Worlds greatest pencil

At the San Diego comic fest (not comic con) a couple of years ago I met an artist and he raved about the Blackwing pencil. The pencil has a big square eraser on top that can be replaced. He felt that the pencil drew smoother and made a better line for drawings. Researching it I found they are the Palomino Blackwing pencils. They sell for $22.95 a box. You want the ones with the white eraser not the Blackwing 602 or the pearls, both of which have a harder lead (graphite). On the other hand Mark Crilley (he does drawing videos on YouTube) uses a plain old Dixon Ticonderoga number two pencil. They sell for $15.02 for a block of 96 pencils.

Don’t use a pencil that has been sharpened down so much that it cramps your hand to draw with it. Get a pencil extender or a new pencil. With a Blackwing you have to saw the eraser off to use a pencil extender, not a big deal.

Me, I use ordinary mechanical pencils. Either 0.7 or 0.5 mm leads.

What is the worlds best pencil? What ever is in your hand and your drawing with it. Whether you found the pencil on the ground or paid big dollars for it, if you’re using it then it’s the best. It took me to long to figure that out.


Write on, draw on. Professor Voltage.

24 inches of haven

I just bought a new LED monitor. 23 and some odd parts of an inches diagonal. There’s not enough room on the old computer bench for anything bigger. This thing is big. I’m finding that there is stuff to the side of web sites that has been always there but I didn’t see it with the old monitor. You can get a stiff neck reading text on this monitor, your head goes back and forth reading. The old monitor was so small that you could get a line of text in one glance with out having to move my head. This monitor is HD TV format. I wish it was a little taller for making drawings on it. This monitor is much better for drawing, much more drawing space. I don’t think I can use a 10 inch tablet, even with blowing the image up will not help.  If I get a laptop it’s got to be 13 inches minimum with a Wacom screen. Save your pennies and get the biggest monitor you can.

Write on, draw on.  Professor Voltage

e-book pirates are alive and thriving

At the last meeting of the screenwriters group I belong to one of the members who runs a mirco-traditional-publishing business had some bad news for another writer in the group. The other writer has written and published several novels both in trade paper back and e-book. The bad news is someone is selling print on demand copies of his books and he wasn’t aware of it or getting any money for the books sold. Seems it common for people to scrape e-books off the net and offer them for sell. They sell the books through large used book web sites but not Amazon. Self published authors and other small authors would not expect to find their books on used book web sites so they never check. One site we were shown claims the books (taken from other authors) were printed in the USA. The books from the dealer using print on demand were selling for less than the author sold them for or the price on the book jacket.

Are you a small book author that has e-books or know someone who is, then check the used book web sites and see if this is happening to you or people you know.


Write on. Professor Voltage.

Excuses, one million and two, plus drawing practice

Chris Hart said in an interview with Jazza that it is better to spend one hour a day drawing than to draw for eight hours one day a week. One hour a day isn’t much, but last night I sat down to put in an hour but before that all I had to do was write one check to pay a bill. There was money in the bank to cover the check, I just had to fill out the check and sign it. I opened the check book and was too tired to fill out the check. After a day full of taking care of family, working around the house to keep it from falling into more disrepair, keeping the plants in the garden from dying, and keeping the fish in the fish tank clean and healthy I was tired.

I went to bed. The next morning I filled out the check over a half a cup of instant oatmeal (Trader Joe’s with extra cinnamon and some raisins). Later I hand delivered the check.

They say there are no excuses, well some days there is more day than there is me. Missing a day of drawing is like going off your diet for a day or two or three. It’s not the end of the world, it isn’t even a big set back but you have to get back to it.

Tonight it’s write and draw but only for an hour, I’m tired.

Write on. Draw on. Professor Voltage.