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Luxury Pencil: Your Thoughts ...


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#1 Polanova

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 14:28

Hello  :)

 

While I use my FP`s regularly I do use pencils more often for drawing & sketching.

So the desire for a reeeeally nice pencil has become a bit of an obsession with me lately.

 

It`s just my luck that the pencil I like the look of most is a Visconti Divina in black.

This one is horribly expensive & it also seems that the pencil was produced in far fewer numbers than the roller ball and ballpoint,

as only a few sellers have it on offer.

 

As to the price, I`d be willing to sell off a few FP`s to finance it.

 

My main worry is that it`s too large & heavy for comfortable use, especially as I`d use it for drawing rather than writing.

There`s also zero chance of trying it out in person & the resale value is probably not high (50%?).

 

What are your experiences with big heavy pencils, like for example a Visconti Homo Sapiens or the Parker Duofold Centennial, which, having a more classical look, I also fancy - I know it`s not as big as the Divina and very probably less heavy)?

 

Given the price tag I also wouldn`t mind anyone trying to talk me out of this objet d`desire  ;)

 

Have a nice weekend!


Edited by Polanova, 09 December 2017 - 14:29.


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#2 Studio97

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 15:01

Sketching occassionally...no and too expensive. Sometimes we believe that a fancier tool produces better results. I doubt the lead is any better than a good quality drawing pencil that costs 2 dollars and producing the same mark.
When it comes to hobbies i have gear acqusition syndrome (GAS). At home I have an art store and I am my only customer.
Quality materials produces better results but not from the lead holder.
I would worry about losing it when out field sketching. There are many good lead holders under $25.00.
Sleep on it.

A long time ago I almost bought a Montblanc sketching-drawing pencil. No regrets unless i find one at a really low price in two digits.

Edited by Studio97, 09 December 2017 - 15:09.


#3 Polanova

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 15:33

Thanks for your comment, Studio97.

Of course the cheapest mechanical pencil does exactly the same job!

But in the course of the last years I`ve accumulated some nice FP`s and enjoy the various designs.

As I use more pencils (mostly at home - I wouldn`t think of a Visconti Divina for carrying around) than FP`s it follows the queer logic of us pen maniacs to use a nicely designed one. I could justify the expense if it`d become my One Pencil  ;) - I just don`t want it purely as a nice to look at desk object rather than a tool.


Edited by Polanova, 09 December 2017 - 15:34.


#4 Studio97

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 17:36

I wish I could downsize to one pencil. I would have to sell off A LOT. I dont think its in my gene pool.
There is nothing wrong in selling off anything to acquire something else. It does help the budget when buying something high end. I have done that many times and still have tons of supplies.

#5 Pickwick

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 18:45

These so called luxury pencils are for those who desire elegance and wish to jot down an odd note every now and again, Their heaviness is probably for durability and not intended for the serious artist.


They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#6 Studio97

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 23:12

I agree.

#7 KellyMcJ

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 00:55

I have a "good" mechanical pencil ("good" being one of the more expensive drafting pencils in the aisle of the art store).

 

I have several "cheap" mechanical pencils.

 

My "good" one is plastic and metal, heavy, high quality, looks like a very professional instrument.

 

My "cheap" ones are plastic, obviously cheap, and feather light.

 

Guess which one I like well enough to own four of them, each containing a different lead hardness and diameter?

 

The cheap one. I found the "good" one to be much too heavy to use constantly.

 

it's worth considering. I wouldn't pay a small fortune for a nice pencil without having had a chance to use it first if I intend to use it for extended drawing sessions.



#8 Polanova

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 18:28

These so called luxury pencils are for those who desire elegance and wish to jot down an odd note every now and again, Their heaviness is probably for durability and not intended for the serious artist.

 

 

I`m afraid you`re right.

 

I`m wondering if your statement can be turned around  :P :

"These so called luxury fountain pens are for those who desire elegance and wish to jot down an odd note every now and again, Their heaviness is probably for durability and not intended for the serious writer."



#9 Polanova

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 18:36

 

The cheap one. I found the "good" one to be much too heavy to use constantly.

 

 

I`m afraid you`re right, too. I did realize that The One Pencil is illusory, even though I mainly use 0,5 - 0,9mm lead in HB-B & have no use for a great variety in leads, least of all "sketch"-leads at 3mm.

 

Maybe I`ll ask in the Classifies section if anyone is willing to sell one at a more reasonable price   .....hm.



#10 DrPenfection

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 19:04

https://www.amazon.c...k/dp/B000UTMM7U

 

Faber Castell makes lovely sketching pencils.  

 

I have one sketching pencil that I purchased at a local arts fair.  It was made by someone as a kit pencil.  It holds a 0.7 mm lead which is perfect for sketching.  

 

I also use mechanical pencils for work.  For those I use Pentel Kerry mechanical pencils with a 0.5mm lead.  I must have a dozen of the lesser expensive pencils.  I also use them for outline sketching when I watercolor mainly because the line is thinner.  


Best always,

Deborah (aka DrPenfection)


#11 Pickwick

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 19:23

 

 

I`m afraid you`re right.

 

I`m wondering if your statement can be turned around  :P :

"These so called luxury fountain pens are for those who desire elegance and wish to jot down an odd note every now and again, Their heaviness is probably for durability and not intended for the serious writer."

 

My dear friend, That also proves to be true.


They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#12 AmandaW

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:57

My favourite pencils for sketching are Hi-Uni or Blackwing or some of the other well made wood pencils with wonderfully responsive graphite. Those eventually lead to getting a really good electic sharpener that creates the kind of very long very sharp point that I love. A bit like XXF nib but graphite. Expensive, but worth it. It's also been worthwhile having a good pencil extender to get every last usable bit out of the pencils. I still go through a lot of pencils. 

 

I think what matters with art materials is that they do what you want them to do and don't get in your way. Sometimes that's going to cost a bit more. Only you can guess what that means for you.


It's all about the greys...


#13 JakobS

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:58

Since its difficult to try in person, if its possible to find something with both the weight and length of the Visconti or Parker around your house or work that may help get an idea of how it may feel.

The fanciest mechanical pencil I have is the Cda Fixpencil clutch pencil in green. Its nice, though I think I enjoy the 2mm lead from Uni Mitsubishi better.

I am more of a wooden pencil user, and my fanciest is the Cda Swiss Wood, which is a fantastic jack of all trades pencil, heavier than a standard #2 pencil, but with a incredibly smooth lead, that has amazing point retention.

Edited by JakobS, 12 December 2017 - 03:01.

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#14 Polanova

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 19:21

I`ve used wooden pencils in the past but since my FP enthusiasm started some 4 years ago i`ve moved towards mechanical pencils. My preferance are the GraphGear 1000 and a couple vintage pencils which have the disadvantage of using thicker leads than I prefer.

 

If the Visconti Divina were a couple cm shorter I`d cough up the money, but I think it`ll be too big & heavy.

So I`ll wait out my obsession as I`ve successfully done in the past.

 

I`m slightly surprised that no pencil user here shares my obsession, though. 

In principle I see nothing wrong with the desire for a really nicely designed & well produced pencil.

It seems to be a niche market & after a bit of research theres hardly anything which interests me, on any price level (exceptions noted above).

 

Then there`s also the pen producer`s misconception (due to ignorance) that if someone uses a pencil for sketching, it needs to have a 3mm + lead, hence the Sketch Pencil.



#15 inkstainedruth

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 22:36

I'll admit that my suggestion would be a Berol Turquoise leadholder (or its Staedtler-Mars equivalent).  They run $8-15 US, depending on where you get them and a package of leads (which admittedly run about $12-15 as well) will easily last you a decade.  Oh, and a lead pointer, another $8-10 (although I once got one on clearance at my local Pat Catan's for a buck, and found a heavy duty metal one on a sidewalk that someone was throwing out  :excl: for free...).  The leads come in different hardnesses, and also come in different colors.  

Even buying all of that stuff new is going to cost way less than a Visconti.  Oh, I just did a quick Google search: it's more like way way WAY less.... :yikes: 

And frankly, I can get a really sharp point on the leads -- much sharper than I could with a regular mechanical pencil.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#16 sidpost

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 14:28

If you want 'art' I'd say get it and admire it.

 

However, a fat, long, or heavy pencil is not something you are likely to want to use for any extended period of time.  If you really want a great user, I personally would reconsider some of the options mentioned above.

 

$50 will go a long way with premium wooden pencils, erasers and, sharpeners.  As long as the wooden barrel isn't a slick lacquered barrel, I think I would be happier with it versus a super fancy mechanical pencil that is about 'form over function' (i.e. too big or heavy for me).


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#17 milkb0at

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 15:02

The Visconti looks gorgeous. At that price I'd get a Yard-o-Led or Graf von Faber Castell instead, but that's down to personal preference. If you like the fact that the Visconti is capped, I've heard good things about the Uni Pure Malt and that's much cheaper. Clutch Situation on YouTube wanted a fancy mechanical pencil and chose a Pelikan (although as far as I know he doesn't draw or sketch).

 

I've never tried any of those expensive pencils, so I can't really comment on how good they'd be for drawing. But I do have a fair few mechanical pencils, a few leadholders and a smattering of wood case pencils that I use for writing and drawing. I always prefer the lighter pencils.

 

- If I'm doing some line drawing I will most often pick up any of the 0.5mm mechanical pencils I have (most usually the cheap but brilliant Pentel P205).

- For more technical stuff I'll often use my Staedtler Mars Technico leadholder, since I can get the point really sharp yet still enable some expressiveness that a 0.2mm or 0.3mm pencil doesn't allow.

- For shading I'll use a nice wood case like a Tombow Mono 100.

- My sketch kit currently has a Tombow Mono mechanical pencil (fairly cheap) since its twist eraser is excellent, but I switch it out occasionally

 

I don't like the GraphGear 1000 and its ilk for drawing since I find the balance and weight all wrong, unless we're talking draughting, in which case they work well.



#18 Pickwick

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 15:26

My favourite pencils for sketching are Hi-Uni or Blackwing or some of the other well made wood pencils with wonderfully responsive graphite. Those eventually lead to getting a really good electic sharpener that creates the kind of very long very sharp point that I love. A bit like XXF nib but graphite. Expensive, but worth it. It's also been worthwhile having a good pencil extender to get every last usable bit out of the pencils. I still go through a lot of pencils. 

 

I think what matters with art materials is that they do what you want them to do and don't get in your way. Sometimes that's going to cost a bit more. Only you can guess what that means for you.

 

To extend the life of a pencil, instead of frequently using a pencil sharpener to keep a point I use a piece of fine sandpaper. Art supply shops sell purpose made pads for this.


They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#19 amk

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 17:13

The expensive pencil I keep using is the Lamy 2000. I know a lot of happy Lamy Scribble users, too - one day I must manage to buy myself one.

 

But if you like pretty celluloids and ebonite (and the mention of Visconti suggests that you might), start looking at vintage. Conway Stewart (Duro Point), Mabie Todd (Fyne Point) and Edacoto made some beauties, and a lot of mine have been picked up for pennies. They are small, light and comfortable. That said, not all of them work ... but those that do are rather nice to use.


Too many pens, too little time!

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#20 Polanova

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 18:55

Thank you amk - you seem to understand me  :)

For esthetics, going vintage seems the only option. The only disadvantage would be the thicker leads.

I`d like a Waterman`s 100 Year pencil but they seem to be awfully difficult to find in Europe.

 

For pure functionality I already use an assortment of mechanical pencils & wooden ones.

I`d just like to have an esthetically pleasing pen

 

milkbOat: It`s question of taste. The Visconti has the most original form of all high end pencils I`ve seen.

Earlier this year I`ve acquired a Visconti Metropolitan at 60% discount - while it`s not a terrific writer I absolutely love the looks of this pen. What can I say? Yard O Lead I`ve considered, not the new ones so much but vintage ones but I`m not tooo keen on sterling silver + traditional design. Pelikan doesn`t do anything for me.


Edited by Polanova, 18 December 2017 - 18:55.







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