An assortment of drawing tools that await you at Way Up Art & Frame

  • colored pencils
  • charcoal pencils
  • graphite pencils
  • mechanical pencils
  • drafting supplies
  • art marker & markers sets
  • paint markers
  • fabric markers
  • pen & ink
  • calligraphy supplies
  • pastels & conte crayons
  • drawing boards & clips
  • fixatives & varnishes
  • drawing tools
  • art supply storage boxes
  • portfolios

A little history about our favorite drawing tool – the pencil.

The pencil was developed in the 16th century. It was originally made by piecing together 4 separate pieces of wood. There were no manufacturing standards so some pencils would make a very dark black mark while others made only very light grey marks. Most pencils are now graded on the European system from “H” (for hardness) to “B” (for blackness). The standard yellow writing pencil used by school children is graded as HB.

A set of pencils usually ranges from hardest to softest as follows:
9H 8H 7H 6H 5H 4H 3H 2H H F HB B 2B 3B 4B 5B 6B 7B 8B 9B

drawing pencil grading chart

Drawing Pencil Grading Chart

Types of Pencils

Solid Graphite Pencils:

Solid sticks of graphite pencils which have no casing are often called “woodless” pencils. These pencils are used primarily for covering larger spaces and creating different effects. They are available in the same darkness range as wood-encased graphite pencils.

Carbon Pencils

Generally carbon pencils are made of a mixture of clay and lamp black, but they are sometimes blended with charcoal or graphite depending on the manufacturer. They produce a fuller black than graphite pencils, but are smoother than charcoal.

Charcoal pencils:

Charcoal provides fuller blacks than graphite pencils, but tend to smudge easily. They and are also more abrasive than graphite. Sepia-toned and white pencils are available for duotone techniques.

Colored Pencils

Around since the mid 18th century, colored pencils have been a popular medium.  Toulouse Lautrec used colored pencils in his mixed-media works. Wax-like cores with pigment and other fillers are blended together to create this color medium that is both versatile and economical.

Watercolor Pencils

These pencils are designed for use with watercolour techniques. They can be used by themselves for sharp, bold lines or strokes can be saturated with water and spread with brushes for soft flowing effects.

Grease Pencils

Write on virtually any surface with a grease pencil. The most common grease pencils are encased in paper, but they can also be encased in wood.

All of these and more you can find here at Way Up Art & Frame.