Getting Started – Essential Drawing Supplies List

Getting Started – Essential Drawing Supplies List

September 4, 2021

By Domnic Adongo

So all of a sudden, you have developed a passion for drawing, but you don’t know the necessary materials to get you started.

This can be very frustrating, especially when you have no prior experience. Nevertheless, all the essential drawing supplies are easy to find and extremely affordable.

Back in the days when most of us were upcoming artists, an ordinary pencil and a notebook would do the magic trick, but as time goes by, the drawing supplies we chose became very important.

The point here is; the connection between premium quality art pieces and drawing supplies becomes evident as you develop.

If you are very serious about your drawing endeavor, regardless of age or experience level, you must be keen with the drawing materials you are using.

That’s why in this blog post, I’ll guide you through all the essential drawing supplies list you need to start drawing.


10 Essential Drawing Supplies List

Most of the art materials are available online or at the nearest art store. You must know that they don’t vary between different brands, so worry less about that.

Instead, you should channel your focus towards drawing and nothing else. For that reason, you need to have the following drawing materials;


#1. Sketchbook

A sketchbook is a must-have art material for any artist. This item should be the first one on your list, whether you want to use it to take online drawing classes or just learning on your own.

You can use it for drawing various shapes, shading, and enhancing other fundamental skills. Suppose you are interested in painting, you can use a sketchbook to practice before you start using other materials.

A sketchbook has an important analogy; it’s regarded as the starting point for any creative drawing ideas. Most people might never see your sketchbook, but it’s the driving factor in developing your fine artwork.

You need to have at least two sketchbooks, one for drawing rough sketches, learning and practicing purposes. While you can use the other one to draw the ideas that you are perfect at.

Since a sketchbook is only recommended for constant practice, it would be wise to acquire a lightweight and durable one. Moreover, you need to flip through to ensure that it has a plethora of pages to accommodate all your brilliant ideas.

I would advise you to purchase a sketchbook with a strong and resilient hardcover for keeping the pages intact, neat, clean, and flat. The hardcover gives you a steady sketching surface and it comes in a variety of textures and materials. So buy one sketchbook and fill it up with your amazing art pieces.


#2. Drawing Pencils

You can never get far with your drawing ambition if you don’t have a quality pencil. I repeat never!

That’s why I suggest you buy a pack of real drawing pencils. The graphite pencils are the best choice because they are perfectly designed for everyone, especially if you are a beginner.

They are graded in terms of their hardness (H) and softness (B), whereby 9B is considered the softest, while 9H is the hardest.

HB pencil grade is the middle range. So you should acquire these pencils in sets because they contain an assortment of different types for shading and sketching.

A set will have an average of six pencils 2H, B, HB, 6B, 2B, and 4B corresponding with the stiffness of the graphite pencil. One set of a pencil can sustain you for months if you are drawing daily.

The graphite pencil is soft and rigid, making it suitable for any drawing surface, because it’s too firm to break. Nevertheless, apart from the graphite pencils, there are other options available, especially colored pencils.

They are available in every art store. The quality of artwork matters a lot, so the type of colored pencil you buy.


#3. Sharpener

A quality sharpener shouldn’t miss out on your drawing supplies list too. It’ll keep your pencil sharp and ideal for drawing extraordinary images.

Nevertheless, there are two types of pencil sharpeners; electric and manual sharpeners. Electric sharpeners tend to vary in terms of price.

A high-quality electric sharpener sharpens your pencil properly and well. It is vital to have one of these for quick sharpening. But I oppose using it on your colored pencils only.

It has a waxy binder that builds upon the blades while sharpening that eventually damages it. On the other hand, a manual sharpener is the best equipment for most beginners.

It is simple, portable, and easy to replace. So it is imperative to use a manual sharpener for colored pencils to avoid breakage.

An 8mm single or double pencil sharpener is ideal for sharpening your drawing pencil. Remember to replace it every month if it becomes blunt.


#4. Erasers

Erasing overlapping outlines in a sketch gives an artist more control while sketching. When you are a novice, you are bound to make mistakes.

But you can learn to refine your artwork through erasing. Then you realize that small changes can make a significant impact on your sketching composition.

I suggest you buy the two types of erasers, kneaded and plastic erasers, for safety purposes. The plastic or rubber erasers are for erasing graphite.

It uses friction to eradicate unwanted marks from the drawing surface. In contrast, the kneaded erasers lift the overlapping marks from your sketching surface.

However, they come in different shapes and sizes. You can tear a kneaded eraser into pieces and dough it into various shapes. It only erases the specific area in your drawing.

Kneaded erasers are available in a light grey tone and become darker after constant use. I recommend you purchase both the plastic and kneaded erasers.

Plastic erasers are the best option for basic sketching exercises, while you can use kneaded erasers frequently, especially when you are about to finish your drawing.


#5. Ink Drawing Pens

Now that you have accumulated all the necessary drawing materials, including a sketchbook, erasers, pencils, and sharpener, it’s time to another essential tool in your list; the ink pen.

Ink pen forces you to master the drawing line to develop a perfect illusion of light, texture, and form. You can make your initial drawing with your quality drawing pencil and later go over it using an ink pen to create an extraordinary art piece.

I recommend you get waterproof pens that can’t smudge your colored drawing. Ink pens are comfortable to use because they have a triangular barrel style, meaning that they can’t roll off your drawing desk and fall.

In addition, they are comfortable to use. These ink pens use water-soluble inks to soften your artwork lines. The most common ink is the black ink from China.

If you dilute it with water, it becomes warm and exhibits deep sepia color. Moreover, it dries off very quickly, and it’s waterproof.


#6. Sketching Board

Although the sketching board seems to be an unnecessary material, you’ll probably need it when you want to work in a room with no support desk or enough space. It allows you to draw from any point.

You can place it anywhere, especially in your room or a park. Technically, it is more significant than your A4 sketchbook paper, so it’s only ideal for practicing with big drawing sheets.

For instance, you want to draw various African wild animals, especially the big five. So you choose to draw an elephant as your perfect choice, but you don’t have enough room for this activity; that’s where the board comes in handy.

A drawing board comes in different styles, weight, and sizes. So you must consider all these three fundamental aspects when shopping for one.


#7. Paints 

Once you fine-tune your drawing skills and feel you are a pro, the next step is painting. Now, you are slowly becoming a professional artist, and you’ll want to try various paint media before you find that a suitable one.

So I suggest you start with a prepackaged set of paint because they come in primary colors. If you can’t afford it, you can as well use watercolor or acrylics paints.

They are the best option for beginners learning to paint. Both watercolor and acrylic sets of paint are water-based; you neither need paint thinners nor clean-ups.

If you are a novice, you can learn standard painting skills from various media platforms such as online video tutorials, books, or taking an online class. So you should purchase transparent watercolors paint set.

It contains approximately eight to fourteen colors. Most painters associate with them because they have a precipitous appearance.


#8. Brush

The same way a sketchbook goes hand in hand with pencils, it’s the same way if you have paints, then definitely, you’ll need to get a paintbrush. And choosing a suitable brush is quite challenging.

I believe that it is imperative to start with few paint brushes as you add more to your list. There are two types of brushes; synthetic and natural.

And they come in different shapes and sizes that you can choose from whenever you visit the nearest art store. As you learn to paint, you should buy the novice’s brush acrylics or watercolors set of paint.

A set comes with plenty of painting brushes for varying painting techniques. You can use both natural and synthetic brushes with a set of watercolors and acrylics.

The brush is durable, and you can use it for different types of paint. Paint using brushes of different sizes and shapes as you continue to gain more experience.


#9. Charcoal

The black and white sketch has other options other than graphite drawing, which is charcoal output. An artist’s toolkit is incomplete without charcoal.

Charcoal gives your artwork a wide range of mark-making and value. There are two forms of charcoal; pencil and stick designs.

You can sharpen the charcoal pencils the same way as graphite pencils for proper detailing. On the other hand, charcoal sticks are either compressed or vine.

Vine charcoal is relatively soft and produces light drawing marks, while compressed charcoal gives the vice versa.


#10. A Container

Lastly, I suggest you get a container for storing your drawing supplies; even a small one can make a very huge difference. You can use it to store broken pencils and erasers.

Keep your workspace organized as your art supplies increase with time. There is no perfect container for your essential art supplies.

Instead, you need to know the items you would like to keep, the amount of workspace you can create at home, and where you’ll store all your art materials. A plastic container can do if you want to store your pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc.

The main objective of acquiring a container for your art supplies is to figure out the best organizational design that can suit you. If you do that, your art equipment will be arranged appropriately, and you’ll save more time.

This enables you to practice more., which is a good thing, right? Consequently, as an artist, you’ll want to carry your supplies with your wherever you go.

That’s where a backpack proves useful. You can store your art materials so that whenever an idea strikes your mind, you can draw it immediately without any hassle.



Now that you have everything on your supplies list, you can sit down and start drawing. And if you like, you can carry only four essential drawing materials; a sharpener, sketchbook, graphite pencils, and erasers.

These materials are enough to get started, and you can add more to your list as you gain drawing experience. Keep practicing, and you’ll see improvements in a short time.

If you want to learn drawing the right way, you need to acquire and put all your art materials in order. If you meet all the basic requirements, then you can start committing yourself to learn.

But you must remember that never overlook some of the essential tools in your possession; your heart, hand, fingers, brain (mind), and eyes. Make good use of them.