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The Joys of Starting in Pencil

Posted by on March 7, 2019 in Creativity, Paintings

Sometimes artists fall into the trap of thinking that if they start with pencil, they’re not a real artist. They should be able to go directly into ink, or paint, or whatever.

But this is nonsense! Imagine if writing worked that way. If every word I typed went straight to the printer and ended up in the final book. What a mess that would be.

They’re even called DRAFTING tools! Drafting, like a first draft.

A pencil is a two-part tool: there’s the pencil, and there’s the eraser. You don’t use one without using the other. Picking up the eraser does not mean you made a mistake. It means you are DRAFTING. It’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do when you use a pencil. That’s the whole POINT of the pencil.

I like a Pentel side-click mechanical pencil, with lots of super-light HB leads, and a white hi-polymer eraser that doesn’t smudge the ink or mess up the texture of the paper. I used to always use a knead-able grey eraser, but they get so gross and sticky in my travel bag, so I made the switch.

Use a pencil. Embrace your eraser. That’s my position, folks.