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Pencil used by draughtsmen around the world, is the most immediate and sensitive of the drawing media, being as capable of producing a quick sketch or a finely worked drawing. Knowledge and understanding of the face and head are vital to the portrait artist. With practice and an understanding of proportion and structure, it is much easier to draw evocative and accurate portraits. Also with this knowledge, it is possible to draw portraits made completely from the imagination. The major drawback of artworks in pure pencil is their relative impermanence, and monochrome character. As a result, most draftsmen commonly execute works in more permanent media and add pigment through the use of watercolours, gouache or pastels. However the easy erasability of pencil lines makes the medium exceptionally convenient for preparatory sketches, which is why the majority of modern painters, using oils, watercolours or acrylics, execute their initial designs in pencil.

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