It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Film Pencils on Drafting Film

(Cabbage leaf in process on Oce and the zinnia on Grafix by Beth Bradford, both with polycarbonate pencils, please click to enlarge)

This technique uses pencils formulated for use on translucent drafting film to achieve high degrees of shading and contrast in an illustration. A film pencil (polycarbonate pencil) is made from a combination of carbon and polymers which gives great adherence to the film and is non-smearing. The pencil leads are graded from hard to soft in degrees indicated by numbers (lower numbers indicating a softer lead). 
Although the pencils have been made by major drafting companies; Mars Staedtler, (Mars-Duralar, K series) and (Mars-Dynograph, N series) pencils and leads, and Berol Turquoise (Filmograph pencils and leads, E series), they have been discontinued in the later part of 1990.  The Pentel Company has discontinued its film leads as of 2009 (the P series).  The remaining batches of leads and pencils may still be found at art and drafting stores or online  in art supplies categories.  The reason for the discontinuance is that the computer has usurped the trades of engineering drafting and architecture which was originally the market for these tools.

Last weekend our BI-program was introduced for this medium and method. We used all the above brands on Oce 868320011 Double Matte Drafting Film (Oce North America) and Gafix double frosted drafting film, 3 mil (Note: not Duralar). The instructor was Alice Tangerini, National Museum of National History, Smithsonian.
Please see photos of the student work by clicking here.

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