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Graphite Pencil

Graphite is a classic medium that's been used for thousands of years. It's the go-to medium for a student who has the goal of learning to draw without distracting themselves from color or hiding their skill behind mediums like charcoal or pastel.

Graphite pencils come in different grades - from 6H all the way to 12B. The letter grades refer to how hard (H refers to the "hardness" of the lead) or soft the lead is (B refers to the "blackness" of the lead). The higher the number on the H scale, the harder the pencil, meaning it won't get very dark. The higher the number on the B scale, the softer the lead and the darker it can be become.

Our favorite pencil is 4B for its versatility. With 4B, you can produce a large range of tonal values, which means you can make light grey all the way to black with it, you can blend it, erase it with ease, and not need to spray your drawing after it's done. Pencils harder than 4B also don't require spraying but won't have as large of a tonal range, while pencils above 4B will have a larger tonal range but will need to sprayed with a workable fixative spray so it doesn't smudge when you close your drawing pad.

Click the links below to have the items shipped directly to your door or print this page and bring it to your local art store.

You can use the supplies you already own. Please reach out if you have any questions.


Warm-up exercise:

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Prima Materia Art Institute