Brush Sets Back in Stock! SHOP NOW!

Sold Out
Studio Tools

Vintage Lyra and Faber Casteel Copying Pencils

Out of Stock

T H E  S T O R Y

In late 2014, I wandered into a tiny stationery shop on a side street in Rome. It was a marvelous little place that I soon learned was a vintage pen shop. Tables and built-in shelves were bursting with tiny boxes of pencils, inky handled pens worn with use...

I stumbled upon a gold box filled with the prettiest blue pencils. I bought them because they were pretty, never even knowing if I would use them. But I did use them and to my shock they were not just a basic pencil.

At first, the stroke I created looked like a normal pencil mark. It wasn't until I began adding watercolor to the page that this pencil's magic was revealed. My simple pencil marks turned into the most delicious indigo inky watercolor imaginable.

I felt like I'd discovered some secret in that shop in Rome.


What I discovered was a little something called a "copying pencil". These were used by architects largely in the 1800's to transfer images from one paper to another.

Vintage copying pencils aren't terribly rare but these specific models indeed are. Most copying pencils on the market are basically watercolor pencils. These are, however, very specific, unique and extremely difficult to find.


I've chased these pencils for years, bartered with collectors, had them shipped from a pencil aficionado in Cypress. I'm very serious about tracking down these vintage gems.

I use my copying pencils to sketch a pattern first. I then add touches of watercolor and watch the sketched lines bleed into the moisture in the most beautifully unpredictable ways.



  • One Vintage Lyra Copying Pencil
  • *Faber Casteel Copying Pencils are currently sold out.


Note: These pencils are vintage so minor defects may be present such as small chips at the end, minor stains or imperfections in the barrels.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5.0
Based on 2 Reviews
Not sure about 10.00 price tag
I will be posting a follow up review after some more use. I didn't realize I was paying 10.00 for only 1 pencil, just hope it is as fabulous as a 10.00 pencil should be. I should of read discription more carefully. When I saw multiple pencils I assumed it was for several. My bad.
sketching pencil that becomes part of the painting
This acts like a regular pencil for my initial sketch, but the marks of this pencil soften and turn a bluish purple in water, so instead of being left with pencil lines in my painting, they are integrated into the painting as another nice detail. I like it so much that I bought another one after trying out my first, to make sure I don't run out for a long time!