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Old 07-17-2016, 12:45 PM
GeneH2016 GeneH2016 is offline
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Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Thinking I should spend whatever time I can sketching to help the drawing learning curve, no intention of long term archiving, very open to recommendations and hearing what your favorites are.

Here's the rub: regular graphite pencils smudge. Color pencils, so I read, break easily if dropped. I just read one person prefers Faber-Castell PITT Oil Base Pencil.

So how are these PITT pencils different than something like the Polychromos for the purpose of every day carry in a backpack? Or even the black Crayola color pencil we have laying around? Other comments on black or shaded pencils?

Paper: Heavy white printer paper seems ok, but that's about all I have used. It's kinda hard, bright white. Suggestions for paper that's just more enjoyable or easy on the eyes in bright sunlight?
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:26 PM
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SparrowHawk7 SparrowHawk7 is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

I think part of it depends on how long you've been drawing. Adding color initially is making it more difficult because you have to worry about that along with value and just getting a likeness let alone working with the paper - colored pencils interact with the paper altogether differently than graphite or charcoal.

I also would not discard the idea of archiving at least some of your work. As you go along you are going to improve and it is a good idea to keep some of your earlier stuff for comparison so you can actually see the improvement.That can be really helpful to your ego from time to time - especially when you are on a plateau and don't see any improvement from drawing to drawing.

So I would tend to stick to graphite (which does not necessarily smudge - it all depends on the method of application) or charcoal (which does smudge and is usually something artists want). Get a sketchbook and use it every day or at least as often as possible.But keep in mind that paper plays a great role in your art. I do not advocate using a different paper for practicing compared to production pieces because they are so different. It's hard enough getting a likeness and learning to work with a medium without having to fight your paper for new and different application methods at the same time. Beginners won't recognize that so easily, but after you have a bit more experience, get a couple different pads of paper and try them. You will quickly see what I mean.

To anticipate your next question ... if you ask 10 artists what paper they prefer you will get at least 8 different answers. No paper is perfect and no 1 paper fits everyone. All have flaws and the only way to find a paper or papers that work for you is to try them. Fortunately paper for drawing is pretty inexpensive with 9x12 pads going for well under $10 US. I have some that I dislike intensely (most artists seem to like those far better than I) and some that I really like (and others do not). At the moment I am importing my paper from the UK as it is not available over here for some reason. But that's the way it is with paper. Most of us like a smoother paper - something like Strathmore Bristol Smooth series 300 or perhaps Stonehenge by Rising. Don't go for a plate finish which is VERY smooth but that makes getting darks much more difficult. Try rougher paper and see what you think - like watercolor cold pressed papers. You can even try laid papers which have a design on them that shows through - laid papers go back a great many years.

Pencils also make a big difference.Again, it's trial and error but making a good choice requires some experience so try different brands when you get a chance.

I guess in the end I'm just suggesting that you try all sorts of different things before deciding on any particular product. I would suggest though, that you begin with B&W and learn the mechanics of that before adding color - it makes it somewhat easier.

Last edited by SparrowHawk7 : 07-17-2016 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:48 PM
GeneH2016 GeneH2016 is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Regarding Sketching - I hadn't thought past the basic 101 of shape / proportions / perspective / repetition state of the learning curve. Duh, whoops. <head banger > In the Basic 101 # 3 class I got stumped on the mantle clock until I made a semblance from unused erasers. ;-) So now I'm sketching line drawings of the clock from different angles until I'm comfortable (or bored) with the stacked cubes.

I like experimenting ... and when I stumbled on the oil based Pitt posting from a Google search (Yay! something else new to try!) that sounded like a good thing for on-the-go clean drawings outdoors (or not) and sweaty hands on lunch breaks or whenever. Turns out I like the feel of the black Crayola color pencil on heavy printer paper... go figure.

Glad to know it's a good idea to try different papers and pencils - thank you for that. We had some General and Faber Castell pencils laying around, I bought some Derwent, and then Utrecht's being clearanced at 25 cents, and a few Crayola.

I will keep in mind using better paper for the iterative and finished drawings, probably while still in the Basic 101 classes. I had been saving my 11 x 14 Blick Studio and Strathmore smooth Bristol ... but maybe should start using those soon.

addendum: Ken, noticed you also do some woodcarving. I started drawing this summer because I have difficulty translating what I see to woodcarvings, especially faces. I'm kinda blocked up and not carving as much because of that. Turns out I like drawing and am heading into portraiture, this time with a pencil, not camera.
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2016:Starting pencil drawing to emulate my film photography: faces of people and pets that exhibit and evoke pleasant emotion. (wow that sounds pompous.)
The devil is going to be in the details....

Last edited by GeneH2016 : 07-17-2016 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:26 PM
GeneH2016 GeneH2016 is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Lovin' Blick Art Supplies in Roseville. Picked up a Faber-Castell PITT Oil Base Pencil and Canson 9x12 sketchbook.

Still open to anyone with other suggestions since eventually I'll need a new pencil... :-)
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2016:Starting pencil drawing to emulate my film photography: faces of people and pets that exhibit and evoke pleasant emotion. (wow that sounds pompous.)
The devil is going to be in the details....
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:06 AM
staggerlee staggerlee is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Old post, just stumbled across it.

I love the Pitt Oil Base pencils. Just relatively recently discovered that beyond the Soft and Extra Soft variety, they make a Medium, Hard and Extra Hard. Sadly, from what I can tell at least, they are only available in the U.K. from Jacksons Art.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:37 AM
marksmomagain marksmomagain is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Buy them at Hyatt's
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:14 AM
staggerlee staggerlee is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

Just double checked Hyatt's, the highest degree they have is the Medium, in a set (as of today) not the individual pencils.

For what I use them on (Duralar and Yupo) I really like the Hard and Extra Hard degree. Not really sure why they aren't sold in the US alongside the Soft/Extra Soft. Even wrote to the distributor, never got a reply.

Just checked my receipts and Jacksons was pretty reasonable (and I recall quick in shipping) $4 ship charge for eight pencils at $2 a piece , well packaged.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:21 PM
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janinco janinco is offline
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Re: Non-smudgie pencil + pad on the go recommendations?

My favorite sketching pencils are Pentel GraphGear 500 mechanical with Pentel's Super Hi Polymer leads. Very little smudging but will blend out well with a tortillion or stump. You can buy sets with different size lead (.3 to .9) and you can also get the leads in different hardness.

I keep them in my sketch kit and it's nice not to have to worry about sharpening or leads breaking. My favorite inexpensive pad is Strathmore's mixed media series 300 vellum surface.

Jan
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Last edited by janinco : 06-08-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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