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Best Sketching Pencils For Drawing: Top Brands

Updated on March 13, 2011

Sketching Pencils: The Different Types

When on the lookout for different types of pencils for your sketching needs, it is best to look what's on offer as there are some great pencil types for certain art techniques and knowing what these are is of a huge benefit to you as an artist.

Drawing pencils

These are your standard sketching pencils that come in the usual grades from 9H which is the hardest giving a lighter tone, then right through to an F or a HB which is the medium shade and then to the end of the grade scale an 8B or 9B which is classed as the softest darker shade.

A good set of drawing pencils however usually come in these grade ranges and any really are ideal for drawing and sketching whatever you want.

Charcoal pencils

These are darker in tone and are great sketching pencils for drawing in their own right and since they are softer in tone they can be blended effectively to create many different tones combined with other pencil grades too.

Watercolour pencils

These are water soluble pencils that when drawn on the papers surface you then wet them with a paintbrush and it produces a watercolour effect.

Mechanical pencils

Pencils that can be used for mechanical drawing and all manner of technical art illustrations, the fine lead makes drawing a precise sketching tool.

Coloured pencils

Pencil crayons or coloured pencils are great to add colour to your base drawings and if the pencils are blendable then all the better for your art.

Sketch Pencils

Cheap sketch pencils.
Cheap sketch pencils.

Derwent Drawing Pencils And Other Pencil Sets From Amazon

Derwent Art Pencils

Derwent pencils have been produced ever since 1832 and these are some of the first drawing pencils that I ever used, their range of drawing pencils now are vast and you can get packs f varying weights and pencil sizes.

Derwent drawing pencils are one of the top drawing pencils that come to mind for me personally.

By far the best release from Derwent is the Inktense range, (which are cheekily similar to any water soluble pencils) were the pencil turns to ink in one wash. Plus I am a fan of pencils with the ability to blend well and these do quite well on that level, these types of pencils are widely used for drawing manga and more focused works like technical illustration and botanical drawings.

Take a look below on Amazon for more details!

Reeves Sketching Pencil Sets On Amazon

Reeves Drawing Pencils

 Reeves pencils are only the tip of the iceberg of art products as Reeves produces many artists paints and pigment too with acrylic and oil being the most popular.

These high quality graphite lead pencils are an ideal choice for any types of sketching, even though I am more familiar with their paint ranges.

If you are sketching on a budget, I find these drawing pencils quite affordable.

Steadtler Mars Lumograph Drawing Pencils

 Steadtler pencils, A german based company founded by Friedrich Staedtler, the company is responsible for writing and drawing pens and pencils that are widely available in over 150 countries worldwide.

Staedtler is one of the most recognisable brans of pencils with the Mars Lumograph name, the company has since diversified with fine liners and other writing pens of high quality in their range of products.

Sketching Pencils - What Do You Sketch With?

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    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Thank you.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I am always interested in reviews of different art tools. I like this hub a lot and will bookmark it for when I get back into art again. Thanks for sharing great information.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      these pencils are absolutly awesome

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Pentel Quicker Clicker

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      as a rule i only lean towards faber castell 9000 graded most good art suply shops stock them i shy away from derwents although a lot of other artist swear by them i have just found they didn't match the quality of faber castell but then again i guess it also comes down to a personal prefernce

    • profile image


      10 years ago


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i am looking to buy a set for someone who used to sketch long time ago. Want to find something respectable but also comfortable for him. Have gotten good ideas from here. Anybody have any comments on Faber-Castell?

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      11 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yep Ron, there are many more varieties out there of pencils, but I went for the best of the best and the ones that give better results!

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      11 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom


      Cheers Ryan!

      Have changed it to HubChallenge piece of cake!!

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      11 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers Sufidreamer!!

      Derwent pencils are easy one of the best pencil makes out there.

    • rongould profile image


      11 years ago

      I didn't realize there was so much variety in drawing pencils. Thanks for the information!

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 

      11 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Wooo whooo! Only 98 more to go!

      Oh, and I told you this in your last Hub, but the tag that you should add is 'HubChallenge' and you added 'HubPagesChallenge'.

      Getting delirious already? :)

    • Sufidreamer profile image


      11 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Good call, Wayne.

      I would not be without my set of Derwent pencils - I get my mum to send new ones across every so often. Far and away the best!

    • waynet profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Tully 

      11 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Cheers RooBee!

      Sketching pencils are just a choice of what's best for the artist and since I've been at drawing my own style of stuff I have tried to invest in some decent pencil makes along the way

    • RooBee profile image

      Arby Bourne 

      11 years ago from USA

      Thanks for this! I took an intro to drawing class last semester and just bought the very cheapest pencils and charcoals I could find.

      I told myself that I couldn't buy better ones 'till I invested more time and effort in to drawing - now I know what my reward will be! Thanks for researching.


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