Pencil Love


A lovely comment on my Brigitte Bardot sketch sparked the idea to post about one of the topics I like most – tools of the trade.

Here I thought I’d share with you the type of pencils I like to work with and why. For starters, I really prefer mechanical pencils to the classic wooden ones but only out of convenience. Although I love the feel of wood in my hands, the constant sharpening does tend to slow me down considerably. Thus, I use mostly clutch pencils, or leadholders, like the Faber Castel TK4600 (uses a 2 mm lead) and the Koh-i-Noor 5347 (uses a 5.6 mm lead) shown above.

Of course I use the larger model for large sketches (at least 18″ x 24″) and I don’t hesitate to switch to charcoal if necessary. The handy holder keeps your hands clean! Here is a close-up of the lead sizes:

To sharpen the lead, all you have to do is release it by pressing the top…

…then remove the top and use it as a sharpener. Et voilà!

Melissa Brunet

About Melissa Brunet

Melissa Brunet is a graphic designer & illustrator based in Paris, France.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Leigh Garfield July 19, 2014 at 15:50 Reply

    Hello Melissa, thank you for sharing pencil love ideas. Currently I’m using the same, Koh – I – Noor Clutch Pencil 5.6mm and 2mm Mechanical Pencils too, but using Staedtler brand, instead of Faber Castel. My question is; How did you sharpen the large 5.6mm lead, achieving a dome/ball shape on the end of the lead? Many Thanks. :)

    • Melissa Brunet
      Melissa Brunet September 21, 2014 at 00:49 Reply

      Hello Leigh! Please forgive my late reply! At this thickness, the only way to sharpen is using sand paper. But the blunt edge you see is from use. It’s a very soft lead (6B) so it gets all nice and round fairly quickly. Hope this helps!

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