aboutimage galleriescontactsubscribe

The Life & Death of a Pencil Tip

MAY 27, 2011
The Chosen One: does this scrap of pencil have any idea what its fate is?
News Flash: pencil lead breaks!
I save these little things. I have collections of pencil stubs, scraps of paper and assorted ephemera that I believe has an interesting pedigree, personality or potential. I love art supplies and I really love orphaned or abandoned art supplies. Got a broken ball-point pen? I'll probably find some use for it. I'm constantly pillaging my kids' cast-off art sets for too-hard colored pencils, colored paraffin masquerading as crayons, scented markers, and watercolors that should never see the light of day. These inferior things get my creative motor running. But do you save broken pencil tips?
In my personal work, because I often don't know what I'm going to draw before I've drawn it, I seek out the stimulation of these bits of junk that usually prove worthy of exploitation. It provides a starting place when staring into the great white void. So, for what it's worth (doing my part to keep the level of unprofessionalism high at Drawger) I present to you the mighty labor and last moments in the life of a quarter-inch piece of pencil lead. He left it all out on the field.
The grip of a seasoned professional. Note the extension and curl of the pointer finger. Everything seen here was performed on a closed course using professional drivers.
a tense moment! Don't choke on me Mr. Pencil lead!
Hmmmm… what can I do with this broken tip?
A scan of the drawing. Let's see: 1/4 piece of pencil = one page drawing without any shading. A pencil is approximately 8 inches long so I might get 32 pages of drawing out of one pencil… seems like it should be more. Still, that's one picture book, 32 pages…