You need these tools to create a spectacular drawing!
“One of the great bonuses of learning to draw is that it slows us down and is a great antidote for the fast-paced, hi-tech world of the 21st century” : Diane Cardaci, about drawing.
If you have been drawing for a while, chances are that you have bought some art materials that caused you pain. While you must have bought some really good materials that helped you create some really good drawings, you must have also made mistakes in your selection once or twice (or thrice) : Papers that wore out and tore just as your drawing was beginning to make sense, erasers that smudged instead of erase, pencils that did the opposite of what you wanted..
It has happened to the best of us, so we aren’t here to judge.
Today, we want to do what we can to ensure that a lot of you do not experience these frustrations like we did.
Here is my list of tools & materials needed to create really good drawings.
1) Pencils : There are two major classes of drawing pencils – The H pencils and the B pencils. Imagine that H stands for “Hard” and B for “Black”. The Hard pencils are labeled 9H to H, with the highest number being the hardest. They can be used for intricate or detailed drawings. “Black” pencils run from B to 9B, with 9B being the darkest. The Bs are also known as soft pencils. They are my personal favorite, and are useful for making darker lines & velvety tones.
There are also graphite/ lead holders and woodless pencils, which have the advantage of a larger diameter lead.
For pencils, I recommend that you purchase the Staedtler brand.
2) Sharpeners : For regular pencils ( the ones with an outer wooden covering), there are two types of sharpeners : The portable, handheld sharpeners and the electric sharpeners.
To sharpen graphite/lead in a lead holder, you will need a pointer. A pointer is a specialized sharpener.
Lastly, you could also try your hands on a razor blade. The only problem is that razor blades do not give your graphite/lead a smooth finishing. Despite this fact, some artists swear by the razor. Use whatever works best for you.
3) Erasers : There are three important types of erasers you need to know, each serving a unique purpose.
– Kneaded eraser : This eraser is your personal chameleon, as it is able to adapt to your drawing as you deem fit. It can be molded much like a piece of clay, so you have a lot of control over what you want to erase. It is also very useful in pulling subtle highlights and halftones on your drawing.
– Vinyl eraser : The most common type in our environment is Tikky 20. It is useful for erasing Large/ broad areas of your drawing.
– Mono Zero eraser/ TomBow : Any experienced artist will testify to the goodness of this little, bad boy. The Mono Zero is shaped like the graphite/lead in a pencil and has a plastic exterior. It has refills too. It is useful when applying finishing touches to a drawing.
It gets into the really tiny parts of your drawing and help create those subtle values that give your drawing that extra awesomeness. It is very useful in detailing, especially for the hair and skin ( in portrait drawings).
Mono Zero eraser
4) Paper : We will let Diane Cardaci do the talking here: “ Choosing the right kind of paper for your drawing can save you time in the long run. Smooth paper is perfect for creating very detailed drawings. On the other hand, if you would like to have a lot of texture in your drawings, it is much easier to use a paper that has some “tooth” or texture. Textured paper, such as cold press, does the work for you in creating texture. Rough watercolor paper gives you even more texture to work with. The raised areas of rough paper pick up the graphite of your pencil easily, while the lower areas do not”.
My advice? Experiment with papers. That’s the best way to understand them.
5) Paper stump : They come in various sizes & are a useful shading tool. Get the various sizes & experiment with them, using the sides and the tip to shade. They are good for shading both wide and narrow areas. They can be deadly weapons in the right hands.
6) Easel/ Drawing board : Some of us prefer to have our drawing paper placed horizontally on a drawing board, while the rest of us prefer to have ours on a vertical plane, using an easel. Having tried both, I prefer using the easel for two reasons.
– Drawing flat on a board can introduce distortions to your work. This is easily avoided when using an easel. Also, by looking at your drawing straight on using an easel, it is easier to see where you need to improve your drawing.
– Drawing flat requires bending, and prolonged bending = backache. Nobody likes backaches.
7) Patience : This is probably the most important tool in the life of an artist. Patience – not only for improving our skills, but also patience in executing a drawing.
Even with the best tools, if you try to speed things up too much, you sacrifice quality and end up with a drawing that you won’t be proud of.
Exercise patience and you will produce your best work every. single. time.
If you have any questions about drawing, please leave them as comments below. I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. Please, leave comments too. We appreciate feedback!
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