Pencils and chalks

Pencils, charcoal and chalk pastels

Here, you'll find a wide selection of pencils, charcoal and soft pastels for both school and hobby use. Choose from an assortment of pencils, including HB pencils and drawing pencils. We also offer a selection of sets for sketching and drawing, plus good-quality student grade soft pastels with a high pigment load.

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A wide range of writing and drawing tools such as pencils, charcoal and soft pastels

We sell a wide range of products for writing and drawing. You can find regular pencils for school, hobby and office use, and their hardness varies from soft to hard. The hardness indicates how much graphite each pencil contains. The softer the 'lead', the higher the graphite content. A soft pencil can contain up to 90% graphite, while a hard one only contains around 20%.

However, pencils have little to do with lead, because modern pencils usually contain a mixture of graphite and clay. In the past, the graphite mixture was thought of as lead, as graphite is very similar to this soft yet hazardous metal. As there is no actual lead in pencils, you can safely use a pencil without fear of lead poisoning if you prick yourself with the tip.

Whether you like drawing or not, you’ll also find both soft pastels and charcoal on this page. We sell products from several different brands, and you're free to choose between the three types of drawing/writing tools or purchase something from each category so that you have a good selection.

Which writing or drawing tool should you choose?

Today, modern technology has made it possible to draw and paint pictures directly on the computer as digital art, but there is something special about using your hands and working with physical writing and drawing tools. Using a tablet to create digital art is a good compromise between the easy and intuitive drawing process and the conversion to a digital drawing.

But for all those who have not embraced drawing on the computer and other digital art, and for those who prefer not to try drawing on a tablet, it is a really good solution to work on paper with pencil, charcoal or soft pastels.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all three types of drawing or writing instruments. Pencils last for a fairly long time if the graphite is hard, and will last significantly less time if the graphite is soft. Pencils generally last a long time when compared to charcoal and soft pastels, but the disadvantage is that they need to be sharpened every now and again.

There are also advantages and disadvantages to using charcoal. Two big disadvantages are that it makes a lot of mess and that it rubs off easily, for instance. The advantage of drawing with charcoal is that it's not that difficult to make fantastic, effective pictures, and you can always seal your drawing using a fixing spray to prevent it from rubbing off everywhere. Fortunately, this is something we also sell here on our webshop.

Last but not least, there is the soft pastel. This medium is best for drawing, and is generally sold in packs of several different colours. Generally speaking, soft pastels are coloured chalk that you can draw and paint with. They are a perfect combination of the vivid colour of paint and the precision of a pencil. One drawback is that the colours can fade over time and that you may have to draw/paint several layers in order to achieve the desired colour.

We also stock a range of accessories for pencils, charcoal and soft pastels

Although the main focus on this page is pencils, charcoal and soft pastels, you can also find accessories to use with these drawing tools. Relevant accessories could be a paper stump for blending out charcoal, for instance, or a kneaded eraser, which is used to erase and/or add negative detailing to charcoal or pastel drawings.

You'll also find fixative that can be sprayed on pictures drawn with charcoal or soft pastels. To find pencil sharpeners and erasers, you should head to the category page for pens, pencils and writing pens.

Take a look around and see what grabs your interest among our wide range of drawing accessories and pencils, soft pastels and charcoal.

The joy of drawing and painting

When you work with your hands to create something unique, the finished result will have sentimental value both to you and the person you give it to. It's a great feeling to have spent your time constructively making something that can bring joy to others.

It's up to you whether you spend a short or a long time on these creative endeavours, and you can draw or paint in the company of others or on your own. There are many opportunities to be creative. Regardless of how good the finished picture is, you'll have something you can be proud of because you made it yourself. What's important is that you spend your time in a way that you think makes sense to you.

If you're lucky enough that others admire the drawing or picture you have made, you could give it to the person, after which the picture or drawing can be passed on to their children.

To get the most out of your pictures, it's worth thinking about fixing it as well as where you plan to hang it. Charcoal drawings should ideally be fixed with spray, while soft pastel drawings are best hung somewhere away from direct sunlight.

Good ideas for drawings with pencils, soft pastels and charcoal

When drawing and painting, you can either use your imagination and make something abstract, or you can draw or paint something you can see. A picture of a landscape can look really good done in colourful soft pastels, while portraits capturing a good likeness of friends and family work well in charcoal or as a pencil drawing.

Of course, you're free to draw anything you can observe or think of, but if you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibilities, you can always just make a sketch of a figure from a hand or a miniature mannequin.

You can also take a look in our idea catalogue. In our extensive idea catalogue, you'll find ideas for all kinds of creative activities, including suggestions for what to draw using soft pastels and inspiration for pictures you can make using charcoal.

A pencil is generally just a pencil, so we're quite sure that you can think of plenty of things yourself for what to draw using this versatile tool.

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