Purple Pencil Period

My husband Scott is going through his Pencil Period. For the last several months he has been researching famous and infamous pencils on the web and buying samples. This is good because I get through a lot of pencils, and it’s nice to have good ones to use.

So far, my favourite has been the Palomino Blackwing although he assures me this particular pencil is not lauded as the greatest of pencils; it’s only a celebrity pencil… courtesy of indirect (and disputed) links with Frank Lloyd Wright, Bob Dylan, John Steinbeck, Steven Sondheim, Chuck Jones (illustrator of Bugs Bunny) and Igor Stravinsky.

The pencils I am supposed to be wowed by are the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni and the Tombow Mono 100. There are several others too that just look pretty darned gorgeous, like the Mitsubishi Hi-uni HB lacquer pencil. If you’re into pencils you might like to go here for a list of those at the ‘pinnacle of pencil making’. (Alliteration in the service of pencils)

Actually, they all just seem good to me. But I try to helpfully doodle with whichever one he puts in my hand. And the thing most commonly to hand for doodling is Dexter, my ageing Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Last night, when I was required to test 4 pencils, Dexter was in the middle of his nightly anxiety attack brought on without fail by the sound of the bathroom tap being turned on and off as the kids brush their teeth… It squeaks. So naturally Dexter the Lion-hearted turns on his instant-whole-body-shiver and lurks near my legs looking very soppy.

His instant-whole-body-shiver can be turned off as rapidly as the devilish tap in question at the emergence of a tennis ball. Amazing stuff.

Hence, my somewhat facetious images of Dexter, each with the name of the appropriate pencil used to render it.


Stage 1: Tombow 8900 2B – a cheap everyday pencil. This comes in a lovely box.


Stage 2: the illustrious Tombow mono 100 2B (introduced in 1967, reportedly favoured by animators)


Stage 3: the illustrious mitsubishi hi-uni


Stage 4: my favourite – the Palomino Blackwing with a handy eraser on the end. Yaay!

If you want to buy any of these pencils you could go here or here or here. There are other retailers in Australia as well.

If you want to buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, check first if its sire or dam are afraid of squeaking taps.

7 thoughts on “Purple Pencil Period

  1. Pingback: Coming Full Circle | endpapers

    1. Judy Watson Post author

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised. Check the web sites to see. From memory, some are here in Australia, some elsewhere. Most in Asia perhaps? But you can always google the names of the individual pencils to find a local supplier. Good luck.



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