I love to draw. I've been drawing in a sketchbook for years and I'm working on pictures now to hang in my house-mostly portraits of my critters :) Anyway, I'm also thinking of trying to sell some of my original art, so I need good quality pencils and paper to ensure that what I'm doing won't be ruined by using inferior products. The brand of pencil I've always used in Derwent-it's a company that has been around since 1832, and they, by far, make the best pencils I've used. My favorite set is the graphic sketching set of 12 because there is a variety of softnesses to choose from so you can find the correct effect that you are going for when you work on your sketch. For instance, when you want hard color-black to white, you use the softest lead you can find to get the full darkness. When you are looking for sharp lines, you use a harder pencil to keep your line harsh against the background. This set contains the following: 9b, 8b, 7b, 6b, 5b, 4b, 3b, 2b, b, hb, f, and h. This is a great range for any ametuer artist! One other thing that I absolutely love about this set is the case it comes in. I'm a stickler for things being neat and organized when it comes to this sort of item. The case has a place for each pencil-in order of hardness-so it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for. This is especially nice when you're getting frustrated with whatever you're working on and you want to find your item FAST.
Overall, this is a great set for the beginning artist OR the artist that's been doing this a while! High quality and easy to use set!