Nicole’s tip No.1

Hello everyone 🙂

I always had trouble when deciding which graphite pencil to use. Of course, I searched on the internet for information and got the one or other shading pdf for learning how to choose.

But what I noticed is: I always went back to HB pencil,

Well I think it’s time to change that! Because to get out even more in your creations, it’s nice to know a bit about how it works.

So I got out my Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 set and played around with it.

This is the set I do have:

Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 set

Do you have the trouble to know which one is dark and soft and which one is light? Me too!

Therefore I made a little sheet with some shading on spheres. This is by the way also a good way to practice shading 😉 .


Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 sheet

I just put the sample of shading in to a sleeve to keep it clean and have it laying on my table. This way I can always have a look again and decide which one to use.

As you can see the graphite get’s less intensive the lower the number. 8B being very dark in comparison to 2B.

I used the pencils on each sphere adding approximately 3 layers. Starting light and adding another layer (always with the same pencil!) on it, at the parts which I want to have darker.

For making the shading smooth I use a paper stump. It is important that you use it with almost no pressure because if you use too much pressure it will just smear and it will get a fat shine.

Trust me: you don’t want that 😉

Here is a selection of paper stumps which I normally use:

Paper stumps


With the right amount of graphite, you can give your creations different outcomes.


It’s also important that you see that shading is a process. It’s not meant to have the end result after first layer of graphite.

That does not work like that. So yes, shading is a bit time consuming and needs effort but it’s really worth to take the time!

I always need to remind me on that too.

What you also need to keep in mind is which paper you are using because the result of graphite pencils changes when using different papers.

It’s really worth the time to do a few simple tryouts 🙂


Nicole 🙂


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