Artist: Tim Von Rueden (vonn)
Check out the Exercise and Download the Practice Sheet HERE.
Pencil labels, numbers, and letters can be confusing and overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. This exercise makes it clear what the difference between “B” pencils and “H” pencils is.
Let’s break it down:
- HB is the center point on the hardness spectrum. What this means: the higher the number, the further from the center point, HB.
- H stands for the hardness of the pencil. The higher the H-number, the lighter the result.
- B stands for the “blackness” (or commonly also “softness”) of the pencil. The higher the B-number, the darker the result
How can you remember this? I like to remember that B stands for how “Bold” the result will be: a 9B will have a much bolder and darker result than a 3B pencil.
What does this mean in practice? No matter how hard you push a 6H pencil, you won’t achieve the same result that your 6B pencil will.
Note: if you ever see just a “B” on the pencil, it’s the same thing as “1B” and same for “H” is the same thing as “1H”.