Starter List: Basic supplies
Graphite drawing or sketching pencils
Good hand held pencil sharpener
Rectangular vinyl (plastic) eraser
- Make sure the texture is not too rough (or your details will look rough) and not too slick (or the graphite won't stick to it well enough to make dark values.)
- A tablet that is marked as "drawing paper" will probably work fine.
- Get a good sized tablet. (At least 8.5 x 11) A tablet that has rings is much more useful than one with a bonded top or side.
- If you are concerned about your drawings lasting for a while, look for "acid free" paper.
- I like Canson Pure White and Strathmore Drawing paper pads best.
- Drawing Paper at Dick Blick
Intermediate List: After Basic Supplies.
Wider variety of pencils
- To extend your range of pencils, add a 4B, 6B, 4H, and 6H. You will be able to make interesting value variations and textures with these grades.
- They come in a plastic body and you can sharpen the eraser's end into useful shapes, like a point or a wedge, to create special effects.
- I like the Tuff Stuff eraser by Sanford.
- Stick erasers and refills at Dick Blick
Small sharp knife
- Stumps - rolled paper blender with a hard point.
- Tortillons - ground gray paper formed into a stump shape. They are slightly softer than rolled paper stumps.
- I prefer tortillons because the softer texture works well with graphite.
- To save money, buy a package of mixed sizes.
- Small flat brush - for blending and also shading techniques and textures.
- Stumps and tortillons and inexpensive small flat brush's at Dick Blick
Archival 100% cotton paper
- To preserve your artwork.
- Good for drawings that you intend to sell.
- I like Stonehenge paper because it has a smooth surface and is very inexpensive.
- Stonehenge paper at Dick Blick
Advanced List: Useful Tools
A Storage Box
- To keep all your tools in.
- I use a plastic tool box I bought at a hardware store. It was cheap and works great.
Small battery powered eraser
- Use it to create textures and to erase very small details and highlights.
- I use a Sukura. I've had it for 10 years, used it on hundreds of drawings, and it still works fine.
Mechanical pencils with 2mm leads and a hand held rotating point sharpener
- These large leads come in several grades and sharpen to a long fine point quickly with a good sharpener.
- I currently use Staedtler leads.
- Use them to draw extremely small detail.
- Be sure to get a sharpener that fits the mechanical barrel. (Information about which pencils it's for is usually on the back of the package.)
- Mechanical pencils with 2mm leads and a hand held rotating point sharpener at Dick Blick
- To blow away graphite dust and eraser crumbs.
- Look in the pharmacy in the "infant" section for a blow-bulb type of "nasal aspirator."
High quality archival 100% cotton paper
- Arches smooth surface watercolor paper is preferred by many drawing artists including me. The surface works well for graphite and can take a lot of erasing and re-working.
- Arches Watercolor Paper at Dick Blick
Pastel brushes For Blending Graphite
- I've never found bushes made specifically for graphite, but some pastel brushes work well.
- Use them to blend and to apply powdered graphite.
- Pastel brushes at Dick Blick
© Carol Rosinski 2010
The writing and images on this page are the copyrighted work of Carol Rosinski and cannot be used without her permission.
Web design by C. Rosinski
I've been growing Toad Hollow Studio since 1999.