Throughout the week, I unwind by drawing in my sketchbook. Here's a quick run down of the supplies I played with this week and what I think of them. I have played with all of these supplies before, so I wouldn't say this is a first impressions review, but some of them I've only used minimally, or a long time ago, so I don't have a lot of experience with all of the supplies.
SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil: This pencil is in all three of the images above (click the image to see full sized). It is currently my favorite pencil for sketching. Everything I draw right now starts with this pencil. It takes 0.7 lead and is incredibly comfortable to hold. It has a twist up eraser that has never given me much trouble with smudging. Most important is the grip. It's wide grip is designed for comfort and to be used all day. I absolutely love this pencil!
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen: A fine tip brush pen with black ink on one end and grey ink on the other end. I talked about this pen last week in my first impressions post. You can see it's in every image this week. I wanted to use it a bit more to get a better feel for it. I still love this pen and will happily buy it again. I've found it's most useful for dark line work. As I've mentioned before, the black ink is extremely opaque. It was able to write over bright red ink last week and this week it completely covered metallic gold ink and survived being erased over.
The one problem I've run into is the size of the grey ink tip. The black and grey tips are the same size. This is the perfect size for small details and a lot of control. It worked very well in the second image above. However, the fine tip on the grey side was not very versatile. The black tip doesn't need a lot of versatility. I only use that side for line work, so as long as I can get some good line weight I'm happy. However, using the grey tip for shading means there are going to be larger fields of color that I want to use it to fill. The small tip is not well suited to these applications. The first image and last image were difficult to work on in places because of this lack of versatility.
I still like this pen and will use both side. Black for line work and grey for detailed shading, but I'm searching for a better option for full picture shading.
Copic Ciao (YG11): Seen in the first image, this is a pale green copic marker with a super brush tip and a medium broad tip on either end. I have had this for a while, but never got around to using it any more than a simple swatch. I've never been a big fan of copic markers. I find that they dry too quickly and tend towards a streaky look when dry. This week I tried using this marker as more of an accent than to lay down full color. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it! Because I was using it in small doses, I didn't have to worry about it drying too fast. I also noticed that this pen was not drying out as fast as other copic supplies I've used in the past. I was also able to get a pleasant layering effect.
I'm still not entirely sold. I found that the pencil had to be completely erased or the marker would pick up the color and become muddied. I prefer to leave my sketch lines while working, so I did not like this limitation. In the first image, you can see in the top left hand corner where I had to work the pencil out of the tip to get back to the pure color. I did like the pen and will try to use it again in the the future.
Graphite & Charcoal Drawing Pencils (by: Pentalic): This is a 6 pencil set that includes 6B, 2B, and HB graphite along with medium, soft, and white charcoal. This week I only used the 2B and HB graphite and the medium and soft charcoals. I do not use pencils for much outside of sketching. I personally prefer ink. However, in the second image, I wanted to give the smoke a dirty, smokey quality, and I felt pencil was the medium best suited to the job. I've had this pencil set for a long time, but never used them outside of a quick first impression months ago. Even in this piece, I only used it for accent. That being said, I was happy with the product. I was able to blend the pencil into the shape I wanted with my finger and the final product was what I had imagined.
Metallic Caran D'Ache (gold): This is a medium fine tipped pen with a metallic gold ink. I've had this pen for a while and enjoy using it as an accent. It's a fun pen with a bold metallic ink. The ink is very strong, opaque, and can write over anything. It has a slight metallic shimmer. It is clearly gold, not a dark yellow. I like this pen a lot, however I do not use it very often as a little accent with this pen goes a long way. In this peace, I was pleased to see that my Fudenosuke pen was able to write over this gold pen, both with the opaque black tip and a transparent shading with the grey tip.