15 – Pencil tribute
The Art Supply Providing the Most Bang for the Buck:
the lowly pencil.
Not the mundane, yellow #2 bubble-fillers (although those will do in a pinch.) Quality varies a lot, and a gritty, scratchy point that constantly breaks isn’t conducive to effortless drawing. Artist pencils have consistent quality graphite, and are available in different levels of hardness (affecting the character of the pencil marks) ranging from 9B (soft) thru HB to 9H (hard.) The range is made by mixing graphite with clay, more clay for hard, less for soft. Hard pencils make lighter, finer lines, while soft pencils make fatter, smudgier ones. Soft pencils will make darker, more expressive marks, and their points will not last as long.