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J-Scott-Campbell's avatar


I draw in pencil using a 'Lead Holder', used primarily by professionals in the drafting and architectural fields, I believe. I've been using "Sanford TURQUOISE" brand "H" lead now for many years. (I avoid using it's closest competitor because I find their product to be too "waxy.") Sanford's Turquoise "H" lead is soft enough and dark enough to give me that sort of sketching feel, while remaining clean with a minimal amount of powdery lead smearing. And when your printing from pencils, the two most important things are to have reasonably dark, pristine pencil lines and a very clean white page. In the past I've also used the softer "F" leads (Jim Lee's brand of choice, at least, when I was there.) and "HB". These both also work for that slightly more sketchy feel, although these days I'm usually too lazy to switch. I suppose that I find that my choice of "H' seems too straddle that very delicate line of being "HARD", without being diamond hard and therefore not dark enough on the page, and "SOFT" without being too soft and smeary and crubley. I do just about everything everything with my "H" lead now, including random sketching.

And I seem to prefer the 'Berol Turquoise' brand sharpener. I usually change these out about every 4 to 6 months when they usually stop grinding the pencil very good. And Don't foret to dump these out regularly!
Image details
Image size
357x728px 101.29 KB
Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
50 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Mar 10, 2005, 3:03:30 PM
© 2008 - 2021 J-Scott-Campbell
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Camelot-Angel's avatar
I really appreciate this. :-)
80C's avatar

just out of curiosity, what tools do you use to ink your artwork.

tattooeasy's avatar
I am in agreement with you... sometimes I use a .9 mechanical also...but more for times i am doing lettering... but when you are sketching with a light hand its nice to have a consistent "lead" that can be versatile when intended... and that with the turn of a wrist adjusts...  what weight paper do you prefer to sketch on?? and do you prefer smooth or rougher paper?? 
return-hangar's avatar
thank you so much for this indepth info of preference, :D
TheWiseWeirdProphet's avatar
you see, more artists should do this, post what they use whether it be with pictures or just naming the product... the description as to why you use this was informative (as people can think to themselves whether this is their cup of tea).

I'm going to fav this, because I truly support the sharing of ones tools , Thank you :)
mudbogz's avatar
I've used a Kooh-I-Noor lead holder since drafting class in high school... 32 years... and I still have that lead holder!
Ceridwynne's avatar
Ahh I've tried those pencils and I don't get it. I'm so used to the preciseness of mechanical pencils, it's hard to let go and use the 2mm leads. I know some artists hate mechanical pencils and say they're very amateur. Do you ever use them even for just the preliminary shapes?
return-hangar's avatar
hey dude i know its not the same but i messaged marvels ryan stegman he said he works in basic HB wood pencils, And switches to HB mechanical pencils to tighten up the detail
SilverShadowling's avatar
what kinds of ink do you use?
Danny-phantom-fan-1's avatar
Where do you get them?
noodlesncrabman's avatar
i managed to get a really good deal on these 5 packs for 6 pounds used a bit but i spent 4 weeks look for the lead holder no hope but buying a bulk loads costing over a 100 pounds any help would be great im a student and i have a gift shop pencil for my art supplies :P
MagicFantasyAlters's avatar
Dick Blick is where I bought them
Congratulations!I like it so mutch!Thankyou!
Congratulations!I like it so mutch!Thankyou!
Squee86's avatar
i need those sharpeners i have pencils i wasn't able to use because the lead went dull so i couldn't get finer lines
GarroteFrancell's avatar
wow! thanx for it! this would really help... :D
CoffeeStainedStudio's avatar
Whatever you do, don't use their non-photo blue lead, soooo waxy, repels ink.
dowdakin2000's avatar
yup for architecture, those are what my father uses, never thought to use for drawing.
ARTBLiNKY's avatar
send me your pen when you get a new one lol.. i would die for it xD
futuremanx's avatar
I agree with you! I use Staedtler hb pencils myself. Then ink by hand using micron or sharpie ultra fine point pens or markers. [link]
Peat11717's avatar
i use those sometimes...
ThatGracefullEdge's avatar
I asked on what type that is a couple it's a
Alvin Pro-Matic they are really cheap on Amazon just picked up 4 of them for 20.00 they are made of solid metal

The Stadtler technico is also good guys liek David Finch use it and Terry Dodson uses one.

Joe Mad uses a Koh-i-noor red for his stuff.

IT's only as good as your rough sketches though =)
AngeliasDad's avatar
Went back to my cluch pencil after reading this ....... feels better in my hand , and found a Staedtler lead pointer ( never new they made such a thing ) , lovin it . Gets that tip nice and sharp . Now if I only had your talent running through my pencil ........... back to the practice board ....... Thanks for the tips ...
Justyn-Dietrich's avatar
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