Work has been DESTROYING me. Thankfully, rosefox coaxed me out to a museum exhibit last week, or I might have imploded. I’ll post a few little sketches from that outing when I get them scanned, but in the meantime… the pen of the day is a pencil. Or, rather, a brand of pencils.

The Tombow Mono is supposed to be one of the 3 or 4 best drawing pencils in the world (along with—so I am told—the Uni-Ball Hi-Uni, The Uni-Ball Penmanship, and the Staedtler-Mars Lumograph). The hard 4H pencil lays down a line that looks more like a 2H Staedtler-Mars to me. I have some Uni-Ball Hi-Uni pencils, but I haven’t taken them out for a spin yet. Lucky for me, the Tombow pencils cost half the price at the local art store as listed on the usually reliable online sources, so I could nab a few yesterday to play with.

These pencils felt odd at first—very smooth on the page, like working with pastels. Writing with them feels a smidge peculiar, maybe because the tactile feedback seems odd. But it’s really nice to draw with. This pencil wants to make you a better artist; clearly that’s its sole goal in life. That, and talking you into buying fixative.