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Published on August 2nd, 2013 | by trillian

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Faber-Castell Charcoal Pencil Review: Adding Depth to Your Artworks

Even though I have always enjoyed drawing, I have always been more of an oil painter but when a Faber-Castell Charcoal pencil fell into my unsuspecting lap, things changed. I’ve never felt that way about a pencil before. Sure, pencils allowed me to draw detailed images with more precision but in my experience, the end result always looked like an unfinished sketch. I wasn’t happy even with the charcoal pencils I’ve tried before.  Little did I know that I was only using the wrong brand of pencils all along.

Faber-Castell Pitt Charcoal is not your normal pencil. This charcoal pencil is smoother which makes it easier to control and the quality of the charcoal material itself is top-notch. My other charcoal pencil was so dry it felt like I was using a piece of rock to draw, and the intensity of the shade has always been the same no matter how much pressure you apply on the pencil. It is so frustrating when you exert so much time and effort into the little details of a drawing only to end up with a dull picture.

It’s not like that with my Faber-Castell charcoal pencil. The charcoal is strongly pigmented but allows you to control the gradation of color depending on how hard you press on the pencil. When I draw a line on a paper, I can control its thickness and color intensity with accuracy. I’ve never experienced such sorcery with other pencils!

In short, Faber-Castell charcoal pencil will do exactly what you tell it to. Whatever twisted picture you have conjured up in your imagination, that is the image you‘ll see staring back at you from your paper. Speaking of paper, another neat surprise this dynamic pencil threw at me when I used it for the first time is that it brought out the subtle textures of the surface I was drawing on, which added to the impact of the artwork! I felt like I’ve discovered my superpowers the first time I used this pencil.

The downside is my Faber-Castell charcoal pencil breaks off every time I sharpen it, so I end up wasting a lot of it which is heartbreaking because it’s not the cheapest charcoal pencil on the market. Faber-Castell Pitt Charcoal pencils go for around PhP 70.00 a pop. The hardness of the charcoal varies. You can choose from soft, medium, or hard. I like mine medium. They are available at bookstores and art supply shops.

It could have been just my pencil though. It’s almost as if the charcoal is already broken up into pieces inside. Nevertheless, I’ll keep using Faber-Castell’s charcoal pencils. With it, I can achieve all the textures and depict all the effects my illustration requires. Thus, my final drawing looks like a finished artwork. Moreover, the charcoal on the paper doesn’t fade in time which is a problem I have with other pencils.


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