Drawing materials

A guide on drawing materials to use

With the experiene I have had making pencil art over the years I have found my material of choice to make my drawings how I want them to look. It took me a long time to get there. Below I have listed the material I use and describe why I use them. We are all different and we have our own unique technique for making art so the paper and pencils I use does not necessary work for your art. However if you are searching for new material I hope you are able to use this guide to find out what you require for making your art.
Canson illustration pad 250 g/m2
For all my drawings in size A5 to A3 I use the pad in the picture to the right. When practising on my drawing technique over the years I have found that the paper plays a very important roll in how the work will look in the end. In fact, with some papers I would never be able to get the level of detail as I can with this one.
This is why this paper works for me:
  • The paper is thick - With my technique of drawing I use many layers and for that I need a thick paper so it won’t tare after spending a long time working on one specific area.
  • The graphite lasts longer - In my process of drawing I usually finish one part of the drawing before moving to the next one. By doing so I normally don’t want to go back to that same part again. I have found that with some papers I can spend hours on drawing for example an eye and after the eye is done, and I spend a couple of hours on another part of the paper, the graphite on the eye has lifted and the darkest areas has turned grey. With this paper the graphite lasts longer.
  • The texture in the paper works for any type of portrait – The texture of the paper is very important depending on what you portrait. If you have a rough surface in the paper, like with water colour paper, the texture of the drawing will most likely be rough. If you have a very smooth texture in the paper the graphite won’t stick and it will be very hard to get the teture you want. When I draw I need to have some texture in the paper but not too much. This paper has a light and almost circular surface which has worked great for drawing people, dogs, cars and still life.
Mechanical pencils
On most of my graphite drawings I only use 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm mechanical pencils. There is nothing special about my pencils. You could probably find similar pencils in any store that sell office supplies. I fill each mechanical pencil with graphite leads with different softness from 2H to 4B. I use mechanical pencils because they are always sharp and with a sharp pencil, I can get a high level of detail, hence more realistic.
Derwent graphite pencils
I still remember the day I got my first box of Derwent graphite pencils from my father on my 10th birthday. After that day I wanted to draw all the time – and all I drew was Disney characters. I still have my first Micky Mouse drawing, signed 1993 with a 6B Derwent graphite pencil. Today however, I only use these pencils when I want to draw really dark or when I need a rougher texture in the drawing.
Kneaded eraser
Kneaded eraser is a great for drawing with graphite because you are able to shape it the way you want. In that way you can almost use it like a pencil for drawing (erasing) for example blond hairs. The downside with it is that it’s very soft meaning you cannot use it to fully erase darker graphite. Tutorial on how to use a kneaded eraser will come soon.
Blending sticks (stompf)
Blending sticks are usually made out of tightly rolled felt and are used when you want the graphite to look smoother. I have used blending sticks for the last 9 years or so and they play a very important role in making my portraits look realistic. A Tutorial on how to use blending sticks will come soon.