Thursday, April 5, 2012

Advice on extending the life of your Prismacolor pencils

Today I am working in Prismacolor - Carolyn Dee Flores.

The biggest threat to the life of a soft pencil is a cracked core - because then, when you sharpen it, it  crumbles and falls apart.

So here are a few tips on extending the life of your Prismacolor pencils:
  1. When your  pencil gets too short to use comfortably, start by wrapping a little bit of drafting tape around the bottom end. (Prismacolor pencils are skinny, so they need the extra bulk to fit tightly into a pencil extender.)
Use tape to add bulk to pencil

  1. Buy wooden pencil extenders, and then -  cut them to 3 different sizes. (As shown in picture above.)

  1. Use a magic marker to make each extender a different color corresponding to size. Here I've used green for my shortest extender. As soon as your pencil becomes uncomfortable in your hand, you will use the shortest extender first, and so on.

    Line your pencil jar with thin Styrofoam.

    1. Line the bottom of your pencil jars with thin Styrofoam, so  your pencils won't  jolt against the bottom. (See above.)

    1. Use a hand-held sharpener.
      1.  For softer lead (Prismacolors)  use a Prismacolor sharpener.
      2. For harder leads, including Prismacolor Verithins, use a regular sharpener. (See picture above.)

      1. Use an old-school sharpener (picture above) when a pencil is brand new. Vacuum your sharpener AND KEEP IT CLEAN. This way you won't break your pencils. Also, keep your pencil steady, so that it does not rotate, when sharpening.
    When you have used your pencils up completely,  you can keep them in a pretty box - JUST LIKE THIS!

    Sincerely, your fellow illustrator,
    Carolyn Dee Flores