Friday, April 12, 2013

A few more Caran D'Ache Grafwood pencils, Technik eraser, and updated value chart

Just received my latest Blick's order that contained the Caran D'Ache Grafwood tin set of 6 artist graphite pencils and a few open stock pencils to expand my current set to 13 pencils (4H to 9B). The narrow storage tin can actually hold up to twelve pencils in two layers.  The Caran D'Ache storage tin is a sleek and sturdy option for a compact sketching kit.
Even the hard grade pencils felt quite smooth on my custom sketchbook while updating this value chart.  While I normally prefer a 2B or 4B pencil lead for doodling and sketching with a single pencil, I feel quite happy doodling with the hard 2H pencil.  All the pencil leads sharpened well with my Alvin brass bullet sharpener, and glided effortlessly on the 100 lb card stock without any hint of scratchiness. The sharp points were quite strong, but the softest graphite grades (7B-9B) did crumble a bit under heavy drawing pressure.  Since the value differences between adjacent swatches is subtle, you can still get a pretty good working range with a handful of even or odd numbered pencils. Actually I started with B, 3B, and 9B before taking the plunge with a larger set.
Also picked up a Technik eraser that is meant for removing graphite while leaving inked lines unaffected. It looks slightly translucent as opposed to the opaque white vinyl erasers. The Technik eraser completely and easily removed 2H strokes from card stock and produced fine erasure debris. It did remove B marks reasonably well, but it just smudged the 9B test swatch. To erase the softest pencil marks, I had to use the Sakura electric eraser. Caran D'Ache is one brand of art supplies that has never disappointed me, so I have no hesitation in recommending any of their products if you are seeking to invest in quality art materials and upgrade your current sketching kits.  For additional close-up photos and opinions on the Caran D'Ache Grafwood 775 pencils go check Pencil Talk.

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