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November 26, 2012
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Wooden pencils vs. drawing pens vs. ballpoint pens vs. mechanical pencils. Read Description.

:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wooden pencils vs. drawing pens vs. ballpoint pens vs. mechanical pencils, Which do you use for your initial sketches? A question for you all, artists. For all these times of becoming as a developing artist I have seen people using these for sketching. I'd personally prefer a mechanical pencil though, It will never get blunt and it has many variety of thickness. Also, non-photo leads in a 0.7 pilot pencil never disappoints me. Although this pencil will not blunt, stupidity ensues when the last of my lead get used up and I have don't a spare to keep up for my drawing. Cheap leads don't work for me either, I only draw with zebra, uni, and pilot leads. And the lead markings(drawings) shine when the light's in the wrong position. It annoyed me but it does its job well as a pencil! Then the drawing pens. Drawing pens are great, they the roughness of the pencil and the darkness of the ink. It sucks when you press in an area too long, it will leak. Ballpoint pens, I'd say they are only good for writing. Wooden pencils, this one is also a tough contender with the mechanical pencil. Wooden pencils are great, they are light, cheap, produces very strong lines, and has a wide variety of lead boldness. Which is the other way around when you talk about the mechanical pencil. The mechanical has very small selection of lead boldness, quite expensive and heavy. But the wooden pencil blunts. And I hate that. I really don't want to waste my time going to the trashcan and sharpen my pencil back again (I like my pencil sharp because I draw linearts, not initial sketches like painters do before they work on a piece). So then it concludes my opinions about each of these instruments for your sketching. If you have any questions about my opinion, just ask away.

I'd really like to hear each of your opinions are, and please tell the reason why!
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Devious Comments

:iconinrydanmaku:
InryDanmaku Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
Not that I'm implying that a mechanical pencil is for non professionals, but almoast every professional I see uses a normal pencil. I actually never use a mechenical pencil but I'll try it out these days cause I can really see the pro's.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Most mangakas I've seen sketch with mechanical pencils.
Try drafting mechanical pencil for sketching. The 4mm
lead sleeve is perfect for ruling out lines etc. Pilot
H-325 is a good choice, but its quite weighty for some.
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:iconpauscorpi:
pauscorpi Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I really use anything depending on my mood - sometimes I want the beautiful variety of wooden pencils in the entire range from harsh to soft leads. Others, I want to be very focused and astart off right with pens. However, unless I sepcifically want to practice with a certain pen/pencil to get used to it better, I sketch with anything that is around.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I really think you should be more focused on improving your work rather than worrying about trivial details like what kind of pencil you use. the pencil is not the bottleneck for you right now.

also, write in paragraphs next time :meow:
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'm not a native speaker to english, so forgive me :icontearplz:
I'm not worrying about what kinds of tools you use, I just wanted to hear what are your opinions about your preference.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
you don't need to be a native speaker to use paragraphs. I learned how to do paragraphs when I was six - I'm sure you can figure it out :p
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Wooden pencils vs. drawing pens vs. ballpoint pens vs. mechanical pencils

Ok break down what I believe and what I use. I do use all of the above.

Wooden pencils can be used because they are good for every line weight possible then the mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils you probably have to feather your lines to get thicker ones or as in layer on top of your previous line. But Mechanical pencils are also very thin lines, and so thats a nice feature, and its also doesn't have to be sharpened. Certain people like a messy board with pencil shaving all over. Although if you like nice thin lines with a thickness to it, you can sharpen your mechanical pencil even finer (like rubbing it on the side) and then using that really tiny point to get it sharp.

Although for some sketching its ok, but both pencils are just about the same idea as if you want to draw with a pencil. Both will smear if they are not sprayed. So ideally if you were to use pencils that have graphite in them, I wouldn't recommend those in sketchbooks. They smear like crazy, and its also that you can't draw on the other side of the page.

If you want good pencils, it would be probably better to use blue or black pencil, or spray fix you sketchbook. Which at this point, spraying your sketch book sounds a bit silly for a rough drawing.

But for like drawing, sure. It all really depends which medium your using afterwards. If its just pencil, then there isn't any worry. If its charcoal, that isn't a good idea. If its paint, at first it might show through and smear a bit, but then eventiually it won't show as much. If its like gouche, pen and other mediums are better.

Well pen, I love ball point pen, since it can be feathered and stuff. Pens just help you bring up confidence a bit more, because when you make a mistake you will know it. I just feel ball points act like pencils. The slight disadvantage though, is that its just feathering, which you can't get a darkness like out of the pen does. Sometimes it cloggs and smears on the other page but not as bad as a pencil. They also tend to fade alot more. I tend to use these for sketches instead of pencil. It even goes well with gouche and some ink drawings.

For the mistake and you know it pen, its ink pens. They build up confidence and really shows that you have to know mistakes anyway to get through. Cons, none that I can think of, only if you buy a pen that bleeds like crazy,doesn't dry as well, that fades over time, or also doesn't suit water mediums well.

Mostly its just preference, and depends on what medium your using, paper, etc.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
FYI, about the sharpening the mechanical pencil by rubbing it by
the side, a 0.3 pencil can easily produce thin lines consistently,
unfortunately it has a tendency to break when applied too much stress.

A 0.5 Uni-Ball Kuru toga is perfect for this job.
This pencil rotates its lead as you write,
so you get consistent, thin line as a result.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student General Artist
Yes though, that doesn't mean you can't sharpen it still. There are thin and thick leds and I knew about that. Maybe i wasn't clear on that. And also when you draw, your not suppose to apply too much stress anyway. If you want a dark line, go a darker value, or layer it.

I never knew these existed. Though from experience of buying mechanicals pencils at a store, they are more expensive to buy. There is a store in japan town in my area, that sells alot of stationary supplies, and one is mechanical pencils. All kinds, that can cost upto $15 or $20.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
that's kinda expensive for a pencil. The most expensive that I can find here is just $7.
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:iconkizziesama:
Kizziesama Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
I use three types of mechanical pencils for drawing: .5 lead for basic drawing, .7 sometimes for shading large masses, and .3 for finer details (mostly hairs and small background elements). I think all of them are HB lead. :shrug: I use them because it's what I'm used to.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Hooray for mechanical pencils!
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:iconnelchee:
nelchee Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
For rough sketches, ie. ones that will not be a part of final drawing, I use either a mechanical pencil or ballpoint pen.

For sketches that will be drawn over with other media I use a 4H graphite pencil (if the pencil is not supposed to be visible) or a mechanical pencil if I don't mind if the pencil is visible.
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Which one do I use for my roughs? Yes. Well, except for ballpoint pens. Hate the things, I won't have any in my studio.

Sometimes I want to go forwards and not give a shit about fixing mistakes. Especially if I'm writing story for my comic, or knocking out quick layout thumbnails. Pen's good for that. It's good for exploring character design, too - made a mistake? Tough titty, abandon the drawing and try again, maybe come up with something even better. Good for quick observational sketches, too.

Sometimes I use wooden pencils. I often hold them such that I address the paper with the side of the point for much of the drawing. Can't do that with pens or mechanical pencils. If I really care about finessing a rough I'm definitely going to use one so I can do this, then nail down details with the tip before taking it further. Needing to sharpen it is not a problem; I have an electric pencil sharpener sitting on my desk. So should you, if you consider yourself serious about art. Maybe even get onea those $8 battery-powered sharpeners to keep in your schoolbag. Mostly I use Ticonderoga #2.5bs though I have some softer pencils kicking around. Also there is the magic of Col-Erase, which are colored pencils that you can erase like a normal one - animators love these babies.

Also you really ought to be doing rough drawings instead of trying to go directly to the finished line. The fact that you're not doing this really shows in your work.

Sometimes I use a brush-pen. I was using Sakura disposables for a while, but I just recently got a wicked cool fountain brush. Brushes are great for sloppy sketches. And great for tightly finishing pencils!

I don't have a mechanical pencil at the moment. I had a nice one but I gave it to a friend who greatly coveted it, and then lost the one I got as a replacement and haven't found a new one. These are really only used when I'm out and about drawing in a small sketchbook. Mechanical pencils have the problem that it's super easy to gouge your line deep into the page, which means it's almost impossible to erase it.

Ballpoint pens are shit. The ink is nasty, and they clog. I left those behind years ago when I finished high school. There are people who love them and use them as their main medium for detailed, tightly shaded drawings; I am not one of these people and never will be.

Sometimes I'll doodle out roughs in colored pencils. Back when I was animating sometimes I'd even grab a crayon to start a new rough for a drawing that was fighting me.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
'Also you really ought to be doing rough drawings instead of trying to go directly to the finished line. The fact that you're not doing this really shows in your work.'
Who are you referring to?
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:iconegypturnash:
egypturnash Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You. Because youre talking about not doing roughs in that wall of text.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I sometimes do rough sketches when I'm drawing a difficult position. Going straight ahead without one is like kamikaze for me. Part of the reason for why I'm saying: 'I like my pencil sharp because I draw linearts, not initial sketches like painters do before they work on a piece' is because erasures are a problem, mechanical pencils tend to produce deep valleys of lines that virtually :iconimpossibruplz: to erase, and I understand your point. Blunt wooden pencils tend to create less pressure on the paper due to its large blunt tip, thus not creating the 'ghost lines' when you erase your roughs. Thus, making me realize the importance of a wooden pencil. I really must thank you for your advice in this matter.

:iconsigmaeleven: out~!
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:iconhmontes:
HMontes Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
I use a .9mm mechanical pencil with red lead for sketching roughs. I do a clean final with a .7mm mechanical pencil with HB lead. Very fine details I would do with a .5mm if needed. Then I scan and digitally ink.

Before I went to digital inking I used a Pelikan fountain pen filled with calligraphic India ink. I have also used nib pens and brushes in the past for inking.

When I used wooden pencils for sketching I preferred Stadetler Lumograph pencils in HB and F. I have also tried out various pencils I find at the art store or through online sources.
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
I sketch using mechanical pencils, mainly for convenience, and because it's easy to draw nice and light with them. I then usually 'finish' them with a wooden 4B pencil. But if I'm out and about and bring a sketchbook to entertain myself, I bring a ballpoint. Nice and simple!

I kind of got out of the habit of using wooden pencils because I had really bad luck with pencil sharpeners.
I use microns only for writing :lol:
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Microns? They have waay too much friction for me to write...
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
That's the best part! You feel like you've REALLY written something!
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I prefer a pilot g-2 pen for that kind of job for me.
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
I guess those might work almost as well.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
For ideas sketches it's whatever I can get my paws on when I get my ideas. Biros, Ballpens, Blunt Pencils, Sharp pencils, Mechanical, Sometimes straight to paint if that's all I have around, Markers.. It just depends what is closest to hand. Esp since I trace or redraw initial idea sketches anyway to make the cleaner finished work so it doesn't really matter.

I hate drawing in fineliners or drawing specific pens. I work very very fast when I'm thinking and the pens just drag and break. Better saving them for more polished linework when I'm not in a rush.
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
In what way does the fineliner 'break'? You mean it bends when apply too much stress?
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
I destroy the nice fine nib with the speed, and also the ink kinda jumps a little on the page when I draw too fast. They work fine when I'm drawing normally but when I'm scribbling my ideas I destroy them and since I don't actually HAVE to draw with them since it's not a nice final product, I can use cheap biros instead
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Ow. Maybe 0.8 would work for you. I know it's a little too damn thick but it's IMPOSSIBLE to destroy.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
eh, I prefer biro tbh it has light and dark depending on how hard you press. and tbh I do most of my ink work with a brush and bottle and people keep buying me fine liners and I'm like "noooooo I'm swimming in them!" XD
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
Kinda depends on what you mean by "initial sketch."

If you're actually talking the initial drawing/sketch for a finished piece that will be built over, then I always use pencils. I work mainly in ink and need the underdrawing to disappear or be erased away, so pencils are preferable. There is also some concern with archival quality, so ballpoints and rolling balls are generally out. I like to start with wooden pencils to rough out the composition, then I might go back in with a mechanical to go a bit finer and add more detail as a guide for the ink. Kinda the same thing on the more finished pencil pieces I've been doing.

But for sketches in general, I tend to use whatever's available, since none of the things mentioned are really an issue. I prefer rolling balls for the flow and quality of line, but I'm not averse to pencils or ballpoints if that's what available or what I feel like using.
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:iconopiumtraum:
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Usually...whatever's handiest. I don't own any mechanical pencils (not because I'm against them- just never picked them up). Often I'll do a pencil sketch then "flesh" it out with a ballpoint. Often I'll just grab a Bic, start light & build. Sometimes microns or their equivalent will find their way into sketches (depends how far I want to take the sketch).
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:iconweremole:
weremole Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
There really isn't any versus. Use whatever you like and everything has its uses. A fine ballpoint can be excellent for small detail in inkwork for example. You also do rough sketches before cleaned up lineart or before you start inking,
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It's a mistake for calling it versus actually. :D
I agree with you. Maybe I just couldn't express my opinion right with my terrible english. :icontearplz:
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:iconsigmaeleven:
SigmaEleven Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Really huge wall of text warning. Read at your own risk.
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