Selection of art pencils

Today I decided it was about time I did a little pencil study to better understand the behaviour of my pencils. I use mark making a great deal in my work and sometimes I want the pencil mark to move or bleed into my paints and other times I want it to remain on the painting as a sharp line.

I have a large range of pencils that I have accumulated over time and generally I don’t spend a great deal of time choosing which one I want to use. But sometimes they don’t behave on the artwork the way I had intended, so I thought it was about time I did another little pencil experiment.

You will see here that I have quickly drawn out a few boxes and with each pencil I have drawn inside a box with a few straight lines and another with a solid scribbled line. Then with each box I have painted over with clear water to see how water soluble they were.

Pencil study
Pencil Study
Pencil Sudy

It was interesting to see that different brands of the same type of pencil can behave differently. You will see here that the Koh – I -Noor HB pencil bled less with water than the Royal Graphite HB pencil. That is why it is important to know your pencils.

From the 28 pencils that I experimented with the ONLY pencil that did not move or bleed with water was the Chinamarker, which I guess I already knew.

The most water soluble ones that I used, that is the ones that bled the darkest black, were the ArtGraf and Stabilo Woody.

These were closely followed by:

Graphite LYRA Water Soluble
Stabilo Aquarellable 8046
Derwent Inktense
Stabilo Carbathello
Conte à Paris

Water soluble art pencils

And my final conclusion was that I have far too may pencils!

I probably could whittle them down to about 5 or 6 different types. So I may just keep that selection in a different container so that I can easily find the one that I want.

I hope you have found this little experiment useful.

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