The topic of equipment may seem a trivial one to most people but for seasoned professionals and teachers alike, the choices made here could have a massive bearing on the final result and could very well mean the difference between an A and a B in the long run.

The type of pencil being used or which grade of paper to work with may not seem like very important questions to ask when thinking about freehand sketching but these factors along with others such as pencil pressure can have a huge effect on a sketch for better or for worse.

By knowing how these elements work together you can create any style of sketch to the grade you decide.

For instance: If a bold rough effect is wanted for a scheming or idea sketch, a soft pencil and possibly rough paper would be employed. For a working sketch or for representation of an object with much small or intricate detail, a harder pencil and smoother paper would help to produce the necessary line quality.

The topic of equipment may seem a trivial one to most people but for seasoned professionals and teachers alike, the choices made here could have a massive bearing on the final result and could very well mean the difference between an A and a B in the long run.

The type of pencil being used or which grade of paper to work with may not seem like very important questions to ask when thinking about freehand sketching but these factors along with others such as pencil pressure can have a huge effect on a sketch for better or for worse.

By knowing how these elements work together you can create any style of sketch to the grade you decide.

For instance: If a bold rough effect is wanted for a scheming or idea sketch, a soft pencil and possibly rough paper would be employed. For a working sketch or for representation of an object with much small or intricate detail, a harder pencil and smoother paper would help to produce the necessary line quality.

Pencils

Pencils range in hardness from 9H (very hard) to 9B (very soft) depending on the graphite/clay mix made during processing.

The most commonly used pencil in the DCG classroom is the 2H which allows the user to make the light construction lines necessary to built up a drawing but also lets them draw in the heavier lines for the final view.

For Freehand sketching however the choice the choice is more varied and which pencil you use depends very much on the job required.

Harder pencils such as the 3H or 4H are ideal for pencilling the out lines and basic shapes of objects while a softer pencil would be great for applying the shadow and shade.

Also, softer pencils are more liable to smudge on the page so a spray adhesive might be required to prevent smudging while in the folder. The upside of this is that they tend not to leave marks on the paper when erased. Harder pencils in the H series tend to work visa versa. 

Finally, the pressure placed on the pencil is the key to line thickness in the resulting sketch. Too much pressure and the line will become too thick and the pencil would have marked the paper. Too light and the line would be barely noticeable anyone. The amount of pressure will also determine how frequently the pencil needs topping as a soft pencil can't hold a tip for very long. 

 

 Pencil grading chart

Paper

The following are standard paper sizes. For the purpose of your assignment presentation A3 should be taken as the standard paper size.

A0 841mm x 1189mm

A1 594mm x 841mm

A2 420mm x 594mm

A3 297mm x 420mm

A4 210mm x 297mm

A5 148mm x 210mm

A6 105mm x 148mm

A7 74mm x 105mm

Sketches are made for many purposes and under a variety of circumstances, and as a result on a number of different paper types. These various paper types are normally determined by grams per square metre, expressed as g/m²; the grammage of the paper. To give an idication of how this maesurement relates to the papers texture, standard printer paper is 80 g/m². By simply choosing a different density of paper a different finish of drawing can be achieved.

The best way to determine what is the best paper to use for the finish required is a matter of experimentation with various hardness of pencil.

 

Paper size chart 

Eraser

Erasers of various handness can be bought but the best results can be found with a balance between softer and harder types of eraser. A harder eraser will remove lead easier from the page while a softer one will have less of a chance of tearing the paper.  

Grid Paper

Grid Paper is very useful for those who need to practice their sketching. The two types of grid paper are square and isometric. Using grid paper is very similar to tracing where the grid paper is placed under the sheet. This only works on lighter grade paper as higher grades don't allow the grid to be seen as easily.

In the end the best method of finding the best mix of equipment is to experiment with different combinations until you find one that best suits your choice of finish.    

Square Grid Paper 

Isometric Grid Paper 

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