Guide to Art Materials
My recommendations for drawing art materials
Take a look at my recommendations for art materials.
Play with the material or technique. Try a free course.
Take a course to learn how to get the best out of the material.
To help with gathering the appropriate materials, please take a look at the glossary of drawing materials below to help you get equipped and the brands that I recommend.
Click here to find out about painting materials.
Watch the 5 minute demonstrations of the materials so you can see how they work and what to expect from them.
HB pencil is the 'goldilocks' of pencils, it's not too soft, not too hard, just in the middle.
You can find the strength of the pencil labelled on the side e.g. 'HB'
Soft pencils are 'B' and the higher the number the softer the pencil. Hard pencils are 'H' and the higher the number.
My Recommendation: Have an HB Rexel Office Pencil and a 2B Staedler Noris Pencil in your kit. You can invest in a greater range of B pencils if you get on ok. I wouldn't worry about H pencils, just B's (most multipacks have a variety of both, but I tend to find the H's don't get used)
There are so many different types of pencil crayon with varying quality.
I prefer to use a highly pigmented pencil and a good quality pencil can really make a difference.
I tend to use dry watercolour pencils as they give an excellent pigment.
My Recommendation: Staedtler Noris Aquarell Watercolour Pencils (use dry)
There are so many different types of water colour pencils with varying quality.
I prefer to use a highly pigmented watercolour pencil and a good quality pencil can really make a difference.
You can colour in with the pencil and then wet the page with a brush, or you can use a wet brush to remove colour from the pencil.
My Recommendation: Staedtler Noris Aquarell Watercolour Pencils and a size 8 or 10 Brush (I like Major Brushes)
Chalk Pastel are sticks of compressed chalk and colour. They have a grainy chalky feel which can be smudged and layered up. You can 'fix' chalk pastel with fixative or cheap hairspray
My Recommendation: A box of at least 12 colours of pastels, Inscribe is a good affordable brand. Cheap hairspray to fix.
Oil Pastels are sticks which of colour mixed with non-drying oil and wax. They give a painty texture and can be applied thickly in layers.
My Recommendation: A box of at least 12 colours of oil pastels, Pentel is a good affordable brand. Make sure you have at least one stick of white (to mix colours together)
Pen and Ink:
The type of pen to use with ink is called a 'nib' pen. It has a removable nib which you can change between different thicknesses of nibs. The pen is then dipped into ink in a pot or a palette and then you can create drawings with it.
My Recommendation: A bottle of Indian Drawing Ink (black) and an Artway Dip Pen set with 5 Nibs.
Charcoal comes in different types including 'willow' (small thin twigs), Pencils (Charcoal encased in a pencil), and Compressed (as a block)
You can achieve a finer tip by sharpening the charcoal pencil and you can get different strengths.The willow charcoal and blocks can be used on any side and snapped to suit the size required.
My Recommendation: A box of Coates Willow Charcoal sticks to get you started. If you prefer not you get your hands dirty, you could try Derwent Charcoal Pencils.
There are lots of different pens that you can draw with. Decide whether you need a water soluble pen or a waterproof pen i.e. are you going to be painting over the top, then use a waterproof. Are you drawing in black or colour? A great starting point is to have a small selection of coloured biro's plus a fine liner type.
My Recommendation: Black, red, blue, green biro, Black Edding Fineliner (water-soluble), Black Waterproof Uniball Needle Eye or Edding Profipen
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