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Old 11-26-2012, 09:20 PM
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DerRickster DerRickster is offline
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Need Recommendations Please

2 Recommendations I need.

1. A Good pencil sharpener that sharpens the same as those hand held ones...I searched thru other posts and couldn't find any good answers. Well, what is the current sharpener you use...that may be a better question.

2. I have Prismacolor and the lead is soft. I'm looking for a studio brand that has a harder lead. I read where you can achieve fine detail using a harder lead.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:40 PM
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smudged-blue smudged-blue is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

I use a derwent battery powered sharpener (well I did till it recently died, it cost me $40) and have not had hardly any problems with breaking leads and gives a really nice sharp point, although it was a little on the noisey side, I use prismacolor premier pencils.

I'll also be interested what sharpeners other people use as I'll be looking to get another one and don't like the hand held ones (to many breakages with those).

Sorry can't help with the second part of your question as I only use one brand (at the moment).
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:38 PM
clydeine clydeine is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

98% of the time I use a hand held sharpener, even though I have a staples sharpener. I use that only for new pencils or if the lead breaks.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:12 PM
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ocmd123 ocmd123 is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

There are several sharpener threads archived in our library. That will give you a start.
Regarding the pencils, I am a Prisma user, as well. Their Verithin line might be worth looking into. They are thin and much harder than regular Prismas. The color range is not nearly as extensive as regular Prismas, but the colors they have work with the regular line.
ELAINE~ Moderator-Colored Pencil Forum ~ New to the forum? Visit the Welcome Thread ~ New to CP? Check out the CP Libray Index for information about about pencils, paper, sharpeners.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:44 AM
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Kiwi Girl Kiwi Girl is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

I really like the clamp to the desk hand crank sharpners. They use a metal spiral to grind the wood down and takes off less than the hand held sharpner, so your pencils last longer. You can adjust with a knob for how sharp the point it.

Don't have to worry about it breaking down, losing power or clogging up (you can take it apart and easily clean it).

Yes it requires you ro crank it so might not good for people with wrist or hand pain etc but otherwise I love mine.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:06 AM
ugocapeto ugocapeto is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

Regarding pencil sharpeners, i use an old school electric panasonic "helix" sharpener. it even has suction cups. you get those used on ebay for 30 bucks or so. well worth it.

Regarding harder lead pencils, you have the prismacolor verithin. The Derwent Studio colored pencils have a pretty hard lead also if i remember correctly.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 AM
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ManedWolf ManedWolf is online now
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

If you need semi-hard high-quality pencils that can be sharpened to a really fine point, the best brands are Caran d'Ache Pablo and Faber-Castell Polychromos. Derwent Studio is pretty good too.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:28 PM
Hoplite Hoplite is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

Dahle Rotary hand cranked, comes in three grades - I have the middle one, the 155 Professional. Auto-stop, point adjuster, handles a variety of pencil sizes, and actually welcomes color pencils rather than have them void the warranty. The only electric one that I found that did a good job and held up was the Panasonics, mentioned above, that are no longer made. Horror stories abound over the X-Acto ones that claim to be heavy duty but have plastic bearings.

For harder pencils: Sanford Verithins, though I think they are only around 36 colors. Also, Faber-Castell Polychromos hold a finer point than Prismacolors (oil based rather than wax based).

Last edited by Hoplite : 11-27-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:40 PM
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frida frida is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

I understand that any electric sharpener (of course a good one would be better) is kinder on soft pencils such as Prismacolor than hand held ones, because of their mechanical action.

I have had a Boston Powerhouse for ages. It makes a loud noise by now, but still gives me the sharper tip with a little torque of the hand... I got a Panasonic Auto Stop gathering dust (have they been discontinued in the USA as well?), and a small battery operated one to take to workshops, which works well. I've heard the X-acto Powerhouse recommended.

My passion for CP took off when I started using Derwent Studio pencils, which allow me to get great detail in botanical work. I prefer them to Verithin, which I still use for "boundaries" around details, but the colour range is not that large. However, they work wonders to clean edges at the end, provided you find a similar colour... The DW Studio line has 74 colours, and botanical artists use widely the Polychromos and Derwent Artist as well, with 120 colours available.

You may be interested in seeing a thread I have in the Florals/Botanical Forum: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1297358

Boldness commands the eye, but nuances hold it there. Margot Schulzke
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:34 PM
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RobinZ RobinZ is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

I use the cheapest battery operated pencil sharpener I can find. I found a bunch of them on clearance for a few dollars a few years ago and bought them all.

I use prismacolors and feel that I get good detail.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:54 AM
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

Ditto on the Derwent Studio line of colored pencils. The lead is a bit harder than Prismacolor and a bit softer than Verithin. On the sharpener, I buy a couple a year (because I go through a couple a year) and usually the most expensive I can find...around $40 to $50 each. When I'm away from my studio, I carry a handful of those hand held metal sharpeners. I buy them by the dozen from Dick Blick and the minute I notice drag when I'm sharpening, I throw it out and grab a new one. Hope this helps some! ;-)

~Robin M.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:12 AM
gale Prosser Shuba gale Prosser Shuba is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

This too is a matter of preference. I started with a battery operated pencil sharpener but it was breaking the leads. I invested in a good, multi size hole electric that atomaticly stops when the point is as far as it can go. I got it at Staples and it was $50. It is worth it's weight in gold. If you don't have a staples where you are you can look on line and they might have one.
I love mine and have no more problems with my leads breaking in the sharpener. I hope this helps you out.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:42 PM
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frida frida is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

That's strange! I never got a notification about more posts, and was wondering what happened with this thread!

What Gale says about preferences, brings to mind what subject matter one prefers. While RobinZ finds Prismacolors good for what she chooses to work on, DerRickster didn't tell us what his/her favourite subjects are, which would have great importance in the choice of pencils.

The problem with soft leads is that, even when freshly sharpened, they crumble and soon stop making a fine line due to their softness. Meanwhile, they are great to use to enhance intensity over a colour base made with the harder ones. Testing, experimenting and working are great ways of finding out what works well for each CP artist...!

Boldness commands the eye, but nuances hold it there. Margot Schulzke
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:58 PM
Tzipora Tzipora is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

I find it interesting how many people are pro-electric sharpener. Seems awhile back I was often taught hand sharpener only- especially on Prismacolors! Weird. I use a good hand sharpener (quite like the Kum ones that Prismacolor often includes in their set.. Bought the Mixed Media set recently though and it looks like a different handsharpener is included there though) I must have good technique or just be lucky because I've never had much problem with lead breakage and hand sharpening.

I would also recommend giving the Verithins a try. I'm not the fondest of how hard they are though depending on your style and subject and just what you use them for they can work nice. I use them pretty minimally myself and have often gotten good detail (at least to suit my own needs) with regular Prismacolor. Sometimes I think the Verithin is almost too hard and makes an odd contrast with the Prismacolors and looks too sharp or out of place. But again, I can see styles or subjects were that would be useful.

I've been converted to FC Polychromos recently. They're harder than Prismacolors but not too hard and they are really smooth. They don't have that too hard feel of the Verithin and maybe it's me but the Verithin never seemed so smooth. I think Polychromos might be my happy medium and I like how they keep their points a lot longer than the very soft prismas. I need to do some work with prismas since I haven't in awhile and really compare. Polychromos just suit me really nicely and seem hard enough for good detail and smooth and soft enough for everything I need. Kind of a preliminary assessment though since I'm about half done with my first piece with them. I think the Polychromos would be great for adding detail to Prisma work.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:06 PM
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frida frida is offline
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Re: Need Recommendations Please

Tzipora - I have a whole set of Polychromos, and love the colours. However, I don't use them because for some strange reason the pigment just doesn't stay on my paper!

What good paper do you recommend?

Boldness commands the eye, but nuances hold it there. Margot Schulzke

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