Some common questions we get asked are “what graphite pencil is best for doing line drawings?” or “what graphite pencil shall I use that won’t smudge with pastel?”.
In this article we’ll explain the three best graphite pencils to use when creating line drawings and drawing onto pastel paper.
Our Square Drawing grids are a popular product amongst our students. They provide an accurate way of learning to draw free hand and are a great way to learn perspective and composition. The transparent grids allow you to copy what you see on a reference photo and create an outline drawing to be used with Pastel Pencils. This is where our first graphite pencil recommendation comes in. A “B” graphite pencil is ideally used when copying what you see in the transparent grids, onto your gridded paper. The reason we choose a B grade pencil is because it is softer and therefore easily rubbed out if you make any mistakes.
Our second recommendation is a “HB” graphite pencil. We recommend using this when using a tracedown graphite carbon to transfer your outline drawing onto your painting surface. The HB grade is ideal because it is a harder grahpite than the B which is going to transfer a good strength onto your surface (i.e. pastel paper). It is best to press lightly and check the strength of the drawing being transferred through. We can always go back over the light outlines after.
This brings us to our final recommended pencil. The “F” graphite pencil is a unique grade and perfect in our opinion for the final task here. Once you have lightly traced the outline drawing through to the pastel paper, you can go back over the lines with more strength using the F pencil. We believe this is the best for this action as it sits between the HB and the B in terms of hardness and will not smudge easily. You can control the strength and rub out the lines if required.
Following this method above will truly allow you to draw any subject you wish and then have an outline ready for pastel pencil work. It allows you to control the strength of your drawings meaning that lines won’t show through the pastel.
Perhaps best of all is that we now sell all 3 of these High Quality B, HB and F Graphite Pencils on our art store in a 3 Pack. Click Here to check them out along with our Square Drawing Grids and Tracedown Carbon.