Art Tools I Use (Part 1) – Pencils!

Hello friends! I’ve been wanting to post a Art Tools I Use post for a long time, but I realized that I’m going to have to break them up into different parts based on the items, because…too many art supplies! ;)

So here we are with my first installment! Pencils!

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Note: This series will not be a review post, just a “Here’s what I use and why I like/use them”, random history about how I got into them, plus a link where you can find them – which means this post may contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided. Of course, I will never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love! Just wanted to get that out there :)

I’ve used pencils all my life (good ol’ yellow #2 for school). Pencils are the first tool I use when I start any art project, whether it’s a sketch for a watercolor painting, outline for some story/comic, or some rough drawing for a new leather bracelet I want to make. I always carry a mechanical pencil in my pencil case. Remember the yellow twist mechanical pencils? My mom had them around when I was little, so I used them a lot, then I went on to use Bic brands – I had a love/hate relationship with the smudges and line weight – and then got my hands on a 2mm lead holder in college (art classes!) – I still love/use it! I prefer 0.7mm and 0.9mm (and up) because I’m heavy handed with pencils and felt-tip pens (but not fountain pens…hmm).

Why I prefer mechanical pencils/lead holders over wood-cased? Honestly I really don’t know! I was going to say something like “I travel with my tools and it’s easier for me to change lead out than to bring a multitude of pencils with different lead degrees and/or color”, but I carry minimum 4 mechanical pencils on me at one time ;D Maybe it’s the weight or material? Not having to carry a sharpener? (I do anyway…always prepared) Who knows? I just like the way they feel. :) 

I’ve tried so many brands and types of mechanical pencils, but last year, I found my favorite mechanical pencil: Uni Kuru Toga Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil 0.7 mm 

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A pencil that keeps the consistent line weight due to lead rotation mechanism!

Pencil Lead!

I used to only use regular HB lead, but when I started scanning my ink drawings in, I began sketching using light blue (non-repro blue) leads. Later, it was suggested by someone to try out the Pilot Color Eno brand of colored leads, and I love them. I have been using them a lot lately and experimenting by using other colors, like pink, purple and orange for sketching or adding detail to a finished piece. If you know my ink obsession, then you know I’m a fan of color ;)

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There are certain occasions that I prefer to use wood-cased pencils, so here are ones that I like to use in my artwork:

Here are my favorite erasers and sharpener:

Photos:

If you have a favorite pencil product that I didn’t list (mechanical or otherwise), feel free to let me know about it in the comments! I’m always up to trying new tools :)

Thanks so much for reading/looking!

If you wish to explore further reading on pencils, below are some awesome pencil links:

For projects I'm currently working on, free PDF zines and printables, sketchbook pages, videos, & more support my work on Patreon! :)
www.patreon.com/sjanemills
  • snarling

    I also really like the pentel graph gear 1000. in finding that I like lighter weight tool but this one balances really nicely in my hand. I carry around the .9. also the .7 lamy scribble. tempted to try the kaweco ices but haven’t bitten yet. probably soon tho now that I said it out loud… been meaning to try those colored leads so I’ll be sure and click your links! thanks for the info!

  • Have you done a review of the Eno Color Leads? I’ve been debating whether to try some of these? You use them for sketching, writing, both? Do they erase well?If you decide to write a review, I’d love to cross-post it on The Desk! Let me know if you’d be interested!

  • PS: I just bought some Coloursoft pencils. I’m trying to break out of my Prismacolor rut.

  • Hi Ana! I haven’t done a review yet, but it’s on my Review To-Do List! Hoping to get it out within the month! Currently using them for sketching and I love them! I brought them on my trip so I have more intel on them :) – will have a Southwest 2016 adventure post in the week with sketches and photos.

    I would be grateful to have it cross-posted to the Desk! :D Let me know what I have to do!

  • Awesome, I enjoy them!

  • Thanks for the comment! I haven’t bitten the Kaweco pencil bug…. yet :)