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  1. #1
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    How many pencils do you go through in a month?

    I've recently started taking up drawing again, I'm doing a lot of gesture and contour runs but I'm tearing through 2Bs pretty quickly (I've worked three pencils down to nubs in two weeks). I'm just wondering if I'm over sharpening or bearing down too hard. What pencil do you use and how quickly do you use it up?


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  3. #2
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    when I use a 2B wooden pencil, I get through them almost as fast as that, maybe 3 or four in a month, but when I use my B clutch pencil its not nearly that, maybe 1 1/2 12cm stick in a month.

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    I think you should worry more if you're NOT wearing down any pencils, because that would mean you aren't drawing...

    I have no idea how many pencils I go through in a month. Depends how much pencil work I'm doing. If it's a lot, could easily go through a regular 2B pencil within a week. I use a whole bunch of different pencils at once, but the 2B is the main workhorse, so it gets worn down faster than the others. Blue pencils vanish in a matter of days if I'm doing a lot of blue-penciling (damn soft pencils... But so easy to work with...)

    Seriously, if you're satisfied with the drawings you're making, and if the way you're drawing or holding the pencil doesn't feel uncomfortable or awkward, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Pencils are cheap.

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    How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?
    Depends whether you bite it or not.

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    I think I've been using the same graphite pencils for the past... uh ten years? One of them is getting to be bit of a nub at this point.
    "I eat comics and poop stylization"
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    I usually use mechanical pencils, because I've given away my desk so I don't have any place to put my pencil sharpener...
    "I've got ham, but I'm not a hamster"

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    I use a mechanical pencil with HB leads, as they are harder and don't smudge very much, but I can always recall burning through 2B pencils pretty quickly when I used to use them.

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    idk about pencils. now pixels...

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx52hg View Post
    I use a mechanical pencil with HB leads, as they are harder and don't smudge very much, but I can always recall burning through 2B pencils pretty quickly when I used to use them.
    I remember my year eight art teacher telling me 'real' artists would laugh at me if I used an HB pencil to draw with. I've used 2Bs and Bs ever since. I know its bullshit, but I have a brand I like now, and I cant be bothered to change.

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    I bought a 3B once and it lasted about 3 days. I mostly use a mech pencil at the moment so Its hard to know.

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    Well, I go through way more eraser sticks then pencils so...
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Depends whether you bite it or not.
    Mmmmm.
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    I use 6Hs, and I tend to burn through three or so a month if I'm feeling creative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchion View Post
    I use 6Hs, and I tend to burn through three or so a month if I'm feeling creative.
    6Hs!!!

    Good God, man!

    How do you see what you're working on, let alone keep from inscribing the hell outta the paper you're working on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    I remember my year eight art teacher telling me 'real' artists would laugh at me if I used an HB pencil to draw with. I've used 2Bs and Bs ever since. I know its bullshit, but I have a brand I like now, and I cant be bothered to change.
    That's not a brand thing, I always use 2B. (Actually that's not quite true but 2B is my most used lead. I sometimes go all the way down to 8B for very dark drawings.)

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    Oooooh shit, never thought I could meassure my productivity this way!
    I have now lined up 2 half pencils that just has to be down to nothing within the end of this month! dammit!

    About the hardness, I usually just use whatever fits the paper and subject the best...?

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    I tend to lose them first.

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    It's not how many pencils you use but what you do with them that's important:


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  24. #21
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    I use 4b for sketching an they last around 2 minutes because the first time i sharpen them the lead shatters all the way down the line and I get to pull out little graphite stubs for the next ten minutes until there's nothing left of them.

    So fuck wooden pencils, my lead holder is in the mail.
    Last edited by Jason Rainville; March 15th, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

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  26. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Rainville View Post
    I use 4b for sketching an they last around 2 minutes because the first time i sharpen them the lead shatters all the way down the line and I get to pull out little graphite stubs for the next ten minutes until there's nothing left of them.

    So fuck wooden pencils, my lead holder is in the mail.
    Yep lead holder is the way to go. Sharpening pencils just get on my nerves. Plus, it's nice just to keep on drawing without thinking of the material too much, and mechanical pencils are the best that. It's the age of the MACHINES, man.

  27. #23
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    Unfortunately my lack of organization results in the losing of tons of pencils every year D: I usually end up using a pencil for a few days, then losing it, then I look for it and I end up finding a pencil i lost a month ago. Happens all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    That's not a brand thing, I always use 2B. (Actually that's not quite true but 2B is my most used lead. I sometimes go all the way down to 8B for very dark drawings.)
    I mentioned the brand thing as another reason on top of why I'm not changing back to HB, maybe I wasn't clear enough

    Yep lead holder is the way to go. Sharpening pencils just get on my nerves. Plus, it's nice just to keep on drawing without thinking of the material too much, and mechanical pencils are the best that. It's the age of the MACHINES, man.
    too right, I had trouble finding one that had a little thingy on the end for re-sharpening the lead though.

  29. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    6Hs!!!

    Good God, man!

    How do you see what you're working on, let alone keep from inscribing the hell outta the paper you're working on!
    It's because I'm awesome. Seriously though, 6H isn't actually that light. However, it is exceptionally precise if sharpened correctly, and still erases rather well without smudging. Almost all of the scanned sketches you see in my sketchbook thread are done with 6H and without color correction to bring out the lines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    too right, I had trouble finding one that had a little thingy on the end for re-sharpening the lead though.
    I had one for a while before I realised it had a little thingy on the end for re-sharpening.

    I haven't finished the first set of leads, either. Three pencils in 2-4 weeks? One in three days? I think I need to go draw.
    ...which is only my opinion.
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  31. #27
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    Or maybe you don't pet your lines or erase that much. I don't press hard and I don't do highly rendered graphite drawings, my pencils (and mechanical pencil leads) last a long time.
    I find this a very lame way to compare to others in the first place. Scribbling while on the phone and drawing lame anime takes as much graphite as serious study.

  32. #28
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    That's why I prefer softer leads - less pressing in general. But I still need to go draw and use up more pencils anyway!
    ...which is only my opinion.
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  33. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    Or maybe you don't pet your lines or erase that much. I don't press hard and I don't do highly rendered graphite drawings, my pencils (and mechanical pencil leads) last a long time.
    I find this a very lame way to compare to others in the first place. Scribbling while on the phone and drawing lame anime takes as much graphite as serious study.
    I think you're right.
    Guys, don't take the amount of pencil usage as a measurement of productivity, it can only go one of two ways:
    You start to beat yourself up for no reason, or you get too big for your boots because you're using a whole bunch of pencils.

    I like mechanical pencils because they don't get really short, I have massive hands (like, I have REAL trouble finding gloves) and once your standard wooden pencil gets to about 1/2 its original length, I cant use it. Or at least its majorly awkward to the point where I snap it in half, bellow in bestial confusion and carry a blonde up the empire state building.

  34. #30
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    I loot IKEA on a semi-regular basis, manage loose all the little pencils within a couple of weeks, then gradually find them again over the course of the next few months.

    But I only really use them for marking up bits of material, definitely wouldn't recommend them for serious art.

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