# Why do you like pencil sketches

## PORTRAIT COURSE

But.

Let's look at it bit by bit.

### At a glance: which pencil strengths are there? - The pencil strengths table

Let's start right away with a brief overview of which pencil thicknesses are available and what pencil hardness is roughly suitable for.

You can find more detailed background information on the individual pencil hardnesses, their use and buying tips below in the article. 😊

Well, we already mentioned it. There are a total of 20 different hardnesses for pencils in Europe. They are divided into the 4 basic categories B (soft), HB (medium-hard), F (firm) and H (hard). These basic categories are then further specified by various numbers.

It applies here. The higher the number, the more pronounced the characteristic of the basic category. That means 2B is a bit soft, 9B is very soft. Likewise, 2H is relatively hard, 9H very hard.

You can see at a glance the 20 different pencil hardness grades and for what purpose they are well suited in the following pencil strength table. 😊

So, let's give you a rough overview of the different pencil thicknesses and their uses.

You can find out more about which pencils Simon uses when drawing in Simon's article on pencils for drawing. 😊

By the way.

In our drawing set you will find pencils in hardness levels 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 2x6B as well as carbon pencils in B and 3B.

Because only with a selection of different pencils in different hardnesses can you create a really realistic and high-contrast work of art. 😊

And if you want to know more about the individual pencil degrees of hardness, their backgrounds and their application in a drawing, just read on. 😊

Or take a look at Simon's video on pencil hardness levels. Among other things, you can see in a practical way how exactly the different pencil hardnesses work on the paper. 😊

### In detail: the different pencil thicknesses and their use

So, you now know what 20 pencil thicknesses there are and what they are roughly suitable for.

But.

How is it that pencils have different degrees of hardness? If you like to create a drawing, for which parts of the picture is which hardness suitable? And are there any other influences on your drawing than just the choice of pencil hardness?

Let's take a look at that. 😊

### Background info pencil: What causes different degrees of hardness in pencils?

Let's start right away with the background information on the pencil.

You probably know what a pencil is. A mine in a wooden shaft.

But contrary to what the name “pencil” suggests, the lead is not made of lead, but a mixture of graphite and clay.

And it is precisely this mixture that ultimately determines the hardness of the pencil.

The graphite content ensures that the lead releases black paint onto the paper. The clay content makes the lead firm and stable.