Drawing is more than just an artistic endeavour pursued by those with a creative bent of mind. Those who draw reap other, amazing benefits that are not common knowledge. Many research studies have shown the positive impact of drawing on our short- and long-term memories. Moreover, the act of drawing helps to improve the dexterity, mobility, and fine-motor skills in our hands. And, needless to say, drawing is a big stressbuster!
Essential Art Supplies for Beginners
For beginners just starting to learn how to draw or paint and wondering what materials they will need to get started, this list of ten art supplies is a must-have for them.
Quality drawing pencils are the most obvious starting point for any artist delving into the art of drawing. When it comes to drawing pencils, each artist will find a brand that they connect with. And, this can only be known through a trial and error method.
Drawing Pencil Sets
Nicely packaged pencil sets include the full spectrum of graphite grades. Many sets include pencils with harder graphite (9H) through softer graphite (6B). Harder graphite makes lighter marks and keeps a sharp tip longer, while softer graphite makes a darker mark, but needs constant resharpening. Different types of pencil sets give the artist the ability to work with many different values and varieties of marks.
Many artists may not use all the pencils in a drawing pencil set. Instead, they may only use a few pencils of their choice. Usually, 2H, HB, 2B, and 4B pencils would be plenty of range for most of us. In such a case, it is advisable to purchase individual pencils, as per your need.
A sketchbook is one of the most important tools for an artist. This refers to an “active sketchbook” or one that is used regularly and one that is simply owned by the artist.
Since a sketchbook is recommended for daily practice, it is important to choose one that is durable and has plenty of pages for all of your ideas.
A drawing can be made on any surface, but the quality of that surface is as important as the medium that it is used upon it. A few recommendations include:
- Drawing Paper: Medium tooth paper that is suited for drawing with a variety of drawing media including graphite, charcoal, and coloured pencils. There are many options for drawing papers, but Strathmore papers are recommended for beginners.
- Charcoal paper: Heavier tooth paper that is lightweight – almost semi-transparent, excellent for creating texture. A variety of media can be used on charcoal paper, including graphite.
- Bristol Paper: Smooth tooth paper that is heavier. This paper is quite rigid and is excellent for creating smooth gradations of value or detailed line work with ink.
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Erasers can be a great mark-making tool. Each eraser creates a different mark and should be used according to the specific drawing medium. A few recommendations include:
- Rubber Eraser: Standard eraser for erasing graphite. This eraser uses friction to remove any material from the surface.
- Kneaded Eraser: Lifts material from the surface, instead of using friction to remove it. It can be pulled and fashioned into different forms to create specific marks. This eraser gets dirty over time but can be cleaned by pulling and “kneading” it.
- Gum Eraser: “The Crumbler”, this eraser is great for removing media from surfaces that are sensitive to tearing. A gum eraser removes the medium through friction but crumbles as it does so, preserving the surface.
- Vinyl or Plastic Erasers: Toughest of the bunch. It can erase almost anything. Warning: This eraser can tear the paper if you’re not careful.
Pencil sharpeners generally fall into 2 categories.
1. Electric Pencil Sharpeners
Electric pencil sharpeners can vary in price. A quality electric pencil sharpener will sharpen a pencil without eating it all up. These pencil sharpeners are ideal for quick sharpening of the pencil, but should not be used with coloured pencils. The waxy binder found in coloured pencils can build up within the blades of the sharpener, ruining the device.
2. Manual Pencil Sharpeners
Like electric pencil sharpeners, the manual varieties come in different forms. An age-old favourite of artists is the simple, handheld metal sharpener. It is a cheap and easy solution that is portable and easily replaced. For sharpening coloured pencils, use a manual pencil sharpener.
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Charcoal or Conté
Charcoal provides a broader range of value and mark-making than graphite. The manner in which marks are made is different as well.
Charcoal comes in both stick and pencil form. Sticks of charcoal are usually either “vine” or “compressed”. Vine charcoal is softer and produces lighter marks, while compressed charcoal, which is concentrated, produces darker marks. Charcoal pencils can be sharpened like graphite pencils, making them great for details.
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Conté is similar to charcoal in the richness of colour. However, the makeup of the material is different. Charcoal is burnt organic material, while conté is made of clay constituents.
Technical drawing pens are affordable, easy to find, and portable, an ideal tool for beginners. Sakura Micron pens and Staedtler technical ink liners are both fine choices. Use a dip or nib pen when you graduate to the next level of ink drawings. This traditional approach to pen and ink drawing requires bottled ink. Felt tip pens are another option that allows the artist to create a variety of marks.
Blending stumps are essential for smudging or moving material around on the surface. A blending stump allows the artist to create gradations in value without introducing the oils of the finger which can make a drawing look dirty or uncontrolled. Blending stumps also allow the artist to create gradations and smooth applications of value in areas of detail that may be hard to get at otherwise.
Coloured pencils can be bought anywhere. However, this doesn’t mean that every coloured pencil brand allows you to obtain the best results. To ensure high quality, check the quality of the pencils as well as their type.
Prismacolor wax-based Premier pencils are soft and buttery, allowing the artist to layer colours to build up a solid application that often compares to a painting.
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Faber-Castell’s Polychromos pencils are oil-based and behave slightly differently from wax-based pencils. These pencils require several layers to build up depth in colour, but the results are fantastic.
Different types of art require different environments and different preparations for storage. Choosing the proper premises for storage is crucial. Almost any room can be converted into a place to store art if you know how to make it suitable.
Of the many options for storing artwork, the most popular one is a portfolio. There are many different portfolio options out on the market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
For Drawing Tools
Along with your artwork, caring for your drawing materials is important too. Here are 3 different solutions for 3 different storage situations.
- The Portable Container: Carry around a tackle box filled with your art materials. There are plenty of portable storage solutions designed for artists, such as stackable trays and levels which are long and deep enough to accommodate brushes and other important tools.
- The Semi-Portable Container: These are basically larger varieties of the portable option. Although they are really too large for daily use, they provide exceptional organization for your art supplies and tools.
- The Permanent Stack: If you don't need to carry your art materials around, then a more permanent solution might be the best option for you.
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Where to Buy Drawing Equipment Online
Here are our top picks in online shops for purchasing your essential art supplies in India.
Imagination is one of India's leading craft supply stores that houses a lot of international brands and products at a reasonable price. Their art section includes gliding fakes and materials, mediums, mica powder, pastel colours, professional pencils, and a range of pencil colours.
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Himalayan Fine Art
Himalayan Fine Art's collection includes calligraphy sets, pencil and charcoal pens, drawing and sketching papers, erasers, fixatives, pastel paper, pens, and markers among others.
Art Lounge is run by a small group of passionate individuals to make sure that when an artist shops at their portals, they find all that they require - from tools to canvases and colours. The categories found here include drawing supplies for illustrations, creative leisure, fine art, and extra-fine art.
With a well-stocked inventory, Creative Hands is ideal for deal seekers. The website is home to many brands and SKUs. The page navigation is extremely user-friendly and the categories are well remarked. The site is a leading importer of fine art materials from brands like Arches, Conte A Paris, Cretacolor, Daler - Rowney, Fabriano, Liquitex, Golden, Sennelier, and many more. The site also has an impressive collection of sketching supplies including drawing and sketching sets, charcoal, and graphite pencils & pens & markers.
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