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Rascal77s
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14 Apr 2014, 10:48 pm

I'd like to make a mechanical sketching pencil as a gift for someone, but I don't know anything about sketching pencils as I am not an artist. I'm sure some of you do pencil sketching, so maybe you can give me some information.

Approximately what size pencil do you prefer in terms of diameter?


What type of lead. Do you prefer for sketching? Do you switch between lead types?


Do you prefer a heavy or light pencil for sketching? If possible, could you give me a weight in grams or ounces of the pencils you use?


Is the look of your sketching pencil important to you? Or is it more of just a utilitarian device for you?


Is there anything you think I should know or take into consideration when making my mechanical pencil such as features you would like to see?



I can't really think of anything else but thank you if you can answer these questions, I appreciate your help.



Ganondox
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18 Apr 2014, 3:16 am

I don't sketch with mechanical pencils, that's all I have to say.


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18 Apr 2014, 10:11 am

As with the above post, I don't sketch with mechanical art pencils. But what your artist friend will probably appreciate is one with lead that makes its marks smoothly. See if you can't google one that has even graphite that doesn't scratch.



Rascal77s
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22 Apr 2014, 6:19 am

Sorry for the late reply. I kind of gave up hope of anyone responding to my thread, so I just haven't looked at it in a while. I have to ask what is wrong with mechanical pencils for sketching? It would seem more convenient to me.



Naturalist
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22 Apr 2014, 5:01 pm

Mechanical pencils are convenient, but very frustrating if the lead breaks in midst of a line. That said, I carry two with me: an inexpensive Pentel with .9 mm lead (doesn't break as readily), grade HB or 2B lead; and a Cretacolor lead holder with thick (5mm) graphite. If you only have a "big box" crafts store rather than a specialty, check online at Daniel Smith or Dick Blick. The customer service people at Daniel Smith are also quite helpful recommending products.



Rascal77s
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23 Apr 2014, 6:05 am

Thanks naturalist. I looked at your suggestions and the lead holder is what I actually had in mind. I didn't know that there was a distinction between the terms mechanical pencil and lead holder, but now I know thanks to you.



DukeJanTheGrey
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01 May 2014, 8:05 am

I would like some advice too, so i am trying to sketch this. lady Kestrel (<<thats a link by the way) influenced by a sighting i had on Tuesday this week. However when i draw her the tail feathers end up looking like a bunch of blokes penises. It is very off putting and i hope she looks a lot better once its finished.



DukeJanTheGrey
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01 May 2014, 2:27 pm

She looks a lot better now but i think what i meant to say was that it looks like she is surrounded by a bunch of dicks (that's not too much for this forum is it). Yes it's a poignant metaphor i know but my tongue is well and truly in my cheek. I'm not bitter.



alpineglow
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01 May 2014, 4:14 pm

My suggestion is a pencil sharpener and 4B General pencils. However Prismacolor 8B woodless graphite is wonderful. If OP is buying a gift of pencils then some fixative for the ensuing sketches would be in order as well. :idea:



Rascal77s
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01 May 2014, 8:48 pm

alpineglow wrote:
My suggestion is a pencil sharpener and 4B General pencils. However Prismacolor 8B woodless graphite is wonderful. If OP is buying a gift of pencils then some fixative for the ensuing sketches would be in order as well. :idea:


No I'm not buying pencils. I'm making lead holder for sketching.



AspE
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07 May 2014, 11:07 pm

I'm an artist and I specialize in pencil. I don't use any holders because they are crap. I buy wood pencils in a variety of softness. A good #2 art pencil is softer than a standard pencil, but you also need to go softer at times to get really dark, like #3. Sometimes harder is good, but less often. I also use large solid chunks of graphite as big around as a pencil, or as big as a block eraser, and sometimes graphite aerosol spray, they sell it for lubrication purposes. A good eraser is important, and the kneaded erasers are good.



MakaylaTheAspie
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08 May 2014, 12:33 pm

Well for me, .7 thickness and HB (typical #2) usually do the job. I don't really require any fancy, but a slightly heavier pencil makes it easier for me to keep my hands steady.


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Rascal77s
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09 May 2014, 5:58 pm

Here's what I finally ended up making for my push-button lead holder/sketch pencil. I call it maroon velvet. The mechanism holds the 5.56 mm very securely. The lead I chose is 4B that obviously they can be replaced with different hardness. The push button twists off and has a sharper and are built into it Inside. All you have to do is twist it off, slide it over your lead, and rotate it with your fingers to get a nice point.

Image

Image



Lace-Bane
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09 May 2014, 7:13 pm

That's a very attractive pencil :|

Are you planning to make more or different variants once you open your store?

I've not drawn seriously in a few years, but I used to use my trusty 0.9 Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic technical pencil(very sturdy, nice weight, and excellent metal file type grip that'd be hard to let slip in the hand)... now I just use it to write with for the most part, but the thick lead allowed the tip to be snapped sharp, or worn on another piece of paper for soft edge for shading rather easily with it's thick tip. I had Pentel lead vile for each lead type, and had no problem with the patience involved in changing out one stick at a time. Even though it's really shrunk down, my current avatar of a humanoid wolf shaman, is a close up from an incomplete sketch I did with it. Sketching with a technical pencil takes time though... lots of hatching and fine lines are made with many tiny ones.



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09 May 2014, 9:33 pm

Rascal77s wrote:
Here's what I finally ended up making for my push-button lead holder/sketch pencil. I call it maroon velvet. The mechanism holds the 5.56 mm very securely. The lead I chose is 4B that obviously they can be replaced with different hardness. The push button twists off and has a sharper and are built into it Inside. All you have to do is twist it off, slide it over your lead, and rotate it with your fingers to get a nice point.

Image

Image


I know everyone keeps telling you this, but your stuff is awesome!



Rascal77s
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10 May 2014, 2:47 am

Lace-Bane wrote:
That's a very attractive pencil :|

Are you planning to make more or different variants once you open your store?

I've not drawn seriously in a few years, but I used to use my trusty 0.9 Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic technical pencil(very sturdy, nice weight, and excellent metal file type grip that'd be hard to let slip in the hand)... now I just use it to write with for the most part, but the thick lead allowed the tip to be snapped sharp, or worn on another piece of paper for soft edge for shading rather easily with it's thick tip. I had Pentel lead vile for each lead type, and had no problem with the patience involved in changing out one stick at a time. Even though it's really shrunk down, my current avatar of a humanoid wolf shaman, is a close up from an incomplete sketch I did with it. Sketching with a technical pencil takes time though... lots of hatching and fine lines are made with many tiny ones.


Thanks Lace-Bain. I have to ask you what does that smiley mean?

I made this as a gift for someone. I didn't really have plans to make more but I could. It seemed to me from the replies in this thread people would rather use normal wooden pencils. My original thinking was that someone who is making beautiful sketches should have some beautiful tools to work with. I guess if people like them and want them I would make more.

I've been curious about your avatar. Could you post a full-size version of it?