Best Drawing Supplies for Beginners

Best Drawing Supplies for Beginners

August 22, 2021

By Jedida Okonkwo

A majority of us started to draw when we were younger. At this age, we didn’t care much for the tools or materials we found ourselves with. We hardly gave it any extra consideration to get specific work to make our artistic prowess much better. Simply using a standard pencil alongside some notebook paper would be sufficient for whatever you plan to do. There were no complex art processes, techniques, or procedures that required specialized equipment. 

However, as we grew up and became better artists, the materials and tools that we choose to become more important than they ever were. Now, you want more than just a pencil and notebook paper because the type of tools at your disposal would determine the quality of the art that you end up producing. There is a strong connection between using the best artwork tools and materials and the final result that the artist would get. The quality of tools used by an artist reveals itself gradually, and it’s no wonder that new and old artists always look for the best drawing supplies to give them the desired result. 

As a beginner, you should learn to be serious about the type and quality of drawing supplies at your disposal. Before you start taking on the complex forms of art, you must choose to use them. These drawing supplies would mean that you can solely focus on the quality of the image you are working on. 

This article will treat the essential drawing supplies for beginners and artists who have only just begun to take their art seriously. 

Quality Drawing Pencils

Let’s start here. Quality drawing pencils are as essential as they come. When you have to pick drawing pencils, artists are free to choose from a long list of brands. It’s impossible to find out the best brand for yourself until you try out a few of them. 

Drawing Pencil Sets

Pencil sets are designed in handy, attractive tins. These sets are excellent for any artist because they give them access to different pencil grades. These tins are made up of different pencil types ranging from Softer Graphite (6B) to Harder Graphite (9H). The latter is used to make lighter marks and can maintain a long tip, while softer graphite creates dark marks but can’t maintain a long tip and need to be resharpened constantly. A pencil set is advantageous because it allows users to draw using any mark or stroke of their choice. 

Pencil sets come from a variety of pencil brands, and artists have numerous choices to pick from. Derwent Graphite pencils are durable, quality choice and are highly recommended.

Individual Pencils

Numerous artists may find that they do not need to use all of the included pencils in the set. These artists may only need a few pencils among those in the set. For instance, 2H, HB, 2B, and 4B pencils give us a lot of range to do exactly what we like. If so, it may be worth purchasing only individual pencils needed to create that type of effect.

Graphite pencils may not be too costly, but purchasing individual pencils is costlier than buying a complete set of pencils. You may also have to search for the exact type of pencil that you want. 


A sketchbook is probably one of the most important tools used by artists. Here, we are strictly referring to a sketchbook in the hand of an artist who uses it regularly. Anyone can purchase a blank sketchbook, but the more valuable ones are the ones that receive a lot of attention. 

You can compare the life of a professional athlete to that of an artist. The athlete has to put in hours of work behind the scenes to get in shape for the main event. The world may never know about the exercise routines, but it’s a crucial part of his success. 

An active sketchbook can be likened to the artist’s exercise. It is the hard work that goes into becoming a good artist and is usually the ground for innovative art ideas. While a sketchbook may never make it out there but it’s also an essential factor that determines the success of any artist. Every artist needs a sketchbook that is durable and has many pages to use before it’s exhausted.

Quality Drawing Surfaces

An artist can draw on any surface, but the quality of the surface is just as important as any media that you may wish to use to portray the image. These are a few considerations when choosing a drawing surface that would give you the best result. 

The Tooth

The tooth of the surface is determined to be the texture of the paper you wish to use. The texture of a paper surface affects how drawing material sticks to the surface. Heavy textures would produce images with broken lines, while a smooth texture will create smoother lines. Artists may prefer either heavy-textured surfaces and light-textured surfaces.

Paper Weight

The weight of paper is directly related to its thickness and refers to how much a ream (500 sheets) of that paper weighs. However, it’s possible to find heavy paper but with a thin body. 


An acid-free paper would be quite durable. This type of paper will not become yellow after some time, and it’s quite resistant to fading by UV light. 

These are some recommended paper surfaces to try out: 

  • Charcoal paper: Heavy tooth paper that is semi-transparent and can be used in creating excellent texture.
  • Drawing paper: Medium tooth paper that is suitable for drawing with a variety of media – graphite, charcoal, and color pencils.
  • Bristol paper: Smooth tooth paper that is heavy and used to show detailed work. 

Different Types of Erasers

Erasers are for cleaning errors, right? Well, you may have to rethink that. Erasers are not just meant for wiping mistakes, but they are also efficient mark-making tools. Each eraser is designed to create a different mark, and you can use these marks to create a variety of effects on paper. 

These are some recommended erasers to use for your artwork: 

Rubber Eraser

This is the standard eraser used for rubbing off graphite. The eraser relies on friction to clean off materials from the drawing surface. 

Kneaded Eraser

This eraser lifts materials from the drawing surface instead of rubbing them off with the use of friction. You can use it in a variety of ways to create different types of marks. 

Gum Eraser

Also known as the Crumbler, it is great for removing materials from soft surfaces prone to tearing. This eraser removes materials from the surface through friction but crumbles to reduce the effect of wear and tear. 

Vinyl or Plastic Eraser

This eraser is tough enough to erase virtually anything but can easily rip up soft surfaces. 

A Good Pencil Sharpener

Pencils need to be sharpened with a good-quality sharpener. If you fail to use a good-quality sharpener, you may end up using up all of your pencils in a short period. Pencil sharpeners can be either of two: an electric or manual sharpener. 

Electric Pencil Sharpeners 

Electric sharpeners are offered at various prices, but the amount of quality you are ready to pay for is what you get. A good-quality electric pencil sharpener would sharpen your pencil without eating it up quickly. 

These sharpeners are nice to have around, but you shouldn’t use them with colored pencils. The was of these pencils could ruin the sharpener completely. 

Manual Pencil Sharpeners

An electric pencil sharpener is appealing, but what most of us need is a manual pencil sharpener. Manual pencil sharpeners are also designed into different shapes and sizes. 

Charcoal or Conte

There are a variety of options to use for white and black painting, asides from graphite. An artist’s tool kit is incomplete without charcoal or Conte.

Charcoal is used for a wider range of value and mark-making than you can get from graphite. 

Charcoal comes in stick and pencil forms. A charcoal stick may be in the vine or compressed form depending on the application. You can sharpen charcoal pencils like graphite pencils, making them a good idea for highlighting intricate details. 

Conte is similar to charcoal in richness and color – but is made from a material with different compositional makeup.


A beginner artist would require many of these tools to create a perfect image or for serious drawing projects. But if you are serious about developing as an artist and starting your career, these tools and materials are essential. Which of them would you be getting today?