Pencil is a core in a wooden or metallic setting for writing, painting and drawing. Leaded and silver sprigs in a metallic setting have been used in the 12-16 century. From the XIV century Italian pencil was produced from slate and powder of burned bone and gum. As is generally known graphite pencils (from the XVI century) and pencils made from black lead powder and clay (including colored pencils) in a wooden setting (from the XVII century) have been produced.
We can find the first description of a graphite pencil in a wooden setting in the treatise about minerals written by Konrad Gessner in the year 1565. At the same time in Cumberland Borovdal graphite fields was found. Solid bars of graphite had been sawn on platens, planished, then sawn on sticks and put in a wooden or reed setting.
Nowadays pencil is widely used in portrait painting. It's characterized by a distinguished ability to convey deep mat and velvet black color. It shades easily on the paper and thanks to that fact it imparts a special charm and romantic style to a portrait.