Drawing & Drafting Supplies
Drawing / Drafting / Illustration / Architecture Supply
Having trouble navigating MadisonArt Shop’s impressive breadth of Drawing Supplies products? We have assembled a quick guide to help you choose your artistic tools.
• Graphite Pencils: Made with graphite (as opposed to lead), these are some of the most common drawing materials, at least for prep work. The pencil core has been fired with clay to product varying hardness. Higher quality pencils often produce more consistent lines and break less. Beginners should feel these out by starting small range; HB, 2b, 4b and 6b are excellent starting points. You also want to make sure you have a sharpener and quality eraser on hand.
• Drawing Charcoal: Choose from Willow, Vine and Compressed charcoals. Willow has the lightest consistency. Hard and brittle, it has a powdery finish easily rubbed off. Vine is slightly harder and still easily erased (recommended for beginners). Compressed charcoal is hard and dense, and may be difficult to erase or blend, but generally lasts longer.
• Ink Pens: Ball point pens are generally not useful sketching supplies. We suggest ink pens that bleed easily onto the surface. The thickness of the point depends on your project and comfort level, and you want to experiment with the type of ink used. Keep in mind that over time, ink washes out and may transform into a blue, brown, or even gray color. Experiment with a fountain pen or a quill for unusual lines and interesting technique.
• Erasers and Sharpeners: You want to make sure these tools are specifically made for drawing supplies; the eraser on the back of your lead pencil will simply not make the cut. Many artists use erasers to smear lines and contribute to their technique, rather than to eliminate mistakes. Kneadable erasers are available, which allow you to re-mold the eraser like puddy to get a clean edge. Other art erasers are available that are gentle on the art surface and absorb excess graphite to leave a cleaner slate. As far as sharpeners, many artists prefer to use a blade to avoid breaking and wasting their expensive tools. If you prefer a sharpener, make sure the blades are extremely straight and sharp.
Test out these tools with the other useful sketching supplies at Madison Art Shop. A lightbox allows you to trace images and have a clearer view of what you’re currently drawing. A projector sends an image to a large surface so you can trace it, a great way to experiment with new techniques. For beginners, drawing materials like sketching manikins and geometric shapes will improve your eye and basic shading technique.
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