Drawing Tools

Drawing Tools

This is a list of items that can be used to draw with.  Each section is sold by a variety of different sellers and manufacturers.  While I did not mention any by manufacturer name you may want to sample a few brands to determine which is more comfortable for you in price and in quality.

Pencils:  Graphite pencils or mechanical Pencils. 

B are soft darker and need more sharpening

H Harder lighter and needs less sharpening

2H Lighter than and HB or #2 pencil

HB about the same as a 2B or #2 pencil

2B/6B Darker than #2, if you’re a light hand drawer then use a 6B

No matter the pencil the amount of pressure ads to the darkness but be careful with pressure you could be adding indentations on your surface.  If you’re doing the drawing for a watercolor be extra careful to avoid indentations or grooves as the water will settle in those heave marks unless that is your intention.


Sketch Book: This should be a book you want to draw in daily or as much as possible.  This book should be more for your practice and exercises.  The more you draw the better you will become. I suggest a hard or durable cover and try to get one with a good surface.

Surface:  Represents the drawing surface which is the paper tooth or texture. 

Heavier tooth is good for pastels, charcoal, or colored pencil.

Smooth tooth is good for graphite, pen & ink

Bristol is good for Ink (out of the bottle)

Newsprint is usually a smooth tooth good practice paper and is very affordable but normally is not acid free and could yellow over time.  Not good for finished artwork but great for practice.

No matter the paper surface look for acid free which is less likely to deterioration.


Erasers:  Be aware of the different types as not all erasers work the same.

Vinyl or Plastic erasers are the strongest and work with friction meaning you must rub and move the eraser across the surface to work.  Can cause smudges and tears in your paper if you press too hard.

Rubber or Pink Pearl easer which is one of the most popular and is weaker than the vinyl or plastic eraser but works in the same way using friction.  You must rub and move the eraser across the surface to work and may cause smudges but rarely tears the paper unless you use brute force and constant pressure on the area repeatedly.

Art Gum Eraser use friction but crumbles as it works and is best for delicate paper or mats and is less likely to tear.  You must use a brush, blowing with air or light hand sweeping to remove the crumbles after use.

Kneaded Eraser is pliable and can be shaped or kneaded for easy use. You can use light friction or dabbing to lift the lines.  No smudges and can be shaped to fit into tight areas.  You can knead stretch and reshape the kneaded eraser to move the pulled-up graphite from the eraser surface.


Pencil Sharpeners can perform well for different pencils so be aware that all sharpeners are good for all pencils.

Handheld sharpeners are better for color pencils which usually have a wax or oil binder.  If you use an electric pencil sharpener most likely you will damage the tip causing it to break more during sharpening.   Handheld can be used for most pencils except for mechanical pencils.

Mechanical pencils require a specific sharpener called a tub.  You pull out a small amount the lead place it gently into the large hole on the tub and rotate the pencil around in a circle.  The top will spin around the wedge inside for nice sharp edge.  Be careful not to spin to forcefully or you could break the point and will have to start again.  Depending on the brand of the pencil some come with a build in sharper at the top of the pencil for quick sharpening if you have forgotten or don’t have a tub.  The point will not be as long but will be sharp or use.  A tub is recommended for best results.

Electric Pencil Sharpeners are good for most pencil tips except for waxed or oil bound pencils and of course for mechanical pencils.  They sharper quickly and usually have container attached to hold the shavings.

A mounted Pencil sharper is like a handheld and works by you turning the handle to sharpen your pencils and usually has a container attached to hold the shavings.  Not food for Mechanical pencils and must use slowly and delicately for colored pencils.


Charcoal or Conte both come in pencil and stick form so you can choose which ever is best for your level of comfort or you can have both for varying use.  Both are smooth for tone and value.

Vine Charcoal is soft and easy to erase.

Compressed charcoal is dark and hard to erase.


Blending Stumps which are compressed rolled of paper.  You can use your finger, but you can get into more details with a stump.  There is also oil can be mixed in with your graphite that makes your drawing look dirty.  Stumps are optional.


Color pencils that should be quality types.  Traditional colored pencils are usually oil based or waxed based.  Waxed based colored pencils are easier to blend and are great for beginners.