Wow! Saturday comes around so quickly! Happy weekend! I hope you are having a wonderful one. I shall be spending some time in the mountains, camping and kayaking which will be just fantastic. And also hopefully away from the heat for a while which will also be a treat!
I thought l would share my finished Jewel Beetle picture, but l also wanted to talk a bit about pencil sharpeners! I know it sounds so dull to anyone who doesn't draw, but it is such an important subject to anyone that does! And l get asked over and over how l get those lovely sharp points on my pencils, so l thought l would share with you just how.
When l started with colored pencils l used an ordinary little handheld sharpener, no problem. That was for about four weeks, when the blade dulled and l couldn't get a decent point anymore. So l went and bought a couple more, both the same brand, one was useless on opening and went straight in the bin, the other was great.....for about four weeks, when it went dull. So l read some reviews, did a little research and went for another branded sharpener. It was excellent, the best sharpener l had used, for about six weeks......when the blade went dull. I bought another, same thing, great to start with, a few weeks later, totally useless. I was going through a lot of sharpeners!
So more research was needed. This time l read a lot, l mean a lot of reviews. Electric ones l didn't want. I didn't want to be bothered with recharging or replacing batteries and most reviews mentioned how they ate through pencils. When some of your pencils are $5 each, you don't really want most of them going straight into the bin as pretty shavings. In the end, l plumped for the Carl Angel 5 (which if you ignore comments on the silly little clamp - which is absolutely not needed anyway) had great reviews. (Apart from the odd strange person you always seem to get who can't work out how to use something!). At around $25 (with a replacement blade costing almost as much as just replacing the whole unit), a little pricey for a sharpener, but l figured that my handheld ones were $8 each, so as long as it lasted more than three and a half months l would still be better off.
It arrived and it took me immediately back to my early school days, as l recall we used something similar in the classroom. It is a sturdy little unit, you clamp the pencil and turn the handle. Sidetracking slightly, a number of reviews marked it down because the clamp leaves little dinks in your pencils. This made me laugh, my pencils are tools, what is the point of having them if you just want them to look pretty in the tin? I am amazed that anyone who feels that way can bring themselves to sharpen a pencil at all....after all then it will be shorter than the rest and look really unsightly!
lt does leave little dinks in my pencils. Do l care? Not one iota. It sharpens pencils to the most amazingly sharp point, and l can't tell you how nice it is to use. All the shavings fall into the removable tray and it holds a lot before you need to empty it. And l love it! I do! I love it. It has been going strong now for fifteen months (l bought a spare for when it does fail as l never want to be without be again!), l would have gone through around eight of my other sharpeners in that time, so l am already around $40 better off, but best of all my pencils have beautiful points, time after time, after time.
l use this sharpener on both my Polychromos and Supracolors. I do not use it for my Luminance pencils, simply because the softer, waxier lead would not hold that sharp a point. For the Luminance, for those who are riveted by talk of sharpeners, l use an Alvin brass bullet, a small, very well made handheld sharpener. I am on my second one. The first lasted a year before it didn't sharpen quite as nicely as it did at first, it still isn't bad but l am obsessed with a sharp point!
So there you have it my friends, the lowdown on my pencil sharpeners. If you are still awake all that remains is for me to wish a great rest of the weekend and happy drawing!