Among my pencils and pens I found a sanguine pencil – a thick, reddish, crumbly pencil. In Italian it is called “matita sanguigna” or simply “sanguigna“, because of its red colour. The main component, that gives it its colour, was the iron mineral hematite (from which comes the Italian name for the pencil, matita). Nowadays the same texture and colour are obtained with other materials as well. The Italian Wikipedia entry is clear and complete, mentions history and drawing techniques, it is worth a read even through a translation tool!
So far I have only sharpened the pencil and copied a small tree. This pencil is different as it is much crumblier and messier than regular pencils – but not as messy as charcoal, in my opinion. I like it very much and I want to take inspiration from artists’ masterpieces, so stay tuned for posts with pictures 🙂