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HB, 2B, 4B–MORE!

I was recently speaking with a brand new fellow CZT and I drew for her a brief chart of pencil hardness (H) and softness (B). I didn’t include “F” (Fineness, mostly for drafters)!

I observed that I know few if any artists who use the H beyond 4H. We also discussed, does one pencil make “darker” marks than another?

I suggested that it is more about the way you layer the graphite on the paper (and which paper you use) than which softness/hardness of graphite you employ.

 

 

My go-to shading pencil for Zentangles® is 4B.

Here’s a link to an image of different pencil grades. (link isn’t showing right now due to technical difficulties… grrrrr…)
http://pencils.com/hb-graphite-grading-scale/

You can barely separate “darkness” from “pressure to the paper” or type of paper, or number of layers you’re applying, so this is just a guideline.

I also observed that I know few if any artists who use the H beyond 4H. We also discussed, does one pencil make “darker” marks than another?

It is more about the way you layer the graphite on the paper (and which paper you use) than which softness/hardness of graphite you employ (yes, opinions differ here).

My go-to shading pencil for Zentangles® is 4B.

Here’s a link to an image of different pencil grades.

It’s difficult to separate “darkness” from “pressure to the paper” or type of paper, or number of layers of graphite you’re applying, so this is just a guideline.

My advice: don’t overthink it. Have fun!

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