Graphite is a form of carbon which, when mixed with clay, is used for drawing, most commonly in the form of a ‘pencil’. The ‘lead’ in a pencil is something of a misnomer because it is not the same as the metallic element lead.

Pencil ‘lead’ can be manufactured in different grades of hardness which in turn deliver varying values.

The advantages of graphite are several. It offers the artist a drawing implement that is immediate, stabile, forgiving, directly responsive to levels of hand pressure, readily layered, and fade-resistant. Once framed behind glass, it cannot be smudged and unlike pastel, its particles will not drop from the paper surface.

Judith is especially fond of the Stabilo brand of pencil. She also uses a variety of other stick forms of graphite.

I love drawing with pencil because I feel directly connected to the paper — almost as if my fingers themselves were made of graphite. I love the energy that comes with making marks on paper, the physical aspect of drawing. I love the verb part (the process) as much or more than the noun part (the product), and pencil is the medium that best delivers that satisfaction for me.


Judith uses a variety of acid-free papers, most commonly Strathmore brand bristol surfaces.

photographing graphite drawings

This is challenging under the most professional conditions, in large part due to the reflective nature of the graphite when placed under bright photographic lighting. It is difficult to capture pure white as well as the full range of subtleties that exist in a graphite drawing. The images on this site do their best to balance the various issues that confront the photographer.