Best Drawing Tools

Only the Best Materials Needed for Drawing

This is a list of my best drawing tools. This collection is by no means the Cadillac of art supplies, but in the mid to high range price point. While I don’t have the money for the super expensive stuff, I don’t like to compromise on quality.

I’ve drawn most of my life and have been perfecting my craft for years. As time goes on and I try new stuff I may tweak the list a bit.

I also believe that most of these drawing supplies are great for beginners. My reasons, there’s no use in handicapping yourself with crumby equipment. Thankfully, drawing isn’t like oil paints in that even the best doesn’t cost a fortune. Aside from that, experimenting with a variety of supplies always gets the creative juices flowing.

The Best Pencil For Sketching And Travel

Derwent’s Onyx pencils

The best sketching pencil so far, that’s not

even the best as pencils go, is the Derwent onyx pencil.

It’s remarkably strong, and it’s capable of some pretty black shades. No, not as good as carbon or charcoal because it is still graphite that will get shinny if you overdo it.

I’ve used it in serious finished work, like this here Anubis puppy, and I thought it was an ok serious pencil, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. It’s kind of an odd ball, or “black sheep” of my pencils.

One thing I want to note, I don’t think it would make a good pencil to learn how to draw with. Only reason is that it doesn’t give me that feeling a soft graphite does. I wouldn’t want someone to miss that experience because of my recommendation. It’s just too hard of a lead that I think would make an absolute beginner frustrated.

Now, on the doggie drawing over on the right, a good many of pencils came into play to create this, including my woodles pencils, but I wanted to state where I used the onyx. The little scratching texture effect on the blanket. Those are the little wispy lines. There is also a great deal on his snout, and pretty much any of the blackest blacks that are in the work.

The Best Drawing Pencils

CreateAcolor Graphite Pencils

The pencils that stuck out the most for me were the CreateAcolor’s professional grade pencils. They just seemed a cut above Derwent, although I’ve used derwent for years and it’s not a bad pencil.

They create beautiful, smooth lines, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any gritty spots.

I no longer need to buy the big tin, just single pencils to replace the ones I’ve used up, but if you buy the big tin of 24 there is a schematic on the top of the lid, much like a box of whitman’s chocolates. This has pictures of pencil marks to show you how dark that particular pencil grade gets. This is one of those things I wish I had when I decided to quit dabbling and really learn to draw.

Sadly I haven’t been able to find the 24 count tin in my travels in a good while. If you happen to find it, better hop on that sucker, or if you find that the 12 count tin has the awesome schematic, please let me know. 🙂

The Best Drawing Paper

Portrait drawing on stonehenge paper, created by, Shannon FleetLet’s get down to the foundation of sketching and drawing. Paper is oftentimes more important than people think. Drawing can be done on just about any paper, or with any tool that makes marks, but good paper makes a huge difference, sometimes the difference between success and failure depending on which drawing media you’re using.

On the flip side, the best paper makes for a better creative experience. Your pencil will also respond differently to different paper, this will either be frustrating, or give you a wonderful feeling. For artists who work with colored pencils, they need a paper with enough tooth to build layers of color that doesn’t fill up too fast. On the other hand, artists who use charcoal or pastels need a paper that is super toothy or else the powder particles won’t hold.

The paper I speak of here is the stuff you want to create finished work on, I have and use several different varieties since I’m hopelessly addicted to art supplies, but here is both of my favorites.

This drawing was created using Stonehenge paper.

The Best Hand Held Pencil Sharpener

Pencil Sharpener Print by WallJewelry

Those pencils aren’t going to sharpen themselves! This particular issue has always been a problem with me. I’ve tried everything in the past.

I’ve always had romantic notions of the artists that use a knife to hone their pencil tips with care. This, I’ve been told and read is the best way to sharpen your professional pencils. I’ve never liked it.

For me the convenience of a regular, no frills pencil sharpener and a sand paper block was all I could deal with. I just want to get back to work!

Convenient, yes, but sadly most pencil sharpeners suck. They wear out super fast, and when they do wear out they chew rather than sharpen. This creates a ton of waste and frustration. I’ve been known to rage when it snaps the tip off of my lead causing me to stop and grab a 9H pencil to dig it out.

Even worse they are deceptively cheap, so one doesn’t notice the added cost and waste of having to buy a new sharpener just because the blade has worn out. This cost adds up over time.

Of course, there are electric pencil sharpeners. I give you an unprofessional “LOL” at this. You can’t take them with you.

The Best Artist’s Erasers

Some of My Erasers, Plus Some Improvisation

Pink Rubber Erasersby FallSeason

The eraser is also a great drawing tool that’s often overlooked. I use it for the obvious, to fix mistakes, for pulling out graphite from the tooth to lighten the tonal value of an area, and finally I actually use it to draw with.

I like to use three types:

The Kneaded, well it’s not exactly a traditional kneaded, but I’ll explain in a minute. Your trusted kneaded putty will do all sorts of stuff. Clean up, pull out graphite or charcoal, clean any smudges, create shapes. It’s the one that I use the most.

The regular white plastic eraser. For all of those general tasks that the other erasers can’t do. It’s ok to not have the best here, provided it’s not one of those pink erasers. You don’t want it to destroy, or otherwise flatten the tooth of your paper, or even worse, to rip it to shreds. But, the best does exist! I’ll show you below.

The last, is my trusty clicker eraser. The one I like to use is the tuff stuff stick. I used to use the fatter clickers, but they were terrible to draw with, yet not big enough to erase large areas. Plus, with my old clicker if I bore too hard on it I would nip off the top! Took me a long time to find tuff stuff.

UHU’s White Or Blue Tac As An Eraser

Better than any kneaded eraser on the market
Let me explain my substitute for the kneaded eraser. I like to use white tac. It can be pretty hard to find and you have to get it from the UK. lol. It’s the same as blue tac and you can use the blue too! Either one you can get your paws on.

It comes in a larger quantity than real thing, which also makes it cheaper. It’s stronger, lasts longer, and picks up more graphite and charcoal. It makes me hate to have to use the old kneaded putties. This is why I crowned it the best.

About Best Drawing Tools

The drawings and sketches were created and copyrighted by Shannon Fleet. That would be me!

The other images relate to Zazzle and are copyrighted by the artists who created them. A link is provided to the Zazzle site if you’d like more information on their work.

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