Can you add to this list and make other suggestions?

SummerSummer -
edited November 2015 in Drawing
Some of the paintings that I am planning require that I get back into drawing again so I've been reading up on it.  I know that very successful artists have become so on far less than I am posting here, but I'm curious to know your own creative drawing inventions that I've never heard of and can try out and add to this list.  So looking forward to your input here, especially if some of these are in error.  Thanks.  Summer

Drawing Studio Supplies* - updated Monday, November 9, 2015

  • Wash pencils - Water soluble, soft, black graphite pencils. May be used wet or dry, or use dry then apply a water wash. The pencils are pre-sharpened.

  • Ebony pencils - The Ebony Pencil is for sketching, drawing, and layout, with thick, black, satiny-smooth graphite lead. Pencils are pre-sharpened.

  • Carbon pencils - The carbon pencil is the perfect combination of charcoal and graphite. It has a fine grain, and goes on smoothly and precisely in rich, velvety, matte black lines. Carbon pencils have a consistent softness, for superior blending and texture.

  • Charcoal pencils and sticks, vine and compressed, of various sizes - Charcoal is the black substance left over when wood is heated in the absence of oxygen.

  • Graphite pencils - There are about 20 grades available from 9H to 9B often called lead pencils

  • Mechanical pencils - Pencils with a plastic or metal case and a thin replaceable lead that may be extended as the point is worn away by twisting the outer casing. Some are made with Super Hi-Polymer Lead and come in various sizes.

  • Leadholders or Lead Holders - any durable instrument that is designed to hold lead and be refillable with pieces of graphite so that the graphite can be conveniently used for drawing or writing. These drop lead type pencils come in 2H, HB, 2B, 6B graphite leads with their holders and their corresponding sharpeners and specific lead pointer (one sharpener for each size lead)

  • Powdered Graphite
  • Standard pencil sharpener

  • Portable Electric eraser - Sakura has been recommended as the best.

  • Sandpaper blocks for sharpening and electric eraser to a point and to keep a point on difficult-to-sharpen drawing pencils, charcoal, pastels, or crayons. Also for cleaning and sharpening blending stumps and tortillions.

  • Design 2000 white plastic eraser

  • Design art gum eraser

  • Kneaded erasers - grey, some available in colors

  • Pink Pearl erasers

  • Makeshift blending tools: fabric, facial tissue, makeup sponges/wedges, etc.

  • 12-inch C-Thru brand ruler or other straightedge

  • Circle template - the tinier the holes the better

  • Sealed Drawing papers or sketchpads - Bristol board pad, very smooth drawing surface

  • Steady, firm drawing surface or board

  • Taboret - a place to store supplies

  • Reference photos (get copyright approvals/permissions from friends and relatives)

  • List of suggestions - of areas to paint or photograph outdoors - try shade and semi-shade areas

  • Soft brush with long handle to remove debris from drawing and drawing surface.

  • Fat Blending Brush - long handle - for very light blending

  • Set of paper stumps - points at both ends - for blending and smudging - can damage paper

  • Set of tortillions - for detailed blending and smudging - point at one end - can damage paper

  • Foam tipped blenders - a softer form of blending and smudging - doesn't damage paper

  • Paper Clip (extend for use) - insert into a tortillion to extend the tip to its original shape.

  • Fingers? - Never! - Leaves oil on the paper.

  • Chamois - for blending, smudging, erasing - creates the smoothest textures - use smooth side

  • Cosmetic sponges/wedges - for blending and smudging

  • Brawny cloth-like paper towel - for blending and smudging producing a rougher texture

  • White Felt Squares - 12 x 12 - reduce in size for use - Wal-Mart or K-Mart - roughest texture

  • Printer Paper - cut small pieces - brings out the texture of the paper under the drawing

  • 3-inch soft dry paint brush - creates a unique effect when used for blending

  • Tracing paper pad - for protecting drawing - separating drawing hand from sketch

  • French curves - for drawing curvy lines you don't want to draw by hand

  • Erasing shields - metal, plastic, cardboard - consider making your own with sheets of acetate

  • File folder type acetate paper - for making custom stencils

  • Razor blades with single edge and scraping tools

  • Proportional dividers

*Does not include tools for Silver-point drawing.  The above items are from my own experience, members of this forum, YouTube videos, and authors of the books I've read and am reading and is still a work in progress.



  • Summer

    This could end up as a huge list of drawing materials. Adding to yours. Nothing essential, just handy to have.

    some suggestions

    Tombow MonoZero elastomer eraser. - both sizes. For accurate erasure.
    Charcoal sock. As demonstrated by Casey Baugh.
    Leather chamois for blending graphite.
    Small laser line - for shooting long vanishing points.
    Calipers - digital.
    Angle finder -digital.
    Draftsmans set squares 45 and 60
    Parallel ruler
    Spring clips - four large
    Putty rubber
    Knitting needle - thin black for sight sizing
    Pounce pack eraser - cleaning up stray graphite on white paper.
    Soft pastels - White and terracotta for shading.
    A2 folio case - Zip closure.
    A2 clipboard capable of secure attachment to easel.
    2 metre retractable measuring tape.
    Restricted palette inks, dropper, cups.
    Powdered graphite.
    Light source 5000k
    Long point electric sharpener for lead holders and pencils.
    Wet wipes.

  • WOW!  I like your list a lot.  I have the powdered graphite just forgot to add it to my list.  Isn't that a bear to use?  Long point electric sharpener for leads interests me.  I will have to look into that.  I will certainly go over this list more thoroughly.  Thank you.  Summer
  • Wow to you both. That is everything that I own and much, much more. What do I use most? My Faber Castell wooden pencils, an electric pencil sharpener, kneaded eraser, Tombow MonoZero eraser (round), Canson 1557 Classic Cream paper (for graphite), tracing paper or a Mahl stick to avoid smudging, blending tools (you have already listed every possibility that I can think of except Qtips), and my phone with the screen blackened - I use it like a black mirror or Claude Lorraine glass to see tonal values more clearly. If I am using charcoal, I like Coates willow charcoal and whatever brand of wood- encased charcoal pencils I can find - usually General's in my market area. I am still experimenting with paper for charcoal - I am not a fan of Canson MiTientes, but I like Canson Edition. I also like hot pressed watercolor paper for charcoal. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    @dlonergan Thanks for your input.  I like the Q-tip idea and will practice with those.  Nice idea about the black glass for tones.  I will eventually experiment with papers and start with the ones you suggest here.  And I will mull over the rest of your list like I would a trip to a good art store.  Thank you for posting.  I love your work, by the way.   :)
  • Summer

    Late additions.

    Workable fixative.
    Tee Square, large & small.
    Pilot Frixion pens and butane jet. 
    Rotring drawing pens and ink.
    iPad with various drawing apps.
    Camera and associated gear
    Masking and invisible tape.
    Toolboxes. multi compartment, movable partition.


  • @Summer  Thank you for the nice comment on my work! Another hint that I just thought of - if you sharpen pencils using a blade and sanding block, sand into a jar and save the graphite. It's cheaper than buying powdered graphite. Ditto if you sand charcoal sticks to get a point. Sometimes I "paint" with charcoal dust using a soft, cheap paintbrush if I want to cover a large area quickly. I used to do that with graphite, too, when I sharpened pencils with a blade and sanding block. Lots of people swear by that technique; I mostly swear at it, but I had a teacher once who insisted on it. IMHO, life is too short to spend it sharpening pencils without an electric pencil sharpener. For portability, I like a simple single or double hole metal sharpener. Enjoy playing with your new toys :-)
  • edited November 2015
    @Summer @dencal
    Charcoal, graphite, plus all that erasing and no DUST BRUSH? You guys walk on the wild side!

    Here are a couple that I didn't see on your lists . . . . . 

    Cutting Mats - I have a 3x4 feet mat that sits on top of an old drafting table

    Fiskars Heavy Duty Knife - It holds regular number 11 blades and holds them so much better than any other x-acto handle I've tried.

    Rapidograph Pens

    Refillable Ink Brushes 

    Snap Off Knife - to sharpen your charcoal pencils 

    after shaping them with a sanding block they will look like this, which makes shading so much faster

    Magnetic Drawing Board - A personal favorite of mine, I made one about a quarter of the size that you see here. No tape required, magnets are all that's needed to hold the paper in place. Also extremely useful as a Photo Holder. 

  • ... good is that I am at work right now... I feel a shopping wave coming over me... thanks to all of you... love this thread @Summer !
  • EstherH

    OK. Admit it your drawn to this stuff.


  • Love the  magnetic drawing board. I have used strong magnets on both sides of a regular drawing board to sandwich the paper inbetween, but this is pretty awesome.
  • @Castillo I have to laugh because my Darice dusting brush with wood handle, size 10-inch just arrived in the mail yesterday and I was going to add it to the list today.  I love your suggestions and pictures to go with them--especially the Rapidograph pens and the magnetic drawing board.  Thanks.  @EsterH I hope your shopping wave doesn't turn in to a tsunami as it probably will for me.  @Kingston Ah, the voice of reason.  Of course, you are right, but you have discovered my one real weakness--shopping for art supplies!  @dencal Me too!  @dlonergan I'll try your magnet lite idea before I go on to the magnet board on steroids that Castillo suggests.  I'm overwhelmed everyone!  This is a thread that I'll certainly be returning to often.  A lot to ponder.  Thanks.  Summer
  • I made my own magnetic photo holder with black magnet-paint on a light foam-board... works perfectly well also for all my daily-notes concerning my paintings...
  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    @EstherH  Good idea.  I have extra large sheets of black foam board and I've always wanted to try the black magnet paint.  I'll have my husband pick up several cans from town today.  (Space in time.)  I've just learned that there is also a magnetic primer spray.  Thanks. 
  • Containers for tubes of paint.
  • Woah!
    That's a big list.
    Best of luck!
  • You don't need much. For drawing these days, I use a PD, monotobow eraser, .3 mechanical pencil, a set of drawing pencils (currently using derwent), smudge sticks (roll facial tissue), a set of charcoal pencils, and willow charcoal. I like using hot press watercolor paper for graphite, and cold press for charcoal. I haven't done charcoal forever. Too messy. Rather do drybrush instead. Oh, and a kneaded easer, using blutak currently. Just start!
  • @MeganS Thanks for your input.  I'm going to order some of the blutak that you suggest.  Never heard of it.  Looks interesting.  Except for the blutak, my drawing nook is complete and now I'm filling a  notebook with sketches and cartoons and plowing through the books I just received from Amazon.  Sleeping a lot less just to get everything done.  Sure could use a housekeeper.  Summer   
  • Not sure if these are helpful but....A nice T square can make a wonderful bridge and help w/ architectural features and rapid layouts. Oh and that printer paper can also be used as a bearing surface to help keep the hand oils at bay. I like this thread
  • @RonHop Yes, I see how your suggestions can be useful.  Thanks.  I'm going to add them to the master list.  

  • @Summer is that book list top secret?
  • SummerSummer -
    edited February 2016

    Castillo asked "is that book list top secret?"

    @Castillo (and other fans of drawing) Here is a Bibliography of books, all related to drawing, that I've added to my physical library within the past nine months. Most are dog-eared, a couple look like my dog ate them. I've truly been enriched by these authors.  Some authors I would like to know personally.  I thank members of DMP for suggesting these books, @Kingston for PDF versions, and @dencal for online resources that I haven't gotten to yet. I guess it's not my secret anymore--haha. Summer

    Parks, Carrie Stuart and Rick Parks. The Big Book of Realistic Drawing Secrets. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 2009.

    Parks, Carrie Stuart. Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 2003.

    Hillberry, J.D. Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 1999.

    Calle, Paul. The Pencil. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 1974.

    Hultgren, Ken. The Art of Animal Drawing. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993.

    Metzger, Phil. Pencil Magic Landscape Drawing Techniques. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books,


    Metzger, Phil. Perspective Without Pain. Cincinnati, Ohio: North Light Books, 1992.

    Combs, Jamie and Brenda Hoddinott. Drawing for Dummies. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2011.

    Hoddinott, Brenda. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Drawing People Illustrated. New York: Alpha Books, 2004.

    Loomis, Andrew. Fun with a Pencil. London: Titan Books, 2013.

    Loomis, Andrew. Drawing the Head and Hands. London: Titan Books, 2011.

    Loomis, Andrew. Figure Drawing For All It's Worth. London: Titan Books, 2011.

    Loomis, Andrew. Creative Illustration. London: Titan Books, 2012.

  • Thanks Denis for the suggestion.  I'll give it a try.  Always looking for a fresh viewpoint when it comes to art and drawing in particular.  Summer
  • Time.

    (Strikes me, by the time you collect all these things you will be both money and time poor and still will not have actually achieved an, actual drawing!! 
     Keep it simple and don't get tempted to procrastinate, just actually getting on with a drawing will help improve your work, more than any of the items anyone has listed above)
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