Supplies For Drawing

paper and several different kind of pencils

Posted On August 15, 2018

Supplies For Drawing

There are many reasons why one should learn how to draw. First of all, drawing is a source of great pleasure. Drawings and sketches are much better than photographs when used as a mean to create a painting. The most important is that drawing helps us develop our visual consciousness helping us look at the world surrounding us in a different inquisitive way. In order to draw you first need to get your basic supplies for drawing.

Nowadays there are many supplies for drawing, starting with paper all the way to many various pencils and ink. Each and every medium used helps the artist to express himself in a unique way.

Charcoal, for example, is perfect for strong expressive drawings while coloured pencils are particularly suitable for detailed delicate drawings. Your choice of materials used will depend on your style and the effect you like to achieve with your drawings. Try to draw each day, make it a habit and experiment with various mediums and techniques.


Mediums And Supplies

When we think of drawing we usually think of simple lines made by a pencil or drawing pen but there is so much more to it. There are many coloured mediums that can be used for drawing and expressing your self in exciting ways. The purest form of art is that one simple line with which you make an incredible story on the desired surface.

colored chalk on a white surface


A pencil is the most common drawing tool. There are many kinds of pencils which you can use to achieve soft tones, thin lines and the smallest details. Ordinary pencils are made of thin graphite stick placed in a hollow wooden tube.

Pencils are marked with letters H and B depending on the softness of the graphite in them. Standard sizing of the hard graphite pencils goes from 9H which is the hardest up to H, and soft pencils are marked from 8B up to B, 8B being the softest.

Pencils marked with F and HB are the pencils whose graphite is between hard and soft. Most commonly used pencils in drawing are medium soft pencils like 2B and 3B. Very soft graphite pencils are used for drawing wide soft lines while very hard graphite pencils are used for thin lines and small details.

Very popular drawing pencils are coloured pencils which are made of a wooden tube with a coloured thin stick in the middle which is made of clay coloured with pigment and wax used to bind it. The softness of the coloured pencils depends on the amount of the wax used to bind the clay.

Coloured pencils may be applied one over the other in order to achieve a visual mixture of the colour but cant be mixed so they come in many colours and nuances.

several shits of different color paper

Water-soluble Pencils

Water-soluble pencils are something in between colour pencils and watercolours. Colour can be applied dry on the paper and then you can use soft watercolour paint brush soaked in water to mix the colours and give them the watercolour effect.


Charcoal is the oldest drawing medium. It is very simple to use and it is very suitable for spontaneous and expressive drawing. Because it is very easy to smear it you have to draw with your hand away from the paper and you have to use fixative to protect the drawing after you’re done. Charcoal comes in the form of charcoal sticks in various sizes Thin charcoal sticks are good for making sketches and the thicker ones are good for covering bigger surfaces on the drawing.

There are also charcoal pencils which are made of thin charcoal sticks in wooden tubes. They are much easier to use than charcoal sticks because they are much cleaner and easily controlled while drawing.


Pastels come in hundreds of colours and nuances. They are made of finely ground pigments tied with herbal pitch and can be in form of round or square shaped sticks.

  • Soft pastels are most commonly used because they give off the nice soft texture to the drawings, they are easily applied and can be mixed using a finger or a piece of cloth directly on the paper.
  • Hard pastels which can be sharpened and used for details on the drawing and are usually used for sketches.
  • Pastel pencils which resemble ordinary pencils and are used for line sketches and finer details on the drawings.
  • Oil pastels which are made of pigments and binder made of oils instead of pitch and are used for creating very strong spontaneous drawings because they give very bright and strong line when applied.

Drawing Paper

Drawing paper comes in various texture forms and thickness. Qualities of the paper can affect the drawing in great measure so it’s very important when purchasing picking the appropriate paper for the medium you plan to use. Pastel colours and charcoal require you to use paper with the rough surface because of their dusty structure. Used on the smooth surface paper those mediums would simply glide and the line produced by them would be easily smeared.

The paper used for pastels comes in many structures from a soft velvety paper which gives a rich smooth appearance to the drawing to rough paper with “sandy” structure which is good for creating bold drawings with very expressive lines. Two most commonly used types of pastel drawing paper are engr paper and canson paper which come in various colours. The smooth surface paper is recommended in use for precise work with a pencil.

Additional Supplies For Drawing

  • Drawing board, used as a support for drawing paper, can be purchased in any art supply shop
  • Erasers, the best ones are kneaded erasers you can use correcting even the smallest parts of the drawing
  • Colourless low odour fixative to preserve the drawing
  • Knives and sharpeners
  • Small blocks of sandpaper for additionally sharpening the pencils

This is all you need to get started. Remember to draw each day, the more you work the better you will get.I’ll make sure to write more about the process of drawing itself. If you have any questions regarding the subject feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer.


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Written by Magdalena

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