Drawing Techniques: a Guide
Dry Media: Graphite  

Graphite, or the "lead pencil," ubiquitous today as a drawing and writing medium, first became widely used by draftsmen only in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The misnomer "lead pencil" is derived from the similarity of its line to that of the lead stylus (see "metalpoint") and suggests that it was the successor of that medium. The globules of the mineral deposited in the paper fibers produce a shiny grey line on the sheet. Graphite was first discovered around 1560 in Burrowdale (Cumberland) in England. It was at first favored by architectural draftsmen, but it became widespread as a general drawing material.

Nicolas-Jacques Conté, who invented and gave his name to the conté crayon (which was also made with graphite), invented the fabricated graphite pencil at the same time, in response to the shortage of graphite caused by the war with England. His pencils could be made with inferior graphite from continental mines.

Some artists, among them Georg Grosz, have achieved remarkable results with washes of graphite powder and water.

  Heinrich Schwemminger, Siegfried, Art Market
Colored chalks
Conté crayon