First, a word on why I'm using these, when I already have a perfectly good 2mm lead holder, and more leads for it than I could use in several years. As I'm developing a style of drawing for this book I'm working on, I'm being led towards a method involving colored leads. I want erasable leads, and not a lot of colored leads are erasable. If you like thin leads like those in a mechanical pencil, several readers suggested the Pilot Color Eno leads. Reader Greg H had this to say about them:
I can back-up that recommendation for the Pilot Color Eno soft blue. I got hooked on the col-erase pencils while working in animation, but started to look for something that wasn't so hard and waxy. The Pilot leads have a softness that makes them pleasurable to sketch with and they erase beautifully. Aside from Jetpens, you may find a supplier on ebay.Pilot is a great company and with so many similarly enthusiastic recommendations I'd say that if erasable colored leads for your mechanical pencil is what you want, those are what you should buy. They come in different colors, btw.
Stay away from the Uni color leads if you're the least bit ham-fisted like me. They snap repeatedly.
But I'm starting to really shy away from thin pencil tips, which is why I like my lead holder. I can go pointy or blunt like with a pencil, but I don't waste all the lead that you do with a pencil. (Yes I know they make special cigarette holder type dealies for when pencils get short, but why pay for the wood and extra assembly?)
Here's where we get to this post from two weeks ago, wherein I dissected out the lead of a Prismacolor ColErase pencil to put into my lead holder and found that it didn't fit.
So, if you are an insane person like me, and you have a wood pencil lead (which is usually 3mm), and you don't want to just use the damned pencil, and instead you want to use it's lead in a lead holder, these are your two cheapest options.
I thought the shortness of this thing would bug me. I figured either it would be awkward to hold, like knives with small handles can be, or that it's balance would be all messed up. I also worried that the thickness would make it feel clunky and imprecise to draw with, the way those things you put on pencils to help ease carpal strain can. In fact, this tool is quite the fleet and natural in hand. The fatness is actually up in your hand, not at your fingertips, and your precision feels just the same as if you were using a fine pencil. Yet because of the fatness farther back, your grip is eased and comfortable. The taper towards the back hits right about where the webbing of your thumb is, so there isn't thick wood hindering you when you swing the pencil about into different grips. And the length is such that my tiny hands can actuate the lead feed ball without moving my hand up the shaft.
What affects it's performance the most, and is what in my opinion would divide people over these holders, is the weight. It's VERY light, and what that means for me is my hand will get ahead of itself, especially when using harder leads, and lead me to be less precise with my marks. I've found I love it for thumbnailing, but it's a bit of a nuisance for more detailed drawing.
One last thing, it lacks an integral sharpener. I don't care because I prefer a knife sharpened pencil point, but if you're not so good with a blade it could be trouble, as it won't fit into a lead pointer.
It has an integral sharpener in the lead feed button, and it works well. The pocket clip is VERY robust. You aren't going to lose it.
If you want one, you can buy it here.
Remember the entry I did awhile back where I linked to some articles about how piss-poor movie Hawkeye's archery form was? Well David Aja seems to be doing the opposite of that. Almost comically so. Google basically any drawing of Hawkeye and these look cooler than whatever bullshit he's doing in those, I'll tell you that.
Remember that entry I did awhile back about Oblique nib holders? Here's Dennis Pachenko using one:
I'm using a Hunt Imperial 101 nib with an oblique nib holder. For the bigger letters I'm using C5 and a C6 lettering nibs. The Hunt 101 is very flexible for some line weight variation, but thicker than the Hunt 102.I'm really intrigued by the simple and effective way Joseph Lambert conveys Hellen Keller's mental picture of herself and her surroundings in his comic biography of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. It's one of those effects only possible in our wonderful medium.