Artists Basic Equipment List

Artists Basic Equipment List
Artists Basic Equipment List

Basic Equipment You’ll Need 

Graphite Pencils if you are looking to develop your drawing skills having access to a wide range of pencils is essential. Pencilsenable you to produce detailed drawing and shade a full range of values.

Using good quality pencils can make a real difference to the quality of drawings you can produce, and you will immediately notice the difference. For more detail, read my post-Best Pencils: For Drawing, Shading, and Sketching.

Color Pencils are also basic items that will enable you to create a highly effective and finely detailed drawing in color.

Here are examples of basic and artists grade color pencils. Or read my review of the- Best Color Pencil Sets.

Charcoal Pencils are an excellent way to add power and quality to your drawings.

Charcoal pencils are an excellent way to create subtle effects in the landscape, the sky, and portraits.

Here are two examples of basic quality pencils and artists’ quality charcoal pencils.

Graphite Sticks are available in various thickness from board to the width of a standard pencil.

These are also great for creating sizeable expressive drawing and mark making. 

Click here to find out more about the different types of graphite sticks.

Mechanical Pencils.  One many that mechanical pencils have over the regular traditional pencils is that that they do not require constant sharpening. Click here you to find read more detail on the various options available.

Watercolor Pencils. Watercolor pencils are an excellent way to create colorful wash effects with soluble pencils. For people who lack confidence with paintbrushes soluble pencils are a unique way to start.

Willow Charcoal Sticks. If you are looking to create contrast in your drawing and introduce and experiment with different qualities of line, you should definitely try charcoal sticks.

Sketching Equipment 

Drawing Board. If you draw at home or prefer to draw on location a drawing board is an essential item. The practice of drawing from observation vertically using an easel if also creates quite a different experience.

It is always a good idea to have one large drawing boards and a smaller board say A2 for transporting around or drawing horizontally on location.

Bulldog Clips. If you are intent on using a drawing board, you will need clips to hold your drawing in place.

Chinese Brushes. These brushes are produced in three various sizes to allow artists to draw paint and draw with inks in the traditional Chinese way.

Sable Brushes. These brushes are excellent for water colorwork and drawing with paint as they retain water much better than the standard nylon brush. 

Sable brushes are renowned by artists all around the world, due to there strength and capacity to retain water and to generate detailed work.

Putty Kneaded Eraser. The advantages of using a kneaded putty eraser are its absorption of the graphite on the page. This means that they last much longer and leave behind debris which can often dirty the paper and your artwork.

Other advantages unique to kneaded erasers are that they can be fashion to a sharp point or a rounded edge to aid the creation of a detailed drawing.

Charcoal Powder. If you want to create a tonal background, is a quick and effective way to add tone to the background of your drawing. A  mixture of powder applied with a brush. You can then draw over this base layer with your pencil.

Oil-based Color Pencils. Great for creating vivid colors in your drawing with excellent lightfastness rating. Oil-based pencils are excellent for the blending and layering of color in your picture and are well worth a try.

To learn more about color pencils, please read my review. Best Colored Pencils For Coloring and Shading

Marker Pens. Drawing with marker pens is excellent fun which and results in some fantastic drawings. One of the real advantages of drawing with marker pens is the tremendous range of colors that are available to work with.

Marker pens are also excellent for creating refective shadows were different colors that can be layered to create shadows and reflections.

Conte Sticks.  Conte sticks are excellent for combining with charcoal when drawing on a drawing board. To create a sharp point, it is a good idea to break the stick to produce a sharp point.

To create board strokes, the side of the stick can be used to add patches of value and tone quickly.

Oil Pastels. Vivid, colorful drawing and patterns can be created by applying combinations of bright color. OIl pastels are perfect for layering and blending light and dark shades of color and work well in either realistic representations and abstracts. 

Sketching Pens. 

There are thousands of different pens which fall into four main categories.

Brush Pens  The tip of a brush pen is comprised of many small fibers. This enables the artist to quick draw thin lines and transfer to thicker lines with the same pen and varying the amount of pressure you are drawing with.

Brush pen requires a little bit of practice to get the hand of them — however, many people like the irregular quality of lines they can produce.

Technical Pens are designed to produce precise uniform straight lines and are excellent if you wish to create a detailed drawing in pen. If you are looking for a pen which will give the consistent, precise line, which means these pens are perfect for sharp, detailed pictures.

Ballpoint Pens make excellent sketching pens. They offer the artist a less precise and uniform quality of line, which makes them excellent for drawing and sketching. If a loosely drawn, scratchy quality of the line is what your drawing needs then a ballpoint pen is worth considering.

Nip Pens– The biggest drawback to drawing with a traditional nip pen is the amount of mess in terms of ink strains that they can create.

Nip pens are great for the drawing of uniform lines plus with varying amounts of pressure they are capable of creating a wide variety of different thickness and types of line. For this reason, they are well worth trying and experimenting.

Drawing Inks

Black Indian Ink. in combination with water Indian ink is perfect for drawing with brushes, dip pens or even a bamboo pen. Dip pen, when combined with Indian ink, are capable of producing a wide variety of lines from uniform to bold. Just remember to continually dip the pen into the ink as you are drawing.

A bamboo pen is also a good option if you want to experience a variety of different styles of lines in your drawings.

Indian is water-soluble when wet, which means you can work back into the ink and create different effects on a wet surface. However, once the ink drys, it becomes water-resistant; this makes it perfect for watercolor and pencil coloring.

Sepia Inks produce a   walnut finish which can give the artist a vintage appearance or quality of surface than a black carbon or Indian ink.

Sepia inks are excellent for creating a tonal background or figurative brushwork where a black ink may seem too harsh.

Raw Sienna Ink, an excellent alternative to Sepia Ink, is Raw Sienna Ink which is also capable of creating a beautiful colored background in your drawing. If you are interested in experimenting with a limited pallet, this ink is a good choice.

Chinese Ink.  If you are looking to apply textural qualities to your drawings, combining an old worn-out paintbrush with Chinese Ink is an effective way to apply character to your drawings. 

Different Drawing Materials 

Choosing the right paper for drawing on Staffmore Bistrol Smooth surface is a popular choice with many graphic artists who are intending the blend graphite and color pencil.

If you are considering drawing onto a toned paper, then the Strathmore Toned Tan is a good choice of a toned surface which will enable your shaded to have more of an impact.

This paper is well suited to drawing with watercolor or soluble pencils. The Arches Cold Pressed Watercolour Paper is also a good choice if you prefer a textured surface. 

Mixed Media and pastel use the Pastelmat Paper.

Individual Equipment List

  • Graphite pencils- are essential items of Equipment. Here are some examples of artists grade pencils and basic quality pencil sets; you will be unable to draw without them.
  • Color pencils- this is a good example of an artist-grade pencil set here.
  • Charcoal pencils- a standard set of charcoal pencils. These only I have used. 
  • Graphite sticks- if you are looking to produce experiment tonal or mark-making drawing try this standard set of graphite sticks
  • Mechanical pencils- standard mechanical pencil and an alternative option.
  • Watercolor Pencils- when you are ready to move on to using watercolor pencil this watercolor pencil set is a great choice.
  • Willow charcoal sticks- a basic box of charcoal can be found here. Good option.

Sketching Equipment

Sketching Pens