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  1. #1
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    Graphite questions...

    In what instance would I use for each type of graphite. I have 2B, 2H, and HB lead. I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense, but I forgot what I was going to say about halfway through the first sentence.

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  3. #2
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    The harder the lead, the lighter the line it will make. So if you want a fairly light line, go for the 2H. 2B will provide darker marks. I'm not sure if that's what you wanted to know.

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    So basically 2H would be better for drawing guidelines and light shading?

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    2H would be better for guidlines, but I would not recommend it for even light shading as it would take too long. Try a 2B and smear the graphite with a smudge stick/stump (rolled up piece of paper) or kleenex/tissue. Should yield results more quickly for shading.

    Pencil Grades:
    9B 8B 7B 6B 5B 4B 3B 2B B HB H 2H 3H 4H 5H 6H 8H 9H
    Dark and soft________________________Light and hard




    4B, common skectch pencil that is dark without smearing too much

    2B, legible and hard, common in many generic mechanical pencils

    HB, everday pencil for school and what not, very common

    2H and 4h, good for layout


    In general with, "B" grades are commonly used by sketch artists while "H" grades are commonly used by drafters. With a 9B lead one might be better off with charcoal while a 9H could probably be used as an effective weapon.

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  6. #5
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    As Avalos said above, H stands for Hard, and B is for Bond (soft). I also do a lot of graphite work, and, though I've got the entire range to work with, only use 4h, 2h, HB, and 2b. Remember that what appears "Dark" is often relative to what it's next to. So 2b seems pretty dark with my limited "palette" of graphite. Also, since these are to be reproduced, I don't need to go "full black" anyway, and the softer pencils sometimes have a silvery cast to them I dislike.

    I always start with hard pencils, and then go softer. A soft lead will go on over a harder one, but hard graphite will only slide over a softer layer, potentially creating difficult-to-remove streaks on the soft layer. So I do an entire peice in 4h, then re-do it in 2h, then move to HB, then the final layer of 2b. It takes a while, but the finished work is worth it.

    For Example:

    Graphite questions...

    Here, the 4h and 2h layers are complete, and I'm starting the HB layer on the left side of the picture. Some of the heavily detialed areas I leave blank as well, as these areas I do not want to over-do. I do them in HB first, and then again in 2b. The "chainmail" on the figures is such an area.

    Here's the completed picture:

    Graphite questions...

    As you can see, what is dark enough at any given stage is left as-is. Only the areas that need to be knocked back or shaded further are worked on the "B" stages, so they go more quickly (only a few hours each).

    Hope this helps!

    Last edited by Hedge-o-Matic; December 15th, 2003 at 01:16 PM.
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  7. #6
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    Wow, thanks a lot. I understand now.

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