Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Pencils by J-Scott-Campbell Pencils by J-Scott-Campbell
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!
Add a Comment:
Camelot-Angel Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I really appreciate this. :-)
80C Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013

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

tattooeasy Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Professional
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 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013   General Artist
thank you so much for this indepth info of preference, :D
TheWiseWeirdProphet Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
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 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011
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 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013   General Artist
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 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Student General Artist
what kinds of ink do you use?
Danny-phantom-fan-1 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Where do you get them?
noodlesncrabman Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Student Filmographer
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 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
Dick Blick is where I bought them
mumamo Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
Congratulations!I like it so mutch!Thankyou!
mumamo Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
Congratulations!I like it so mutch!Thankyou!
Squee86 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010
wow! thanx for it! this would really help... :D
CoffeeStainedStudio Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Whatever you do, don't use their non-photo blue lead, soooo waxy, repels ink.
dowdakin2000 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010
yup for architecture, those are what my father uses, never thought to use for drawing.
ARTBLiNKY Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010
send me your pen when you get a new one lol.. i would die for it xD
futuremanx Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
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]
Peat45 Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
i use those sometimes...
ThatGracefullEdge Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2009  Student General Artist
Epic-Tragedy267 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2009
HaHa! I just got one of these! talk about weird. :D
EmotasticalSasuke Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2009
So what kind of leadholder is he using? He told us what kind of lead, but the holder's rather important, noes???
NoireAnge Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
The holder isn't quite important
I've had multiple holders and most of them feel thesame. Just make sure you have one with a metal grip, because those with a plastic grip kind of suck..
EmotasticalSasuke Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
mkay, thanks for the advice. I'm still deciding whether to buy one or not.
NoireAnge Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
It's really usefull.
Everywhere I go, I've got my sketchbook and one of those with me.
(And ofcourse multiple other stuff)
I follow artschool and even there they say that it's one of the most usefull pencils around.
And it's the filling that counts, not the holder
But I would recomend a Mars Technico from Staedtler with Mars Carbon Fillings (Also Staedtler). I have that one in my hand while sketching as we speak.
And it isn't expensive at all. I bought the holder WITH 3 boxes of filling for 'bout 5euro. And I've been doing about half a year with those 3 boxes now, and they're still not near empty.
tylerdeidara Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009
This is very helpful! I know you may have gotten this question before what what/how do you linart your works?
JLCook Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
To the person asking how Mr. Campbell works; here's a great article about his methodology.


Good stuff J!
MasterFu Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2009
thanks for that link. I hadn't seen that before.
Implicit-Bookcarrier Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist

..I LOVE stuff like that..

thank you very much for posting the link :)
dullpanic Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You reminded me that I need to get a lead sharpener.
joshuaotero Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I know what you mean by certain waxy pencils
but I dunno If a Faber-Castell works similar to the
sanford turquoise. It gives an okay lineart but it still seems a bit light. (I'm in art school and the teachers love dark work, heh.) Is there a particular lead type that would be great for that?
taasia Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008
This is nice information. Thanks for sharing.
Brenntherzleidzeit Featured By Owner May 1, 2008
Thanks for sharing. I also would love it if you could tell us the brand of india ink that you use and the kinds of dip pens brushes and microns or any other supplies that you use for your inking...
what- Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008  Professional Artist
Prrrrrroduct Placement! <3

You know these things are gonna sell completely off the shelves now right?


Advertising is Cool. <33
Go-Dark Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thanx, man !
bam217 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing. I'm interested in doing comics for a living so it's nice to know what other artist recommend.
redi-prio Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
Hi, Scott.
First of all, your arts are inspiring.
Then, did you ink them by yourself (judging by the unique style)?
What kind of inking tools do you use?

redi-prio Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
Hi, Scott.
First of all, your arts are inspiring.
Then, did you ink them by yourself (judging by the unique style)?
What kind of inking tools do you use?

beaux-artworx Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008  Professional General Artist
i used to use lead holders too, but since few years now i switched back to my mech. pencil.
i hate sharpening..and it dulls easily.

but its just great knowing what tools the "masters" use to draw...
because seriously, most of us amateurs (though most might not admit) think that you have magic pencils & erasers that feeds from your greatness and talent so you are able to make spectacular artworks..!! Atleast it is how i believe it, or am i just that naive??? :D
ArtisticSchmidt Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008  Professional General Artist
I use lead holders also. Great sharp pencils! Thanks for sharing.
mattwileyart Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008  Professional General Artist
Hooray for SANFORD!
mackrafty Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
Great to see what the professionals use! Thanks for sharing.
Puku Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
while watching you draw, i also noticed you have a very interesting technique to holding your pencil and then in your attack to the paper. Maybe one day you wouldn't mind posting a demo on how to draw a good portrait sketch.

Do you find sketching from other artists works to be helpful ((I.E. drawing//art studies))? OR has drawing from photo reference proved to teach you more? I'm curious because like many, i'm striving to improve my skills in the most efficient and successful way possible ^_^

thank you for joining DA too :D
Krevlorne Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2008
If I use these, will ...I... be able to draw like you? ;) Good info though thanks!
michaelstewart Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2008  Professional General Artist
funny thing , I use the exact same stuff as you do, and so does David Finch, except me and Dave use 2h leads cause it stays sharp longer.
linkcainson Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2008
Arrgh those work great but i always loose my pencils and those cost 9.98 where i t mine.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
March 4, 2008
Image Size
101 KB


79,189 (1 today)
288 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
50 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Mar 10, 2005, 3:03:30 PM