Beginner’s Guide to a Successful Sketching: Understanding the Difference between Pencils

Published May 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

If you want to learn how to draw or sketch like a professional, you have to learn the basics of tracing, shading, smudging, hatching, toning, blending, accenting, and more. In most cases, an artist will use almost all of the different sketching styles, even he or she has one object as a model. These styles will use different pencils and sketching materials.


If you are starting to learn how to draw or sketch, you will need to understand the difference between pencils, as well as, learn about the best type of pencil for sketching a particular object.

Are pencils different from each other?

Pencils for sketching are different from pencils that are used by the grade-schoolers – that’s one thing. If you look deeper into the world of art, there are several different types of pencils for sketching or drawing; primarily, it can be a set of colored and non-colored pencils.

The non-colored pencils are differentiated according to their grade and the materials;

  • The different types of non-colored pencils according to the materials:

o    Graphite-based pencils – The most common material used to make a pencil. Firm graphite lead is often used for stippling (a technique used to make very small fine lines), very dark sketches, detailing, and other thick dark strokes. Graphite-based pencils can be in the form of:

  1. Graphite stick pencils
  2. Clutch or lead holder
  3. Wooden pencils
  4. Mechanical pencils

o    Charcoal pencils – A soft type of pencil that provides a richer and deeper color black. Charcoal pencils are ideal for quick sketches and impressionist drawings, where scumbling – a small and circular sketching technique – is often used.

  • The different types of non-colored pencils according to its grade

The graphite-based pencils are graded from 9B to 9H. B-grade pencils have more graphite in it, which makes these pencils bolder, darker, and slightly smudgy. The H-grade pencils, on the other hand, have more clay, which makes it lighter, finer, and less smudgy.

The charcoal-based pencils, on the other hand, are graded from HB to 6B, which gives you dark to deep black color. These types of pencils, as mentioned, are suitable for quick and larger sketches with broad strokes.

The graphite and charcoal-based pencils are the most common pencils you can find in the market today; again, do not get mixed up between the graphite and charcoal nor which grade of the pencil should you use.

The colored pencils for sketching

Another pencil for sketching and drawing are those with colors; this includes the regular classroom color pencils and watercolor pencils.

The smoothness and the clarity of the pigments on color pencils may differ from one brand to the other; so, when choosing a set of color pencil, you have to read reliable posts and reviews about the best color pencil this year. Also, there’s a watercolor pencil, which is designed to make an artist’s art life more convenient; all they need is to smudge water on the water pencil colored sketch.

Final thoughts

There are a lot of pencils designed for drawing or sketching that you can pick and choosing a set wouldn’t be that difficult; all you need is this post and other related posts from a reliable review site – like the Great on Draft Designs.

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