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Artist's Drawing Checklist

Drawing materials play a hugely important role in the success of the final artwork. Everyone has different taste and different budget but at the end of the day, the materials that an artist must have for drawing are the same. I hope this checklist that I prepared will be helpful for you in your drawing journey. If you want to buy these materials from Amazon, you can click on the highlighted words as I linked the pages there.


Having at least a set of 12 is a must. I have a set of 24 and although I don't use all of them (you can understand from the length of the pencils in the photo) it is good to have a variety of choices. Since I draw mostly realistic portraits, I rarely use the end of the H spectrum such as 5H-9H But I do use H for especially lighter skin tones. Because HB, 2B and 4B are the most frequently used ones, my set has a couple of each of those shades. How thoughtful of DERWENT brand! Although I don't think Derwent is great, they work well for the price.


Another important item in Artist's drawing checklist is charcoal pencils. Charcoal pencils are my favorite to work with. They usually come in 3 kinds: soft, medium and hard. The difference is that hard one is more difficult to blend as it leaves more charcoal on the paper. Whereas the soft one can easily be smudged so it is usually preferred for larger areas, instead of fine details. Charcoal blocks are super helpful (and also super messy, so be careful!) especially when you are shading large areas such as backgrounds or dark clothing. I use GENERAL's Charcoal set and I am IN LOVE with it so far. I highly recommend it. It comes with 3B, 5B and HB shades of each soft , medium and hard charcoal pencils. There are 3 white charcoal pencils included in the set, as well.


Drawing paper can have any tooth (the roughness of the paper) it depends on the preference of the artist and the nature of the art. For example, I prefer drawing on medium paper, vellum paper and hot press watercolor paper. But there is also the sketch paper which is relatively thin, fine tooth paper and cold press watercolor paper that you can draw on. The issue with the fine smooth paper is that it barely holds the charcoal as the charcoal can't get into any tooth. And with the cold press watercolor paper, it might be hard to get fine details as the tooth will be rough but it will hold the charcoal beautifully. You also have to be careful about the color of the paper as for example Strathmore 400 Drawing paper comes with a yellowish tone whereas its sketchbook is white.