Thursday, September 5, 2013

Product Preview: Art Alternatives Leadholders and Drawing leads

Thanks Lisa! Just received the leadholders and drawing lead samples from Art Alternatives.  Happy to report that my second translucent-body 2 mm leadholder is still going strong. So I am really looking forward to testing the other two Taiwanese clutch pencil models in the coming days.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the blister cards with 5.6 mm drawing lead refills, for they are not an easy size to find locally. They were made in China and measure 3-3/8" in length, so they are a good fit for stubby clutch pencils with shorter barrels like the E+M Workman and of course the Art Alternatives Clutch Pencil Art Tin set. E+M refills are a bit shorter, and the Cretacolor leads are a bit longer at 4-5/8". I have noticed that 5.6 mm drawing leads never seem to have any markings indicating their grades, brand, and country or origin. Thus it might good idea to save their packaging to retain that information. The graphite refills 4-pack included two 2B leads, one 4B, and one 6B  lead. Their plastic clam shell is not glued, so it can be opened and closed at will to keep the leads protected when not in use. Though I would have liked a rigid plastic box or storage tube with a plug for greater protection against breakage. The leads themselves are pretty nice for bold sketching and shading.  Being on the softer side of the graphite scale, they smudge easily as seen on the finger print marks on the right edge of the sketchbook page shown above. Good choice if your normal drawing pressure tends to snap and break thinner leads.

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