of Pencil Type and Its Use
The following table summarizes the use of different types of pencils.
|Type of Pencil||Use|
|Graphite||Drawing and Sketching|
|Charcoal||Writing and Sketching|
|Watercolour||Blending and Painting|
Overview of Pencil Grade and Its Use
The following table summarizes the use of different grades of pencils.
|Grade||Shade||Degree of Hardness||Best Used For|
|9B||Very Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|8B||Very Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|7B||Very Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|6B||Very Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|5B||Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|4B||Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|3B||Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|2B||Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|B||Soft||Drawing, Sketching, and Shading|
|HB||Medium||Writing, and Technical Drawing|
|F||Medium||Writing, and Technical Drawing|
|H||Hard||Marking Crafts, and Technical Drawing|
|3H||Very Hard||Technical Drawing, and Detailed Technical Drawings|
|4H||Very Hard||Technical Drawing, and Detailed Technical Drawings|
|5H||Very Hard||Technical Drawing, and Detailed Technical Drawings|
|6H||Extremely Hard||Drafting, and Precision Drawing|
|7H||Extremely Hard||Drafting, and Precision Drawing|
|8H||Extremely Hard||Drafting, and Precision Drawing|
|9H||Extremely Hard||Drafting, and Precision Drawing|
What is a shading pencil?
The softer B pencils are considered to be the best type of pencil to use for shading. However, don’t write off the harder H pencils completely. Delicate and lightly shaded drawings are normally achieved by using the pencil types HB and H.
What is the best beginner drawing pencil?
The best pencil for someone who has started drawing is 2B or 3B pencil as they give the right shade configuration. Later progress to the 6B or 9B pencil that gives darker shades.
What type of pencils can you use for shading?
For shading, you need softer pencil types, so B-grade pencils are ideal for shading. If you are after lighter and more delicate shading, then the HB pencil will be the best choice.
We hope you found our article helpful in choosing the best pencil for your specific needs, whether it be drawing, sketching, shading, or writing. By highlighting the different types of pencils, including coloured pencils, we hope to have provided valuable insight and helped you to make an informed decision. Remember, the right pencil can make all the difference in your work, so choose carefully! Thank you for reading, and we hope you continue to explore our articles for more helpful tips and tricks for all your creative endeavors.