Introduction to pencils and pencil drawing

The objective of this blog post is to introduce graphite pencils and pencil drawing by way of a drawing tutorial video.

pencil is an implement for writing or drawing, constructed of a narrow, solid pigment core in a protective casing that prevents the core from being broken and/or marking the user’s hand.

Graphite pencils used for pencil drawing
Graphite Pencils

Pencils create marks by physical abrasion, leaving a trail of solid core material that adheres to a sheet of paper or other surface. Most pencil cores are made of graphite powder mixed with a clay binder. Graphite pencils (traditionally known as “lead pencils”) produce grey or black marks that are easily erased, but otherwise resistant to moisture, most chemicals, ultraviolet radiation and natural ageing. Other types of pencil cores, such as those of charcoal, are mainly used for drawing and sketching. Coloured pencils are sometimes used by teachers or editors to correct submitted texts, but are typically regarded as art supplies—especially those with waxy core binders that tend to smear when erasers are applied to them. Grease pencils have a softer, crayon-like waxy core that can leave marks on smooth surfaces such as glass or porcelain.

The most common pencil casing is thin wood, usually hexagonal in section but sometimes cylindrical or triangular, permanently bonded to the core. Casings may be of other materials, such as plastic or paper. To use the pencil, the casing must be carved or peeled off to expose the working end of the core as a sharp point.

Drawing Tutorial Video

See the art tutorial video about graphite pencils and drawing :

History of Graphite Pencils

in 1565 (some sources say as early as 1500), a large deposit of graphite was discovered in Cumbria, England. This particular deposit of graphite was extremely pure and solid, and it could easily be sawn into sticks. It remains the only large-scale deposit of graphite ever found in this solid form. Chemistry was in its infancy and the substance was thought to be a form of lead.  Because the pencil core is still referred to as “lead”, or “a lead”, many people have the misconception that the graphite in the pencil is lead, and the black core of pencils is still referred to as lead, even though it never contained the element lead.

As graphite is soft, it requires some form of encasement. Graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability. England would enjoy a monopoly on the production of pencils until a method of reconstituting the graphite powder was found in 1662 in Italy. However, the distinctively square English pencils continued to be made with sticks cut from natural graphite into the 1860s. The town of Keswick, near the original findings of block graphite, still manufactures pencils, the factory also being the location of the Cumberland Pencil Museum. (source : Wikipedia)

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