Six Cheap Thrills For The Frugal Drawing Artist

Drawing is one of the least expensive art mediums around, so to celebrate your smart and frugal choice of medium, here are six inexpensive drawing tools to add to your supply stash.

1. Sav-A-Point Pencil Protectors by General – Pencils always get knocked around and leads are fragile, but these little plastic caps keep sharp points unbroken. They work on both wooden and mechanical pencils.

2. Paper Tortillons and stumps – Extremely useful for blending and for lifting out subtle highlights. Keep the tips clean by spinning them in a kneaded eraser or by running them over sandpaper.

3. Pack of Emery-Boards – Use them to shape erasers, clean stumps, and to quickly re-point pencil leads or create a chiseled tip.

4. Kneaded Erasers – Very handy once you get used to their soft putty texture. Pinch them into various shapes for erasing oddly shaped areas and for creating textures. Use them for cleaning vinyl erasers too. They are notoriously easy to lose though. I buy several at a time.

5. Small flat brush – Great for blending and for working with powdered graphite.

6. Homemade Powdered Graphite – It’s easy to make your own powdered graphite. Just run any pencil lead over an emery-board to create a small pile on a piece of paper. (A little goes a very long way, so you won’t need much.)

To store it, tip the paper and let the powder slide into a jar. Wide mouth jars work well because you can dip your brush in and pick up a little on the tip. I use short cocktail sauce and jam jars and I get to eat the stuff inside too, which makes it doubly frugal. And yummy. :)

About Carol

I'm an artist, an accidental author, and lover of life. I grew up in Yorktown, Indiana, and I've been writing (and drawing) this website since 1999.
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2 Responses to Six Cheap Thrills For The Frugal Drawing Artist

  1. Marvin Cline says:

    Love your site. I have been following it for some time now. I enjoy your articles as much as your work. I can relate to much of what you have wrote and hope you have more good days than bad. Keep up the great work as it has inspired me to continue with mine as well. I am soon to be 60 years old and started drawing late in life as a past time. The joy it brings me can’t be bought with money. Thanks Carol for being you and being here for us struggling artist. Mac

    • Carol says:

      Hi Mac,

      I’m struggling right along with you, and it sure is good to know that my highs and lows might help someone else a little bit.

      The truth is, art is hard. It requires a huge commitment without any guarantee of reward at all. Some artists never receive encouragement or even acknowledgment of their passion.

      Even though I started drawing early in life, I feel as though I’m just beginning to know what it’s all about! Maybe some art needs a mature mind to usher it into the world.

      There’s really only one thing about drawing that I’m certain of. I feel honored and extraordinarily lucky to have it in my life.

      I know you feel that way too.

      Keep on drawing Mac!

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