Warning about fraudulent Online Sites claiming to offer Faber-Castell products. More information

Basic techniques with Castell 9000

The CASTELL 9000 is a genuinely classic pencil. It was launched by Count Alexander von Faber-Castell in 1905. Its quality and finely graduated degrees of hardness have made it a firm favourite with artists and illustrators. Its lead is fully bonded with the wood surround and is therefore particularly break-resistant. The CASTELL 9000 is available in 16 different degrees of hardness, making it the ideal pencil for all technical and artistic applications, for example writing, drawing or sketching. It offers top-quality while applying.


Even the hold influences a drawing. Held at the pencil’s end, the drawing’s character will change to a loose sketch. The further a pencil is held towards its tip, the more specifically and exactly the lines can be drawn.

Varying pressure

Through varying the applied pressure, the same pencil can produce fine as well as wide lines. Drawing parallel lines while increasing and decreasing pressure is a good exercise for this technique.


Choice of paper is of utmost importance for the characteristics of a drawing. The example on the right shows a Castell 9000 Jumbo 8B which has been used on three different types of grained paper. Depending on the grain, the structure of the drawing is fi ne or coarse.

Light and shade

In monochrome depictions, colours are represented in tonal values. Different shades of grey convey the pictorial elements’ colour intensity, surface properties and incidence of light. They thus give the picture life and depth.


When hatching the lines run in the same direction. Different tonal values are achieved through overlaying and condensing. Line length and distance between the lines further varies the optical result.


When cross-hatching, strokes of the pencil in one direction are drawn on top of strokes made at another angle. Differences in number and density of the overlapping lines create tonal shades.

Overhand grip

When using the overhand grip, the pencil is held in an extremely flat position in order to create extensive laydown. This technique helps to quickly create large areas and fluid tonal shades.


Loosely applied graphite can be smudged over a specific area with the help of a paper wiper or finger. It is a very appealing technique for creating clouds, water or blurred backgrounds.


Click through and find inspiration for beautiful artwork and drawing ideas with our Castell 9000.