5 Essential Art Supplies You Should Be Using As An Artist

The essential art supplies that a majority of artists begin with are usually a pencil and a notebook. As time passes, such basic art tools wouldn’t be enough anymore as more would need to be added in order to make projects easier and better coordinated. And this means their fine motor skills would naturally be able to grasp more complex stationary.

As an expert or beginner, this blog reveals some of the essential art supplies that you just can’t do without as an artist. If you are beginning to get really serious about your art projects, whether young or old, you may also be looking at getting more serious with the set of tools & materials that you utilize for painting, sculpting and other forms of creativity.


So let’s get this started:

1. Your Best Quality Pencils

This is actually the most obvious essential art supply but you just can’t pick up any kind of pencil although being spoiled for choice. When it has to do with drawing pencils, you have to locate the best brand that really connects with your style. To get the right brand, it means you have to try out several brands until you hit the right choice that suits your taste & style.

Drawing Pencil Sets: Pencil sets typically are branded in pretty packages & can be awesome since they often come with complete spectrum of diverse quality grades. Most of the pencil sets in the marketplace comprise those with harder graphite – 9H, and the softer graphite sets of 6B, among other grades. With harder graphite pencils, you can produce lighter marks & these help keep a sharp tip much longer. Those of softer graphite grades produce darker marks and tend to require consistent sharpening. With a collection of several of these sets – you will be able to work with diverse values & variations of marks as an artist.

Specific Pencils: Most artists will discover that they do not require utilizing all of the pencils found within a drawing pencil set. Rather, they might realize that they have need for just one or two of the pencils.  By sample, 4B, 2B, 2H, & HB pencils might seem a lot of sets for most artists. Should that be the situation, then having a pencil set might not be considerable. Rather – you can buy the specific ones you need as this is more a better approach in that context.

2. A Good Sketchbook

As an artist, you need a really good sketchbooks or canvas depending on the choice of medium used. Pointing out that we are talking about a really “active sketchbook”. We are looking at the one that gets attention on a daily basis. you can quite commonly “have” a sketchbook with blank pages of drawing sheets. However, the one that dynamically receives drawings on a day-to-day basis is the one that breathes value.

In comparison, the significance of sketchbook can be contrasted with a professional athlete’s tools. The pro athlete may train every time at the gym or workout on the tracks just to improve his or her performance for the target he or she aims for the “game day”.  While the audience and fans may not observe the time & hours of strenuous work that the athlete has invested into the training sessions, the exercise is equally essential – and highly critical to his or her success.

So also is an artist’s active sketchbook which represents as the artist’s workout stage. The sketchbook posits as the “serious work” that goes into the advancement of the artist & it is the training point for giving birth to creative – artistic ideas.  Even though the artist’s sketchbook may never be grasped by the fans & audience, it is often the driving point that can be held accountable in the lives of progressive artists.

3. Good Old Canvas

Canvas is usually made of either linen or cotton and they come either stretched like the picture below or rolled up which for many requires additional work in framing or self stretching. Rolled up however is usually more affordable and light weight when it comes to delivery services. Some prefer a large canvas to explore and some prefer the flexibility of a rolled up canvas.

For more detailed information on the different types of canvas that you can explore check out this cool site Art Is Fun and see these links Stretched CanvasCanvas RollsCanvas Panels, and Canvas Pads.


Things to consider in essential art supplies – Quality Surfaces

Note that sketches and artworks can be made on just any surface; however the quality of that surface matters a lot as this is as vital as the medium that it is utilized on it.

You should consider the following when opting for a drawing surface as this impact the finished result.

  • Consider the “tooth surface” – which is the texture of the paper.This plays a vital role on how your drawing material will be received on the surface.  When you utilize heavier textures, this will generate lines that may seem “broken”. And when you use smoother textures, this will generate much smoother lines. To some folks, they might opt for heavier textures and then others – the smoother surface
  • Paper Weight – The weight of paper is directly related to the paper’s thickness and this impacts the quality of work as well.
  • Acid Free Content – Shop for acid free papers as these will stand “the test of time” any day – any time. Such category of papers will not yellow out over time & won’t easily fade out when exposed to UV light.

Consider utilizing the following classes of papers:

  • Drawing Paper: Go for medium tooth papers as these are more fitting for drawing with coloured pencils, pens, chalks and graphite among others.
  • Charcoal paper: This category is known as the heavier tooth papers which are lightweight and quite semi-transparent.These kinds of papers are superb for creating texture and you can utilize diverse media like coloured pencils among others – and not just charcoal alone.
  • Bristol Paper Types: This one is smooth tooth paper which is quite heavier. They are superb for producing smooth gradations. Also great for making in depth line-work with ink.

4. Hail to the Erasers

An artist can never do without erasers as these are designed for cleaning errors. They can also be utilized as excellent mark-making tools.

You can consider:

Rubber Eraser: This is the basic standard eraser for wiping out graphite – though requires friction.

Kneaded Eraser: This helps to remove material from the surface and does not require friction to remove it.

Gum Eraser: This one is superb for removing inks & marks from surfaces that are delicate to tearing and requires friction.

Plastic Erasers: This category is the toughest among all and can erase almost anything.

5. Mighty Brushes

Although this is ultimately the main tool when it comes to painting, some artist actually have gone by with just the use of their fingers or sponges! Anyway, since we are on the subject of essential art supplies let’s explore the types of brushes out there.

Brush Shapes (wikipedia)

  • Round: pointed tip, long closely arranged bristles for detail
  • Flat: for spreading paint quickly and evenly over a surface. They will have longer hairs than their Bright counterpart.
  • Bright: shorter than flats. Flat brushes with short stiff bristles, good for driving paint into the weave of a canvas in thinner paint applications, as well as thicker painting styles like impasto work.
  • Filbert: flat brushes with domed ends. They allow good coverage and the ability to perform some detail work.
  • Fan: for blending broad areas of paint.
  • Angle: like the filbert, these are versatile and can be applied in both general painting application as well as some detail work.
  • Mop: a larger format brush with a rounded edge for broad soft paint application as well as for getting thinner glazes over existing drying layers of paint without damaging lower layers.
  • Rigger: round brushes with longish hairs, traditionally used for painting the rigging in pictures of ships. They are useful for fine lines and are versatile for both oils and watercolors.
  • Stippler and deer-foot stippler: short, stubby rounds
  • Liner: elongated rounds
  • Dagger looks like angle with longish hairs, used for one stroke painting like painting long leaves.
  • Scripts: highly elongated rounds
  • Egbert
essential art supplies


PS: Other essential artist tools will also include: Pens, Masonite, An Apron, Mahl Stick, Acrylics, Oils, Watercolour, Easels, Palettes, Varnishes, etc.

I’m an artist, blogger and founder of Art Xtedia and AX Lifestyle. Enjoy a great collection of art, events and contents submitted by our industry experts.
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