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Are you down with the drawing basics?

Why bother getting drawing pencils? I mean, aren’t all greylead pencils the same?

In Short. No.

Do you require a detailed answer?

Read on.

Professional graphite pencils like the faber-castell graphite pencils range anywhere from an 8H to an 8B.

But what makes them different? Isn’t this just a waste of money?

Well, they range in lead softness. The high you go in the H range the harder the lead is, making the tone of the pencil very light. The higher you go in the B range, the softer the lead becomes. The softer the lead, the darker the tone of the grey lead is.

Once you can grasp an idea of where each pencil sits in the range of tone, you can assess which pencil you will use to create an accurate tonal value in your shading.

A simple way to achieve this is by creating a tonal scale.

Draw a line of boxes on your page. Colour in each box the heaviest you can with each pencil. Make sure that the order you colour in is the order your pencils range. For example,

8H – 7H-6H-5H etc.

Now, if you are drawing from a picture, photo copy it in black and white or on a grey scale.

Next, run your scale around your picture to find out which box matches up with the are of the drawing you want to draw. This way, you will be able to accurately represent the tonal value in your shading of the picture.

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