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Currently on the drawing board

When I begin a large format drawing such as this one, that's a full sheet of watercolour paper measuring 30" x 22" or 76 x 56cm, I prefer to go through the whole drawing with the same two pencils, that is a 2B and a 3B, just a quirky thing I guess.

So this drawing began with two brand new pencils but alas I had to retire the 3B to the baby pencil nursery at this stage. Now it does look like a fair bit of pencil is left but they do go on to have a second life as I take the stubs to Africa when I travel there and give them to school children to use, so they have a good life all in all.

As the pencil gets down in size, I employ a pencil extender so that it remains a similar length that is comfortable. The issue arises though as the pencil gets shorter, I have to unscrew it from the extender each time I sharpen it and that can be every ten minutes or less so it becomes quite labour intensive and disruptive so I prefer to retire it and start a new pencil. The blank area under my hand will be dark so still a fair bit of 3B pencil coverage needed there.

Interestingly the new 3B pencil of the same brand felt quite different to use, harder in the lead and took a bit of adjusting to get used to it, maybe that's why I like to go through with the same pencil if it can last the distance.


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