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Mechanical Pencils

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When you draw cartoons, do you use regular or mechanical pencils?

Growing up, I was never too concerned with the kind and style I was using. As long as it put lines on the paper - I was happy.

But, as I grew up and became better at my craft - drawing for longer periods of time... I became increasingly frustrated with regular pencils as I would always need to take breaks to sharpen them. Don't get me wrong though - I do enjoy using regular pencils on some occasions, but when it comes to drawing cartoons, especially when I'm just sketching for fun... having a pencil that I don't need to sharpen is important.

Mechanical Pencils

I can enjoy the drawing process much more - as with just the click of a button, the pencil stays as sharp as ever. And when you run out of leads, simply replace them by removing the top, and refilling it. They're inexpensive, and the replacement process is really quite simple.

Aside from staying sharp, mechanical versions also have an advantage in that the thickness of your line strokes is always the same width. This is not always the case with a regular pencil, as sometimes you can sharpen them too much, sometimes not enough... and other times - they just break!

Of course - like with anything - there are good quality products, and ones that are a bit on the cheap side. Stay away from the cheap ones, as it can become quite frustrating when the lead either stops extending to the desired length once clicked, or gets jammed up and you can no longer use it.

A good route to go for a mechanical pencil - is Staedtler. Sanford and Pilot are good too and also... there are some excellent Japanese brands out there. But whatever you do - get one that's of good quality so you can spend more time drawing, and less time sharpening and replacing! :-)

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