Pencils and pens are like tools to me, so I get pretty particular about which ones I use. Most artists utilize a range of specialized drawing pencils with varying grades of lead from hard (2H) to soft (B) and each is used to execute certain tasks in pencil illustration. But consider the common pencil. You know, the tall, hexagonal, yellow graphite stick with a pink eraser tip. They serve a common purpose: to write with.

Teachers the world over have always prescribed the number two pencil – and with good reason. The number two pencil’s lead is softer making writing much less of a chore. Pencil manufacturers also make a number three pencil and if you’ve never used one, don’t be fooled, it is NOT the same. The lead is so hard, that you seldom can even see when you write with it. I’ve yet to see a yellow number one or four pencil, so it would seem that it’s just three and two out there. If you’re a fan of the number three pencil, I apologize, but if Faber Castell decided to discontinue making the number three I would not miss it one bit.