Woodless Graphite Pencils, Better or Worse than traditional drawing pencils?
Isn't A Pencil A Pencil?
If you have ended up here you probably know already that a pencil is indeed not just a pencil. Lead has various numbers otherwise your teacher in school or perhaps your child's teacher would be yelling "Number 2 Only!" for no apparent reason. That being said for you beginning artist out there, you probably know there is a range. So, what should be in your artistic arsenal?
First of all you are going to want an 4H. That is probably the lightest drawing utensil you will need and it is definitely the lightest I use. After that 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B and 9B are important. A lot of beginner sets only reach B6 but believe me, you are going to want the darkest dark possible to make that drawing pop so make sure to get at least that 8B. Something white always looks whiter next to something dark. It is the truth so if you want to be a step above the rest, especially if you are in middle school or high school get that pencil and use it!
So, now that we have briefly gone over just enough of the preliminary information it is time to answer the true question, "Is woodless truly all it is cracked up to be?" I decided to get a set of woodless drawing pencils. I could not find any with the lower harder and lighter graphites but the ones I did find I decided to use. I liked the way they felt in my hand. They felt heavier and I suppose they are being denser than their wooden counterparts. They were round which I likes as well and seemed to have a good sharp tip to them which a lot of the drawings I do require fine tips for the remaining details. So overall the first appearances were good.
I started drawing with the new set and still liked the feeling in my hand although the drawings did seem a bit different. There wasn't that constant need to resharpen my pencil but the end seemed to get duller faster. While I could continue to draw the edges became less defined than I would have liked because I didn't sharpen my pencils as ofter. Clearly this could be controlled by sharpening the pencil as often as a wooden one but then, where is the difference? The price is more for the woodless so there doesn't seem to be much point in sharpening useful graphite away.
My solution and final opinion between the two is I do all my detailed portions with my traditional drawing pencils and all the filler parts, where I have to cover huge areas with a single color with my woodless pencils. The woodless make thicker bolder lines and that definitely has it's place in my art but I am not ready to give up the traditional completely.