Pencils are marked with a grading system. There are two measures: B and H. Each letter could be preceded by a number which indicates a weighting for the letter. B represents the amount of graphite and H represents the amount of clay. Graphite is soft and shiny, while the clay is hard an matte. On a scale from soft to hard, we get:
On any given paper, each of these will give a very dark (8B) to very light (6H) value. For any given pencil grade, it will give a different value depending on the paper used. Some papers take darks better then others. HB is sort of the middle and is a general purpose pencil that we use in schools. Softer pencil marks, when used lightly are easy to erase while harder pencil marks can damage the tooth of the paper and leave an impression. Therefore, very light pressure in many layers will often produce superior results when compared to heavy-handed marks.
(C) Jeremy Lee 2010, all rights reserved.
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spOOk's art is owned by Jeremy. He has practiced drawing and painting for about 40 years, and might get good at it one day. spOOk's art is focused on graphite portraits.