Hello again! (Or hello the first time if you’ve never been here before!)
So I talked about paper, the next step is supplies. I’m only going to talk about my favorite drawing supplies today. If you thought my paper obsession was ridiculous, my art supply stash is insane. I love everything art supply related.
You know how people joke about what they’d buy if they won the lottery? Well, I’d buy an art store. Because I want all of the supplies in the whole thing to play with! Not to actually run the store, but to be allowed to play with it all. Not kidding!
I use so many different types and fun things, but we’ll just talk about the drawing stuff, because that’s the art that I’m decent at creating.
Here is my favorite stash. The items I couldn’t live without. Showing off my stellar organizational skills here with this first picture. This is how my pencils sit on my desk. It’s easily picked up and moved when I want to do something else. That left flap is quite handy to store all of the accessories I use.
For graphite, I’m in love with Faber Castell 9000 pencils. I love them. I do own a couple of other brands, but this post is all about favorites. So these guys for the win. I actually started drawing with General’s graphite. They aren’t terrible. But the Faber Castell don’t have those little gritty things in the pencil that are super frustrating. The lead is smooth and delightful. I own a set of Derwent pencils as well. I purchased them at the exact same time as this set, but they are still in the original box. Still wrapped in plastic. Maybe I’ll open them someday. Maybe not.
I use a regular boring old big mechanical pencil a lot. Always handy to have one around. I don’t necessarily draw with it, but outlining, and taking notes always is done with this guy.
Two mechanical pencils. One has HB lead in it, the other has 2B lead in it. They are 0.5mm leads. I’d love to get an even smaller one someday to test it out. The 2B is surprisingly dark because it keeps such a sharp point. If I could have found 4B locally, I would have gotten it too, but for now this combination is working just fine.
I use these only on the top layer as I’m finishing up. They are awesome for adding those final details. Whiskers and eyelashes and the final fur touches. I am anti-sharpening pencils, so these guys have been a great addition to my tools. (I’ll probably talk about that anti-sharpening bit at another date.)
Kneaded erasers. They come in many sizes and brands. All pretty much the same in my opinion. I use them constantly. They work on graphite, colored pencil, pastels, sometimes ink. Must haves.
Ahh, my Tombow Mono Zero. This is not really an eraser. It’s an essential drawing tool. I use this as a pencil. Seriously my most important one. I recently ran out of eraser in this and had to order refills. It was the longest week ever waiting on them to arrive. Luckily I had some non-fur drawings in progress, but I cannot draw fur anymore without this eraser.
(Have you ever noticed that if you don’t have Amazon prime they ship your packages so slowly? It’s like they want to torture you into paying more! Great strategy. (Insert eye roll emoji here!))
I do take the tip and cut it down with a knife so that it is super thin. Then I use it to draw the light furs. Whenever people ask for advice on how to draw fur, I really want to say you must have one of these. But people may think I’m nuts. If you ever buy one, buy refills at the same time! Oh, how hindsight is 20/20!
I also have one of these electric erasers. I’ve used it a few times. Like the time a picture fell off my wall and perfectly managed to fall on top of a pencil holder full of colored pencils, leaving pencil streaks all over the drawing. (Insert series of emojis here.) It helped erase those colored marks to the point I could fix the graphite parts. I doubt I could replicate how this disaster happened if my life depended on it. How does a picture fall so perfectly, hitting the colored pencils at the exact right angle, leaving streaks down the whole drawing? It’s almost impressive!
Anyway… It doesn’t work as well as what I want it to. It has way too thick of an eraser for normal use. But I suppose in a pinch it helps? If you’re debating buying one, I’m certainly not the one to convince you that it’s necessary.
Drafting Dusting Brush
There are a bunch of different types of these brushes. Mine is a super cheap one. Yes, the hairs fall out sometimes. No, it doesn’t bother me enough to wish I had spent more.
This is perfect for brushing away all those eraser crumbs. And pencil crumbs. And food crumbs. Kidding!! I don’t eat while drawing. Unless we’re talking about Smarties rolls. I have a stash of those near my desk. You know you shouldn’t touch your paper, right? Well this guy solves that problem.
Blending stumps and tortillions. I use the stumps the most. I use them like a pencil at times, and for blending larger areas. I use them with my colored pencils on black paper. With pastels. With carbon. Couldn’t draw without them. The tortillions work a bit differently, and I do use them, just not for large areas. I use them for the tiny areas that my stumps just can’t get into. Tortillions are harder and just don’t blend as smoothly for large areas in my opinion. They are a nice addition and cheap in bulk. Every now and then I’ll use a good old tissue to blend large areas. Sometimes you need something super soft for a large area. I suppose a chamois would work, but who keeps those just laying around?
These are the only two sharpeners I use. I use the electric one on graphite pencils only. It works perfectly with them. The little red one I use on everything else. I have never had an issue with it. I use it with Prismacolors with no breaking issues that are super common with those pencils. I use it with my Polychromos. I use it with my graphite when they no longer fit in the electric sharpener. I have never had breakage issues when using this sharpener. Ever. It’s a super cheap, bought in a pack, locally purchased, all purpose dream.
If you draw enough, you’ll eventually need one of these guys. I bought these and they work. So I can’t compare brands. If it works, use it.
For black paper drawings these are my favorites.
Faber Castell Polychromos, cool grays. They aren’t the most opaque pencil on black, but they blend with a blending stump. This allows me to get the effect I am loving right now. They also erase fairly well. When you can blend and erase it makes life so much easier.
This is a fairly new pencil to me. It’s a Derwent Drawing Chinese White pencil. It is definitely opaque. But it doesn’t handle nearly as nicely as Polychromos or even Prismacolors. It’s crumbly and flaky, and is quite large. So details are a struggle. It reminds me of those massive crayons for little kids. You know what I’m talking about right? But for touching up extreme highlights it’s nice to have around. I wouldn’t use it exclusively, but as an addition it’s not bad.
When I first started drawing on black paper I used General’s Charcoal White. I don’t use this pencil for actual drawing anymore, but it’s still worth talking about. I use it for outlining and if I’m doing other fun stuff on either watercolor or black paper. It blends nicely and erases which is perfect for when you’re just learning. But it’s a bit messy and lacks the control and detail ability of the Polychromos for me.
So I’m not including Prismacolors in here. I use the white one for touching up highlights on my black paper drawings. I use them for colored pencil drawings though and I do love them. I also use the Polychromos when drawing in color. I have a soft spot for the Prismas, but the Polys are amazing on black paper. I’m not spending as much time working in color as I used to, or as I plan to soon, so I’ll save my color opinions for later.
Some other miscellaneous tools
Graphite paper. This stuff is interesting. I’m not going to debate how you get your drawing on your paper. In fact I’m going to ramble about it in a post all of its own soon. So, this is the brand I own, because it can be bought locally. I don’t love it, but don’t hate it. I’m not great at using it though and sometimes I wonder why I bother…. but that’s for another day!
These are the rulers I use most often. They are perfect for measuring distance to make sure my initial drawing is correct and helpful with straight lines and perfect circles and correct angles. I also use them as a barrier between my hand and the paper. I have found if I rest my hand on my paper it can warp it. So I put a piece of paper down, then the ruler, then my hand sits on top. Works like a charm. The large ruler is a quilting ruler. Yep, I quilt too. My creative outlets are all over the place.
And then there is tape. I use painters tape and masking tape. I don’t actually draw with my paper taped down. I never really understood the need. But I do seem to use these two a lot and decided to throw them in here.
Well there you go! My favorite supplies for drawing. Maybe I’ll do a post on all the supplies I love someday, but for now we’ll just go with this.
Thanks for being here and reading! I’d love to hear what your favorite supplies are.
Have a fantastic rest of your day, and happy drawing!