Drawing Supplies

Drawing Supplies

Drawing Supplies: Where to Start!

There are quite a few brand names out there creating drawing supplies. Some are for kids, some for school and some for semi- pro and pro use.

My guess is if you’re reading this you’re looking for semi-pro to professional grade materials to get that performance and quality that you just can’t get from Rose Art or Crayola.

Not to say those aren’t quality materials and later on in your explorations you may find yourself using these “childrens'” art supplies; but even then you still will want to have higher performance materials to use along with your crayons to give your pieces more dimension and sophistication.

 

The essential drawing supplies

There really are only a few things you need to have in your art box to get started right, and yeah you should have some sort of art box but I’ll get into that later as its not that essential.

 

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Pencils

Eraser

Sharpeners

Paper

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Pencils

There are a few brands to choose from but if you've looked at the pencil aisle in your local store there tends to be a few dominate brands out there producing drawing supplies.
pencil-spreadsupplies

  • Sanford
  • Faber-Castell
  • General's
  • Derwent
  • Staedtler

 

All of these are artist quality brand names that create quality pencils designed for sketching and finished drawings. I personally use Derwent because at my art store there is a great selection and I can buy individual pencils as I need them. With that being said I do have a few General's in my box from a set purchased a while ago that work just as well. I have some Sanford pencils but they are only Ebony which is for those super dark areas when you need a lot of contrast.

"They all feel the same in your hand, its really just a matter of what drawing supplies are readily available to you and what feels comfortable in your hand."

 

All of these brands have some sort of drawing set or on-the-go set that will give you a good range of hardnesses and will usually come with a few accessories like a pencil sharpener and eraser.

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Erasers/Blending Tools

Not all erasers are created equal and some have different uses.
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Just like pencils there are a few brands out there:

  • Sanford
  • General's
  • Staedtler
  • Alvin
  • Design

 

Most pencil manufactures create erasers as well as other drawing supplies and why not? They do go hand in hand. Some erasers, I find, work a little better than others. I use two different ones the majority of the time and they are Design's kneaded eraser and General's Factis soft black and soft white erasers(above). The third one I have is a Staedtler electric eraser but it is more just for fun as I rarely ever find myself using it.

 

Design's eraser is easy to mold and shape to lift any unwanted marks. It is however not a good eraser for erasing dark heavy lines that span big areas. It's more of a detail eraser used for getting small highlight or for light abstract erasers like when creating smoke or atmospheric elements.It works best using a blotting motion.

 

The Factis

A great all purpose eraser. It doesn't crumble like a gum eraser and can lift most lines easily granted they aren't ingrained into the paper. I have a black and a white one and they both work great. The black is specifically designed black for erasing charcoal and graphite but both work the same and don't leave marks on your paper.

 

The Electric

Held like a pencil but is a little bulky and takes a little time to get use to as the eraser spins quickly around lifting the marks of the paper. It can create very sharp clean lines and marks that have a softness about them but you can achieve this as well with a stencil/ erasing shield and one of the other erasers!This is one of those fun to have drawing supplies, but not a necessity.

blending tool ,tortillion

 

Blending tools include blending stumps/tortillions which come in a variety of sizes and pretty much anything you can find to smear graphite onto the paper including but not limited to: paper napkins,cotton balls, soft chamois, q-tips etc. Use these when you need to smooth or blend areas of graphite, charcoal or pastel.

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Pencil Sharpeners

Pencil sharpeners are definitely essential drawing supplies. It may not seem like a big deal but if you are using anything often, the quality of the product will determine it's lifespan.

 

sharpeners , tools supplies

There are a few to choose from like the plastic kind you get for school and while they work well they may get broken easily. The main thing to consider when getting a sharpener is portability and quality.

 

If you buy a pencil set it will most likely come with a little metal sharpener that works great. These little metal sharpeners are perfect for traveling and you don't have to worry about it breaking and you can change the blade on them as well. The other version is the electric. Unlike the the eraser counterpart this is quite useful tool and time saving. They are quite portable as well just get one that runs on batteries.

 

I Personally have the little metal one that came with a pencil set which just happens to be made byKUM. The other is an electricBoston pencil sharpener that runs on batteries.

 

Both work great for me and have never had a problem with either besides batteries running low. Just get a set of rechargeable batteries and BAM! You never have to worry about buying them again. And if they do run out in the middle of a project you still have your non electric sitting ready to go!

Other Sharpening tools

  • X-Acto knife (also makes electric sharpeners)
  • Sandpaper

 

While I don't use these two methods personally they work great for others and most sketch kits come with this sandpaper block. Sharpening with the X-acto knife will give your point a little more versatility but when it comes down to it do what you're comfortable with.

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Sketch Books

drawing paper art paper

 

While you could certainly get into detail about the different types of paper out there and which is best for each project this really isn't the section for that. If you are just getting started all you really need is a sketch pad or book which you can get at any store that carries drawing supplies. There are a couple dominate players in this area and you will quickly find out who they are if you take a stroll down the paper aisle.

 

  • Canson
  • Strathmore
  • Stonehenge

 

All of these make art pads,sketch books and fine art paper and all are great choices. At this point the biggest obstacle is getting started and practicing your sketching techniques so pick a paper that interest you and get sketching.

 

Feel you just have to know more info on the different paper types before you get started? I am working on a page on how to choose the right paper for the job and effect you want to produce. Keep an eye out for it!

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Storage Bins

 

There are plenty of art bins and storage devices out there for storing all you tools, however I have found that none of them really work for me. All the professional boxes no matter what they are designed for are kind of all generic tackle boxes ,which by the way was my first art box( a fishing tackle box.

This is really the only time I will say go down your back-to-school aisle!sketch bin ,art tools, art bin, pencil case

 

I use SpaceMaker pencil boxes for all my pencils, pens and markers. They work well and you can stack them. They also come in different colors which can help you keep things organized should you find yourself as I do with lots of different mediums as I just mentioned.

 

The other suggestion would be to find yourself a pencil pouch just like the one you had in school. They work great and you can get them in all kinds of styles and designs.

 

When it comes to art supplies I would say don't get the cheap stuff. When it come to storage it really is a matter of opinion and functionality. Maybe you want that big tackle box of art supplies that cost $60, but for my money I'll spend the $1.50 and get the SpaceMakers and pouches.

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