I went to Hobby Lobby, I love that they are a Christian organization, there is a Michaels in that town, but that store is almost always poorly stocked and very messy, the first time I went there I thought they were about to close the store (for good) in the following days or week... so it's Hobby Lobby for me from now on, sorry Michaels, you had my heart and my money when I lived in Fort Worth, but the town I shop in now, well that store leaves a lot to be desired...
I went straight to the drawing and paper section of the store, as usual. I was looking specifically for some Ticonderoga brand pencils. These came recommended by an artist I watch on YouTube. You can find Mark Crilley's art supply video here, it should start right at the point where he briefly mentioned the Ticonderoga pencil, then he quickly goes on to the (Heavenly chorus) Prismacolor black pencil... ;)
I have never been wowed by a regular graphite pencil before, but these are pretty good, they are smooth and lay down a good line of graphite, they blend well too. You should be able to pick up a box of Ticonderoga pencils at any decent art supply store, they are prices inexpensively enough, if you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, you can sign up for their email newsletter and they will send you a 40% off coupon each month.
The other thing I purchased there was a 10 piece pencil set by Pro Art. These have 7 graphite pencils from 2H to 6B in hardness, it also contains 3 charcoal pencils in 2B, 4B and 6B (hardness). I played with all of my pencils today, I used to do pencil and charcoal drawings, in the charcoal I used the different hardness' of charcoal in stick form and in vine form, but I've never played with graphite pencils in the different hardness', I had a lot of fun today, sketching, doodling, and shading some of my tangles (see my previous article below with a review on a shading Zentangle book).
The one in the middle is the one I purchased at Hobby Lobby, after seeing the prices on Amazon, I wish I had seen the first one in the line up! Oh well, I did have a 40% off coupon so I didn't pay too much at HL...