Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pencilers Have Better Point Control

Lion King Disney Adventures cover art
My Art for Disney Adventure Magazine Cover

How to Become a Comic Strip, Comic Book and Graphic Novel Artist

Traditional Tools

2. PENCIL SHARPENERS - You can use a wooden pencil, clutch pencil or a mechanical pencil.
Clutch pencils use 2mm graphite refills which are the same size as the wood cased pencils.
Mechanical pencils have graphite refill sizes such as .3mm, .5mm and .7mm

Let's look at how you sharpen all.

A wooden pencil can be sharpened with a manual, mechanical (hand powered) or electric sharpener. The blades inside the sharpener shaves the wood away and also grinds away your precious graphite.

To keep the most graphite available to you it's best to use a razor blade or Exacto knife to carve only the wood away.

Mechanical pencils save you from constant sharpening and in the long term are more effective and cheaper to use a than wooden pencil. You don't really have to sharpen the thinner graphite widths at all. The thicker graphite does require sharpening to get a fine point.

You may have noticed I didn't mentioned how to get the point back on the wooden pencils after you've carved away the wood with a blade. The answer is the same for getting the point back on a thick mechanical pencil; use sandpaper.

While you can purchase a sandpaper block/pad (sandpaper attached to wood), you should know by now I'm all for the most cost effective alternative. In this case it's best to buy sheets from the hardware store. Choose Sandpaper with a fine grit (grade) in the #180 to #100 range.

I used the sand paper block first and I was going through them quickly. I was in a hardware store and saw that the cost of a package of 10 (9" x 11") sheets was less than a sanding block for all the sandpaper I was getting. I bought that package and cut my own strips of 1" x 2" as I needed them and have have been using that package for years. I haven't purchased sandpaper again.

You may also want to try an emery board.

to be continued...

read next - Have your cake and eat it too!
previous - Tools of the Trade

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copyright 2012 H. Simpson

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