Best Art Drawings Pencil Sketch

February 20, 2019 1:08 am by theundertown
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Best Art Drawings Pencil Sketch

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Buy a set of 12 Lyra Rembrandt Art Design pencils for £10.77/$USD14.28

Once you use them and dive into pencil luxury, you might not be able to go back.

In the pencil world, Blackwing has an impressive pedigree. It developed something of a cult following before being discontinued in 1998. In 2010, Palomino bought the brand, and the result is more than worthy of the Blackwing name. There are three main pencil options to choose from: the Blackwing (similar to a 5B), Blackwing Pearl (4B) and Blackwing 602 (3B). The leads have wax added to them, making them super-smooth to use, and create velvety dark marks. We gave them five stars – you can read our Palomino Blackwing pencils review here. The price you see here is for a set of 12, which is not bad value at all for such good quality kit.

Buy a set of 12 Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils for £10.05/$USD18.93 

Jump straight to the section you want with these quick links:-The best mechanical pencils -The best pencils for drawing -The best pencils for colouring -The best watercolour pencils

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The Faber-Castell Grip 2011 mechanical pencil has won several design awards and its popularity is well deserved. Drawing with this wonderful mechanical pencil comes second nature thanks to a perfectly sized triangular barrel. The raised rubber dots allow for a firm and comfortable grip, ideal for precise drawings. This pencil comes in a range of different colours (as well as the blue shown above, there’s silver and black available), all with a handy extra-long twisting eraser and 0.7mm HB lead.

This set has so many tools that it fits the needs of a new student or an amatuer artist just as well. The nontoxic pencil set is also particularly great for kids. For a set that has everything you need to get started sketching and drawing, the Magicfly pencil set is a great option.

Best for Portraits: LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Drawing Pencils

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The Prismacolor Ebony Graphite pencil, which has a 2B grading, is a beautiful choice for rich, velvety lines. Easily blendable and soft, while they won’t create jet black lines—they get close for graphite. You’ll need to sharpen often due to their softness, and many swear by them for shading that is difficult to achieve without using charcoal.

Although this set does not include a carrying case or the variety of graphite pencils that some sets have, the price is a major factor in the product’s popularity.

The HB scale ranges from 9H, a hard pencil that leaves fine, light marks, to 9B, a soft pencil which a high ratio of graphite that leaves bold, dark marks. While every manufacturer gives each pencil a designation on the scale, it’s all relative within a given brand, so remember that a 6H pencil from one manufacturer might give a slightly different stroke than a 6H pencil from another.

Once you know what type of artwork you need the pencil for, you need to understand the different grades of graphite pencils. Even though we often refer to lead in pencils, there is actually no component of lead used in them. Whereas colored pencils are made with wax and pigment, graphite pencils are a mixture of graphite and clay. The combination of these two components allows for smooth strokes, but graphite pencils will give different lines depending on how much clay is present. Generally, the more clay in the pencil, the harder the pencil—and lighter the stroke—will be.

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Do you have the best pencils for your next project? Whether you’re a professional artist or you’re still learning how to draw, it’s important to have the right tools to hand for the type of work you’re doing.

Buy 15 Caran D’ache Graphic Line pencils (plus accessories) for £179.99/ $USD205.20

Once you understand the type of lines you can expect from your pencils, it’s easy to mix and match to put together a graphite pencil set that will cover your needs as an artist.

These water-soluble pencils are simply high quality. The company claims that they lead to “exact” results, which is crucial when you’re sketching a face.

Faber-Castell explains that this set of pencils is specifically made for artists and students. The pencils themselves are of the highest quality, made with graphite, clay, and lead that is always smooth. The SV bonding in the Faber-Castell sketch pencils help prevent breaking for a more reliable drawing experience and a more durable pencil. Customers who reviewed the pencil set praise the overall quality of the product.

Best for Sketching: Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencil Set

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For a much more reasonable price, this set of hexagonal design pencils from Lyra’s Rembrandt range is the ideal way to unleash your shading skills. The full Rembrandt Art Design set covers 17 grades from 9B to 6H, and this box features a good, representative sample, enabling you to really get creative with your shading. Each pencil is encased in pure cedar wood and packs an ultra-fine graphite lead that’s also suitable for more rigid technical drawing techniques.

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Prismacolor’s graphite drawing set is a good introductory kit when starting to sketch. It comes with seven graphite drawing pencils of different grades, as well as four woodless graphite pencils. These create beautiful, broad strokes when used on their side, and allow you to experiment with a variety of tools. As an added bonus, the pencil set includes water-soluble graphite pencils, which transform into a wash when brushed with water. All told, the drawing kit is a great way to start sketching seriously.

People love these pencils and it’s not hard to understand why: they are wonderfully consistent, which is great when you inevitably quickly run out of them and need another pack, and also refined. And the grade is printed on all three sides of the pencil (I’m looking at you, Derwent Graphic). 

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Faber-Castell is a German brand known for high-quality art supplies, and the Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch pencils are no exception. The brand makes sets with a variety of grades included or you can purchase single packs of pencils in each grade. Known for their consistency and durability, they sharpen easily and don’t often break. Plus, Faber-Castell’s handy tin makes the pencils highly portable. It’s no wonder they are an artist favorite, no matter the style or skill level.

Don’t be scared by the price. Caran D’ache is for serious sketchers looking to up their drawing game. As Switzerland’s only pencil maker, the brand has carried out exacting studies to get things just right, making them the favorite of many artists. This gift set will get you 15 graphic pencils, 3 water-soluble graphite pencils, plus accessories. Some say they are the best drawing pencils on the market, and that once you try them, you’ll never go back.

These CarbOthello pastel pencils offer the level of quality we expect from STABILO. The 24-pencil set includes a decent spectrum of colours, and the pencils sharpen very well. The pencils’ dry stroke is perfect for blending, but the fun really starts when you begin adding water – you can create some particularly interesting results by working in wet areas with dry pencils. This is a great mid-level set of pencils, but might be a bit advanced for beginners. Read our full CarbOthello pastel pencils review.

This pencil set can also be purchased as a set of four, 12, or 24 pencils. The harder pencils features a 2.2mm core, while the softer black graphites have 3.5mm cores for larger lines — also good for shading. These versatile pencils are made with the durable construction of other drawing pencils, including strong cores. To get shading with the Derwent Graphite Drawing Pencils, simply pick the number and type of pencils you want.

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Best Budget: Royal & Langnickel RAT-200 Essentials Sketching Pencil Set

Pencils for drawingThe best pencils for drawing and sketching03. Palomino Blackwing pencils

And while we’ve gone over how to select the best colored pencils, there are a whole other set of considerations when thinking about the right graphite pencil to add to your collection. In fact, you’ll probably—like most artists—wind up using several different pencils depending on the effect you’re looking for.

For a good value, you can’t beat Lyra Art Design Pencils. The graphite is rigid enough that it works for technical drawing, and with 17 different grades available, there’s no shortage of shading you can accomplish. One reviewer writes, “The finest pencils for drawing. High-quality graphite that is smooth and easy to blend. A wide variety of hardness for all your artwork needs.”

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When you’re sketching a realistic portrait of a client’s face or an experimental drawing of a loved one, you’ll want durable and pointed pencils. LYRA’s drawing pencils come in a variety of hardnesses (6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H) and feature a high breaking strength.

If you’re looking for pencils you can use for writing as well as sketching, try this mechanical pencil set from MozArt. The set includes for different size pencils (0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 millimeters), plus extra erasers and lead.

Available in different sets filled with a wide variety of grades, both beginners and professionals swear by Derwent. You can select between soft, medium, and hard sets depending on your subject matter and people note that the pencils are easy to sharpen to a point, as well as a flat shape. This allows for detailed work, as well as shading. And the hexagonal shape makes them easy to grip.

This beautiful Rotring Rapid Pro metal drafting pencil is truly one of the best pencils for pros. It features a hexagonal body and a circular cross-hatch metal grip, as well as a full metal body designed to balance the weight. The cushion point mechanism allows the sliding sleeve to give slightly under pressure, reducing the risk of lead breakage while writing. The pencil also includes a clip and eraser under the cap. It’s a fantastic mechanical pencil for designing layouts and typography.

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In the United States, we commonly think of the number 2 pencil, which is standard for schools and test taking. The American number scale for pencils ranges 1 to 4 (including 2.5), but the rest of the world uses a different grading scale. Most manufacturers use the HB scale, where “H” stands for hardness and “B” for blackness. A standard number 2 pencil corresponds to HB on this scale.

Watercolour pencilsThe best watercolour pencils11. Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolour pencils

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Colouring pencilsThe best pencils for colouring08. Derwent Procolour pencils

The pencils are ready to use right when you receive them and all you need to do is click the button on the top of the pencil to dispense lead for your sketches, writing, or other needs. A textured grip at the bottom of each pencil creates an ergonomic design and prevents slipping while you use them. Reviewers say this set is well made and, despite being made from plastic, appear really expensive.

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Albrecht Dürer pencils are made using high-quality materials

  • 03 of 07 Best Mechanical: MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set Buy on Amazon If you’re looking for pencils you can use for writing as well as sketching, try this mechanical pencil set from MozArt. The set includes for different size pencils (0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 millimeters), plus extra erasers and lead. The pencils are ready to use right when you receive them and all you need to do is click the button on the top of the pencil to dispense lead for your sketches, writing, or other needs. A textured grip at the bottom of each pencil creates an ergonomic design and prevents slipping while you use them. Reviewers say this set is well made and, despite being made from plastic, appear really expensive.
  • 02 of 07 Best Budget: Royal & Langnickel RAT-200 Essentials Sketching Pencil Set Buy on Amazon This 21-piece set delivers a variety of drawing pencils and supplies at a very low price. Perfect for kids, beginners, and most importantly, art students who are budget conscious, Royal & Langnickel’s set features eight high quality graphite pencil types: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, and 6B. This affordable set also includes three charcoal pencils of varying hardness, a 100% graphite pencil, three charcoal sticks, and three sketching sticks. You can easily create a complex shaded drawing by mixing charcoal and graphite with pencils and sticks. The set also includes an eraser, a kneadable eraser, and a sharpener. Although this set does not include a carrying case or the variety of graphite pencils that some sets have, the price is a major factor in the product’s popularity.
  • 06 of 07 Best for Beginners and Kids: Magicfly 41-Piece Sketching Pencils Set Buy on Amazon While any set of drawing pencils can be used by beginners, the best ones include all the tools you need to make a great pencil sketch. Magicfly offers a 41-piece set that has a little bit of everything, but at a good quality and reasonable price, to get any beginner ready to draw. The set includes 12 graphite pencils of varying hardness (8B,6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, 2H, 3H, 4H, and 5H) as well as three charcoal pencils, three charcoal sticks, a soft woodless drawing pencil, multiple graphite drawing sticks, and four pastel graphite pencils. Magicfly’s drawing pencils also come with sharpeners, erasers, extenders, pencil knives and other accessories including a sketch pad. This set has so many tools that it fits the needs of a new student or an amatuer artist just as well. The nontoxic pencil set is also particularly great for kids. For a set that has everything you need to get started sketching and drawing, the Magicfly pencil set is a great option.
  • 04 of 07 Best for Sketching: Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencil Set Buy on Amazon If you love to sketch, it’s important to have the best pencils on hand for the best results. Try the Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch design set. This reliable and venerable set of pencils features 12 German-made graphite drawing pencils ranging in hardness from 8B to 2H. Faber-Castell explains that this set of pencils is specifically made for artists and students. The pencils themselves are of the highest quality, made with graphite, clay, and lead that is always smooth. The SV bonding in the Faber-Castell sketch pencils help prevent breaking for a more reliable drawing experience and a more durable pencil. Customers who reviewed the pencil set praise the overall quality of the product.
  • 07 of 07 Best for Portraits: LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Drawing Pencils Buy on Amazon When you’re sketching a realistic portrait of a client’s face or an experimental drawing of a loved one, you’ll want durable and pointed pencils. LYRA’s drawing pencils come in a variety of hardnesses (6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H) and feature a high breaking strength. These water-soluble pencils are simply high quality. The company claims that they lead to “exact” results, which is crucial when you’re sketching a face.
  • 01 of 07 Best Overall: Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencil Set Buy on Amazon From one of the top names in pencils, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencil set is a high quality option for anyone who draws in pencil for work or for fun. This 12-piece pencil set comes in a metal container to store your drawing implements and includes 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H pencils. The Mars Lumograph pencils are designed to wear evenly for optimal sketching and will avoid bending or breaking. With a sharp point, the break-resistant lead of these pencils is also super-bonded for maximum durability. The pencil itself is 12 millimeters in diameter has a smooth, comfortable grip. These pencils do not feature erasers, but do erase cleanly with a separate eraser.
  • 05 of 07 Best for Shading: Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils Buy on Amazon Available in hard, medium, soft or full range varieties, the Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils set will give you all of the pencil types you need for success. This popular and high-quality pencil set allows you to get the depth of darkness and hue you need to properly shade any sketch or drawing you may be making. This pencil set can also be purchased as a set of four, 12, or 24 pencils. The harder pencils features a 2.2mm core, while the softer black graphites have 3.5mm cores for larger lines — also good for shading. These versatile pencils are made with the durable construction of other drawing pencils, including strong cores. To get shading with the Derwent Graphite Drawing Pencils, simply pick the number and type of pencils you want.

Already have a great pencil? Read our features on the best pens, smart pens and styluses (for Android or iPad) 

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Woodless pencils may cost a bit more, but they generally last longer than the typical wood-encased pencils. Cretacolor woodless pencils are perfect for shading and the graphite in them is water-soluble, allowing you to create soft washes over the page. Creatacolor’s kit also comes with a kneaded eraser and sharpener, giving you all the tools you need in one box.

If colour is your thing, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful set of colouring pencils from BIC Conté. These high-quality coloured pencils are made of synthetic resin rather than wood, which makes them completely splinter-free should they break. But this is definitely not a case of style over substance, as these pencils also boast a 3.2mm pigment-based lead, providing smooth, even and consistent coverage for artists of all types.

This 21-piece set delivers a variety of drawing pencils and supplies at a very low price. Perfect for kids, beginners, and most importantly, art students who are budget conscious, Royal & Langnickel’s set features eight high quality graphite pencil types: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, and 6B. This affordable set also includes three charcoal pencils of varying hardness, a 100% graphite pencil, three charcoal sticks, and three sketching sticks. You can easily create a complex shaded drawing by mixing charcoal and graphite with pencils and sticks. The set also includes an eraser, a kneadable eraser, and a sharpener.

From one of the top names in pencils, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencil set is a high quality option for anyone who draws in pencil for work or for fun. This 12-piece pencil set comes in a metal container to store your drawing implements and includes 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H pencils.

Many artists swear by Staedtler’s range of drawing pencils. Their Mars Lumograph is known for its consistency and lack of breakage, making them great for detailed work. They also erase cleanly, meaning you won’t be left with stray smudges on the paper. Staedtler’s standard set provides 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, 4H drawing pencils, making it extremely versatile. “I’ve been using Staedtler Lumograph professionally for over 30 years and in that time I’ve found no better,” says artist and art educator Mike Sibley. “I even give them away at my workshops.”

As an alternative to using a pencil for sketching and illustration, have you considered experimenting with graphite powder? Cretacolor’s powder is made using a special deep-firing method to produce a dense, rich charcoal. The graphite powder produces luminous light and dark shades of grey, it slides easily, smudges, blends, and rubs off like chalk. Fixative must be used on the final artwork and is suitable for wet or dry techniques on paper or canvas. For some inspiration on how to use this medium, take a look at artist Kelvin Okafor’s spectacular portfolio of drawings.

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This set of watercolour pencils is named after the famous German artist Albrecht Dürer. These are very carefully made using only the highest quality materials, including vibrant pigments and a unique binder medium, and boldly claim to offer over 100 years of fade resistance. These pencils are perfect for both drawing and painting techniques. They come in tins of 12, 24, 60, and a full range of 120 watercolour pencils, and are a solid choice for any artist.

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Staedtler claims to have invented the colouring pencil, so it should know a thing or two. These watercolour pencils come in sets of 12, 24, 36 and 48 (the price here is for the 24 tin), they have high-pigment, break-resistant leads and a good quality wooden shaft that sharpens well. Of course you can use them dry, or add water for extra fun. Staedtler is reliable brand and this is a great option for beginners or more advanced artists. We gave these five stars in our Staedtler watercolour pencil review.

Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencil Art Set (set of 12)

Best for Beginners and Kids: Magicfly 41-Piece Sketching Pencils Set

Best Mechanical: MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set

Buy a set of 24 Derwent Graphic Graphite Pencils for £16.50/$USD18.14       

Proving once again that artists do not have time to waste, one of the most common reasons to praise Staedtler’s Lumograph is that it has the grade on all sides. On top of that, the lead is soft, sturdy (not many frustrating breakages here) and consistent. 

Mechanical pencilsThe best mechanical pencils for drawing01. Rotring Rapid Pro

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Smooth, easy to use and soft, graphic pencils are a Derwent staple. They are ideal for crisp, detailed work with an easy-to-hold hexagonal barrel – though the grade is only printed on one side, which can get annoying – and beautifully a dark line. Plus, they blend wonderfully.

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Palmonio’s range more than lives up to the Blackwing brand name

Keep in mind that most artists use more than one type of pencil. In fact, many manufacturers sell drawing pencil sets that come with a selection of graphite pencils in different grades. This will allow you to switch between tools depending on the requirements of a particular image.

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Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Some think so. For that price, you’ve got to love these pencils and lots do. Caran d’Ache is Switzerland is the country’s only pencil manufacturer and has the exclusivity and craftsmanship to match. Each shade and grade is carefully developed and truly beautiful. Of course, they have a gorgeous finish and are made of high quality wood.

Figuring out the best pencils to bring your sketches and designs to life can appear challenging, but much of it comes down to personal preference. Once you get the hang of which brand you prefer, you can mix and match different pencil grades in order to expand your sketching capabilities. You’ll see that much of what we suggest are pencil sets, which allows you to experiment with a wide variety of lines and shading, but each brand will also sell their pencils individually once you need to restock.

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Japanese manufacturer Tombow is known for their high-density pencils, meaning they sharpen easily and the point stays longer. The Mono pencil is known to run a bit dark and is virtually smudge-proof. The dark lines of the Tombow Mono can almost mimic inks, making it a favorite of artists who focus on linework and tracing.

If you love to sketch, it’s important to have the best pencils on hand for the best results. Try the Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch design set. This reliable and venerable set of pencils features 12 German-made graphite drawing pencils ranging in hardness from 8B to 2H.

Best Drawing Pencils for Professionals and Beginners Who Love to Sketch

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Best Graphite Drawing PencilsDerwent Medium Graphic Drawing Pencils (set of 12)

The set includes 12 graphite pencils of varying hardness (8B,6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, 2H, 3H, 4H, and 5H) as well as three charcoal pencils, three charcoal sticks, a soft woodless drawing pencil, multiple graphite drawing sticks, and four pastel graphite pencils. Magicfly’s drawing pencils also come with sharpeners, erasers, extenders, pencil knives and other accessories including a sketch pad.

The Mars Lumograph pencils are designed to wear evenly for optimal sketching and will avoid bending or breaking. With a sharp point, the break-resistant lead of these pencils is also super-bonded for maximum durability. The pencil itself is 12 millimeters in diameter has a smooth, comfortable grip. These pencils do not feature erasers, but do erase cleanly with a separate eraser.

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Being woodless, these Cretacolor offer a pretty unique experience. Not just in their look: they erase more easily than a wood pencil, have a satisfying weight in your hand and are great at shading, though less effective if you want a simple, crisp line. 

These are the best coloured pencils for students and entry-level artists. Soft, thick cores create a smooth colour laydown for superior blending and shading. The Sanford Prismacolor Premier pencils are a true art medium with thick, soft leads containing brilliant permanent pigments that are smooth, water-resistant and lightfast. Colours are easily blended on all art surfaces to form an infinite variety of hues and shades. Their thick leads resist breakage so you can be as dramatic as you dare.

Derwent is well known for making good quality, reliable pencils. Procolour is its latest range of colouring pencils, released in 2017. The pencils themselves feel substantial, with a sturdy circular shaft. The leads aren’t too waxy or too brittle and have a high pigment level for wonderful gradation of colour, even with a light touch. We gave them four and a half stars in our Derwent Procolour review.

Available in hard, medium, soft or full range varieties, the Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils set will give you all of the pencil types you need for success. This popular and high-quality pencil set allows you to get the depth of darkness and hue you need to properly shade any sketch or drawing you may be making.

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No, you haven’t misread that price. And yes, that’s the correct picture. The Caran D’ache Graphite Line gift box really does come with fewer than 20 pencils, plus graphite sticks and accessories, at a price that would make even Jeff Bezos blink, but what you’re paying for here is top-quality graphite. The Graphite Line range has been carefully developed and perfected in the Geneva workshops of Caran d’Ache to explore all the different shades of black and deliver thick and thin lines, gradation, flat-wash, blurring and watercolour effects. It’s an insanely expensive set of pencils, but we suspect that once you’ve tried it, you won’t want to use anything else.

These beautiful pencils are brilliant for shading, as well as more rigid drawing, both of which they perform with enchanting smoothness. Responsive and with a wide versatility between each grade, you can’t go wrong with a Rembrandt pencil. And, with its break-resistant lead, it won’t go wrong either. 

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Scroll down to see our pick of the very best pencils for artists and designers. These are the tools you need to create the best pencil drawings (and once you’ve picked your pencil, why not pair it with a designer notebook?).

In most creative fields, it’s impossible to get away from one important tool—the pencil. It doesn’t matter if you’re an architect, a professional fine artist, or you’re just learning to draw; a good graphite pencil is an essential part of any artist’s supplies.

While any set of drawing pencils can be used by beginners, the best ones include all the tools you need to make a great pencil sketch. Magicfly offers a 41-piece set that has a little bit of everything, but at a good quality and reasonable price, to get any beginner ready to draw.

If colour is your thing, you can’t go wrong with this budget set

We’ve rounded up our favourite of the many – way, way too many – pencils available. Whether you want a great shading tool or a technical line-maker, we’ll put the ideal pen at your fingertips. So, pencil in some pencil shopping, why don’t you?

And that’s where we can help. In this guide, you’ll find the best mechanical pencils, drawing pencils, colouring pencils and watercolour pencils for all budgets. 

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The Cumberland Pencil Company has been making some of the best pencils around since 1832, and it shows in the quality of its Derwent brand. These pencils, which are sold individually and in sets, make smooth, easy lines on the paper. They’re ideal for bold line drawings as well as freestyle sketches, and you can select the set that suits your artistic style.

A go-to tool for any artist, designer or doodler, owning one – or two, three, four or more – great pencil is crucial. It is the very first stage in the creation of any great work: the pen may be mighty but the pencil your trustworthy friend that erases any mistakes from memory. Phew. 

When selecting the perfect graphite pencil, the first thing to take into consideration is your drawing style. Technical drawing and detailed artwork with fine lines will require different pencils than those used for shading and sketching figures. Do you use dark, thick lines in your sketches or prefer lighter, thinner strokes? Understanding your personal artistic style and needs will help you narrow down the selection when searching for a good drawing pencil.

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To do it place a piece of transparent paper such as tracing paper or waxed paper over your drawing paper use a ballpoint pen or a 2h graphite pencil to
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Pencil Sketches Lord Krishna
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