View Full Version : Life Drawing Tools

07 July 2005, 06:49 PM
I am following some life drawing dvd's from Vilppu and im really enjoying it.
Now i want some better pencils with a softer touch similar to Vilppu and other life drawing artists. From Gnomon dvd's on analog drawing Prisamacolor is always mentioned but i cant find them here in Sweden.

Though i have found Faber-Castell i want more tips on pencils that suit life drawing that are soft as i can guess and can variate in size.

Any tips? :)

07 July 2005, 02:57 AM
Try 6B Charcoal pencils :) Sharpen them with an exacto blade (being careful) and sand them on a sanding stick.

Also, Carb Othello pencils are super soft, but more expensive.

Good luck :)


07 July 2005, 09:25 AM
Thank you for the reply :)
Now the problem is where i can find these nice pencils in Sweden.
By the way your tutorial looks excellent and your own examples are stunning. :)

07 July 2005, 05:52 PM
When doing life drawings I use from a B-4B pencils first...I find that 6B go too dark sometimes and are rather "dusty"- I use them later to darken, but not to draw 'lines'- there will come a point when you will not use the eraser to correct, but as part of the making process, but if you are starting and you want to erase a line or something along this way...3B-8B will 'dig in'/stain too deep into the paper and not really come out. A common mistake when beginning is to press to hard, just barely touching the paper and having patience works wonders in the end.

I enjoy sketching with pastels too, the process is different and if you have a set of greys, it could be really fun. Like mixing cool greys (blueish) with skin-toned pastels. I also prefer pastels semi hard, and I smudge with a piece of soft cotton cloth (now you know a use for old undies). Oh and try a soft paper, like Strathmore, the pencil flows deliciously; Canson for pastels. As for Prismacolor, I love them too, you can get them online I think. I love using them on top of Heavy Black Paper, the effect is delicious!

07 July 2005, 07:57 PM
Prismacolor pencils are available at Matton ( here in Gothenburg, and on their homepage it says that they have a store in Malmö as well. Check it out.

07 July 2005, 10:56 PM
I know matton has a store in Malmö but i couldnt find anything prismacolor, not even in their online catalogue. What prismacolor should i look for, Or should i perhaps call them, Because Matton is the only art shop i know of here

07 July 2005, 05:33 AM
The Supracolors there are the closest thing I suppose.

Can't find prismacolor. Maybe you can order from the UK or something? Don't know how the rules are with the customs and stuff within the EU.

07 July 2005, 01:51 PM
I recommend woodless pencils and graphite sticks for figure drawing. Woodless pencils are roughly the same size as regular pencils, but are solid graphite so you can draw fine lines or at an angle for broad strokes. Graphite sticks are larger pieces of graphite in square chunks. All are excellent for shading.


07 July 2005, 02:47 PM
I recommend EB-hardness pencils, by Staedtler, should be easy to find. They are extremely soft,a bit waxy.

07 July 2005, 03:11 PM

No problem, good luck in your search! Really, any brand SOFT charcoal pencils will do.
Thank you for the compliments! They are really appreciated! :)


Alex Morris
07 July 2005, 03:49 PM
Haven't looked for a while but I always used to use a Staedtler clutch pencil. All the regular grades from 8H to 8B available (not sure about EB - are these still available?).

The great advantage with the clutch pencil is that you can use pretty much all the lead, you can expose quite a long length of lead for hatching and stippling, and if you use the rotary sharpener - the lead dust is great for laying down quick large areas of tone which you can erase easily with a putty rubber.

07 July 2005, 04:33 PM
Thank you very much for all the tips!
Quite some alternatives, but im for the moment limited to the Matton store here in Malmö for art supplies.

I was first thinking about these:

But now im not sure, will maybe call to here about prismacolors aswell

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