The Best Pencil Is The One In Your Hand

A couple days ago someone on Facebook asked what the best pencil was.  I responded by saying that the best pencil was “the one in your hand” and then went on to talk about the various brands I’d tried.  I don’t know much about pencils so my advise was limited.

I was reminded of this advise when I went to the museum on Sunday.  I’d set up my stool, and realized that I’d forgotten my pencil case.  I grumbled a bit and dug through my bag. I had my Pentel Kerry (.5mm HB) and Pentel 207 (.7mm 2H) pencils and the stub of a Blackwing 602 wooden pencil (a bit softer than HB). Those were the pencils I had in my hand. Great tools for light layout lines for ink drawings but…well, that’s what I had and I wanted to draw a Greek plaster mask that dated from 200AD. So I started to draw.

What drew me to the subject was that it had a chip out of the nose and several from the chin area.  I’m trying to learn to capture these features and I’m very clumsy with a pencil, but I hope that this sort of drawing will help me improve.  Besides, it’s fun to draw in the museum. At one point there were half a dozen people standing behind me, watching me draw. I tried to chat with them, in both my bad French and passable English, but I really have a hard time drawing and talking at the same time. Anyways, this is what I ended up with, using the “one in my hand.”

Greek plaster mask (200AD)

Greek plaster mask (200AD) – Strathmore 300-series Bristol (8.5×11), mechanical pencils

5 thoughts on “The Best Pencil Is The One In Your Hand

  1. Hi Larry, I think your drawing is really improving with all the practice you’re getting and I loved your post yesterday too about the scraps of paper when you thought you didn’t have time to draw. You always start my day with a smile!

  2. Sage advice Larry 😉

    I have promised myself a Christmas present of a tiny sketchbook and a pen/pencil.
    That way I will always have a pencil in hand.
    My friend Patrick carries one all the time and I feel like I am missing something LOL

    Continuing to enjoy your ‘travels’


    • I suppose it depends upon your goals but my ‘tiny sketchbook’ is $2 blank books I get from the dollar store. I’ve filled a piled of them and the fact that they’re cheap serves the purpose rather than hinders it as it causes me to scribble any old thing in them to capture whatever I’m looking at. As for carry pens, some real great ones are dirt cheap. I often carry a Pilot Petit-1 that costs about $4 but recently I’ve started carrying a Zebra 301 ballpoint and I bought a couple of those in a pack at the dollar store for $2.50 🙂
      That said, I also carry my small sling bag with me everywhere and in that I have all my ‘normal’ sketching pens and sketchbooks.

      Cheers — Larry

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