A pencil is the most important material for the future designer. There are different purposes and shades for the various types of pencils likewise there are different types of paper to fit different types of sketching.

Generally, when sketching light/dark contrasts, various pencils are used. The key factor that changes the pencils’ uses is the softness of the lead. The leads strength depends on the amount of clay and graphite used in within it.

6B and 5B are relatively soft, 4B and 3B are semi-soft, 2B and B are neither soft nor hard,

HB is semi-hard, F is relatively hard , H-2H is all relatively hard, the F pencil is hard and draws fine lines, best for geometrical designs. 6B, 4B, 3B, are used to shade intense light/dark color contrasts and show best on rough paper.

The HB pencil is used for precise sketching and it does not need to be blended for depth. The harder the pencil is, the lighter the shade and the softer pencil is used primarily for shading. Generally, students use the HB pencil on Fabriano 2 paper to sketch the base outline of a design. The 4B pencil is used either on smooth or rough F4 paper, to create light/dark contrasts and contour shading.