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Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead, 2mm, 2B

Would these pencils be suitable for drawing under oil paint, and using no fixative?  A lot of artists are happy to use charcoal under oil, but recommend again "lead"/graphite pencils,  as lines can rise in the paint.  Graphite is carbon, but it is of a type that is used as a lubricant.  Charcoal is also carbon.  So when I saw that Carbon Lead was in the description I wondered if these leads are actually not graphite and would be suitable.

Not all Staedtler pencils are "carbon lead", but a lot are designated that way, so I would guess it is just their way of saying "pencil".


  • TamDeal

    Research demonstrates that graphite/clay pencil lines do not ‘rise in the paint’.
    As the overlying paint dries it becomes more transparent.
    There is no lead in drawing pencils. Early trade practice used lead to mark cut lines in stone and timber before graphite pencils were available.

    So the critical parameter here is how opaque are your oil paints? 


  • Interesting.  My paintings are crap so it doesn't really mater yet, but I tend to use fairly thick paint.  I just ordered some Geneva product, so that will probably go on thinner.  I would use the pencil Mark recommends, but they are not sold locally.  I hit the only deal there was on my, and the guy offering it immediately withdrew it.

    I guess this comes up at this point because I am, just for fun, making a pencil based on this tool, that will have the shape and feel of my long handle brushes, but that limits me to 2mm leads.

    Apparently Pica Dry makes coloured pencil leads that are water soluble.  I will have to check out if they offer all yellow replacement leads.

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