On March 30th we celebrate National Pencil Day! On this day, we want to take some time to honour one of our favourite writing utensils: the trusted pencil. Pencils have meant so much more to mankind than just the ability to draw lines. They offer us the opportunity to express ourselves, be it through writing, drawing or colouring, in endless ways and styles.
Why March 30th?
March 30th was dubbed National Pencil Day as on this date in the year 1858, Hymen Lipman patented what is seen as the first “modern pencil”: a wooden graphite pencil with a rubber eraser attached to it. Though the concept of pencils had existed for many centuries prior, this modern version of the pencil was praised highly due to its convenient light weight and the eraser on top, which made it easy to erase mistakes without having to use different tools.
Different types of pencils
Pencils come in many shapes and sizes, but the four most common pencil types we would like to highlight today are:
Graphite pencils are the most basic type of pencil. Perfect to make sketches, create fine lines, add shading or just to doodle with. These pencils are available in various degrees of hardness so you can always find the pencil that fits your needs.
The most common type of pencil after graphite pencils. Coloured pencils are pencils with colour pigments that transfer easily to different surfaces and layer well on top of each other.
Water colour pencils
These coloured pencils are made from pigments that transfer well and dissolve fully in water. This means you can use them to create water colour effects without having to use paint!
Pastel pencils are pencils with similar characteristics to pastel crayons but are easier to use encased as a pencil. Pastel pencils are softer than other pencils and blend easily for beautiful colour transitions. These soft pencils can also be used for water colour techniques.
What can you do with a pencil?
Every child starts its journey into writing and drawing with a pencil. Using pencils teaches us advanced motor skills, develops our creativity and allows us to write and draw non-permanently. Pencils are used worldwide by children, teens, hobbyists, artists and professionals.
Write, draw, shade, colour and more! Pencils can be used to create artworks in various styles, including - but definitely not limited to - doodles, line drawings, cartoons, pointillism, photorealistic art and architectural drawings. The possibilities are endless!
We hope this article has inspired you to use our favourite drawing utensil today. Now pick up that pencil and have fun creating your own masterpiece!
The art in the collage above was made by the following artists: