Monday, July 6, 2009

The Worther Shorty pencil is an ideal field sketching tool

These are some of my preferred graphite tools that I like to take with me to do the sketching demonstrations for my cartooning lessons. It is nice to have a wide range of options in lead sizes and graphite grades to work with any kind of support that I might find in a classroom. The main advantages of the clutch-type leadholders are that they maintain a constant length and do not require constant sharpening (especially if you are careful to periodically rotate the pencil as you draw). If they ever get too blunt, there are also specialty leadpointers available to restore the sharp points of the thick graphite leads (like the red KUM model shown in the photo above). The Worther Shorty is my favorite choice for sketching on-the-go for its sturdy, compact, and lightweight design. Its 3.15 mm thick 7B lead resists breakage while still producing a nice range of grays with ease. I find it extremely comfortable to hold and use for extended periods. For one of my most compact sketching kits, I tend to take the Shorty and a small Moleskine sketchbook in the pockets of my cargo pants. The only real problem I have with it is that its 3 mm refills tend to be rather hard to find. Usually the tubes of 3 mm leads can only be found online, and often they are out-of-stock when you need them.
Now that I managed to get some more spare 3 mm 7B graphite leads for it, the Worther Shorty has regained its regular spot in my daily take-along sketching kit.
Sketches drawn in blank and gridded 4"X6" index cards.
The Worther Shorty pencil and a handful of 4"X6" blank index cards also make a very efficient field kit for doodling and sketching anywhere.

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