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Grayscale: Exploring Graphite Lettering

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Grayscale: Exploring Graphite Lettering from Small & Delicate to Big & Bold – Amity Parks

Supply List
  • Mechanical Pencil- 0.5 and/or 0.3 and leads (Pentel Graph Gear 500 0.3 is my favorite) (PL21)
  • A few drawing pencils in various hardness' (6B, 4B, 2B, HB, 2H, 4H). Bring whatever you have already. (S142)
  • Graphite stick or woodless graphite pencil (6B or 9B) (S865)
  • Water-soluble graphite stick-Lyra 6B or 9B (Look for the water drop on the label) or Art Graf ws graphite stick (S949)
  • Art Graf Black Carbon Water-Soluble Ink Block (S955)
  • Kneaded eraser and white eraser (E09, E13)
  • White eraser stick: Preferably the Tombow Mono zero round, or Paper Mate 'Tuff Stuff' (E22)
  • Your favorite writing tools (including small and larger sizes of nibs, ruling pens, automatic pens, pointed and flat brushes, etc) (N04, N22, N30, N27)
  • Blending stump (S781)
  • X-acto knife, blades and small cutting mat (S417, S504)
  • Scissors (S835)
  • Small pencil sharpener (no motors please) (PL32)
  • Steel ruler, C-thru ruler (S271, S798)
  • Large flat bristle brush for wetting paper (BR64)
  • Strathmore 400 series drawing paper (at least 11''x17'') or whatever similar smooth medium weight paper you have at home. Few sheets of any other papers you want to try. (P100)
  • A few pieces of Arches text wove and some hot and cold press watercolor paper or any cheaper mixed media/watercolor or heavyweight paper that you have already. (P100)
  • Paper towels, water container, spray bottle (S817)
  • A short quote or a few words you like to write (5-10 words or so)
  • Drawing Board / padded surface to work on. (S690)
  • Not required, but for your info: The sketchbook I use and recommend is the Moleskine 7.5" x 10" Plain Soft Cover Notebook.
The $10 supply fee includes bound exemplars, contact paper, cardstock for matting work, use of assorted supplies during class.

While not specific to this class, Amity encourages all her students to have a subscription to Letter Arts Review and these books:
  • B4087. Speedball Textbook, 24th edition, edited by Angie Vangalis and Randall Hasson.
  • B2982. Scribe: Artist of the Written Word by John Stevens.
By and about Amity Parks
  • BL11.2. "Ritual" by Amity Parks in Bound & Lettered Vol. 11 No. 2
  • LR29-2. "Amity Parks: Letters and Ceramics" in Letter Arts Review Vol 29 No. 2. The Project Issue.

  • S142. Design Drawing Pencils
    Design Drawing Pencils
    Design 3800. Prismacolor Turqouise.

    "6H" is hardest lead. "9B" is softest lead, Specify 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, HB, H, F, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 9B.

    Your Price

    PL21. Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencils
    PL21. Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencil

    This technical drafting pencil with an industrial design features a 4mm fixed sleeve for template work and technical drawings. Metallic-mesh grip for precision and control. Top click, stationary eraser and tip. Pencil includes one tube of HB lead.

    Choose lead size: 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9mm.
    Barrel colors : 0.3 Brown, 0.5 Black, 0.7 Blue, 0.9 Gray
    Refill leads are item PL22
    Eraser Refills are item PL23

    Your Price

    S865. Progresso Woodless Graphite Pencil
    Progresso Woodless Graphite Pencil.

    High-density, lacquer-coated graphite for smooth strokes and excellent laydown properties. These woodless pencils can be sharpened with any pencil sharpener, have a solid, weighty feel, and outlast the standard wood-cased pencils. 7.6mm lead diameter. Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth. A favorite of Kirsten Doty for her drawing classes.

    Choose 2B, 4B, 6B or HB.

    Your Price

    S949. ArtGraf Graphite Stick
    S949. ArtGraf Graphite Stick

    A unique blend of graphite and binders allow the stick to be used dry or with water-soluble techniques. You are able to achieve a large range of washes and grays with this stick.

    Your Price $4.50

    S955. ArtGraf Water-soluble Graphite Disc
    S955 ArtGraf Water-soluble Disc.


    Use this unique disc of intense pigment to apply strokes of color on paper, leaving it dry or using water-soluble techniques. It allows for a wide range of shades. You can also use a wet brush to collect color directly from the disc. It applies easily yet erases cleanly.1-5/8" × 1-7/8" × 1/4". In a reuseable paper pouch.

    Specify color: Brown, Sepia, Dark Brown, Ochre.

    Carbon Black and Sanguine are now out of stock.

    Your Price $10.95

    E09. Kneaded Rubber Eraser
    Kneaded Rubber Eraser.

    Used to erase pencil (graphite). Cherryl Moote suggested it for removing the white lines fom a white lead mechanical pencil.

    Your Price

    E13. Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser
    E13. Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser

    A highly recommended white plastic eraser. For erasing pencil.

    Your Price

    E22. Tombow Mono Zero Eraser
    Tombow Mono Zero Eraser.

    Sleek, high-quality eraser for precision work.

    Specify Round or Rectangular eraser.

    Refills: E23

    Your Price

    N04. Mitchell Nibs (Round Hand)
    Mitchell Rexel Round Hand Nibs
    Straight cut. Sizes 0(3.3mm), 1(3mm), 1-1/2(2.5mm),
    2(2.3mm), 2-1/2(1.8mm), 3(1.4mm), 3-1/2(1mm),
    4(0.9mm), 5(.75mm), 6(.6mm).

    Flexible calligraphy nibs from England. Straight cut. Reservoirs are purchased separately. Though they are called Round Hand, these chisel edge nibs are good for many alphabets including Carolingian, ItalicUncials, Gothic, Foundational Hand, and Roman Caps. Used by professional calligraphers with and without the reservoirs. Some beginners may have trouble with the flexibility. One of our most popular nibs for calligraphy. Give them a try.

    See N05 for Left Hand Mitchell Nibs.

    Your Price $1.45

    N22. Ruling Pen
    N22. Ruling Pen.

    Julian Waters, Gottfried Pott, and many others are using ruling pens to produce expressive letters. This calligraphy ruling pen is designed specifically for lettering. You vary the line width by tilting the pen. Wood handle with brass collar & writing unit.

    Your Price

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