Basic Drawing Tools

The best tools to have are the ones you have in front of you. Don’t run out to buy new supplies if you aren’t even sure you are willing to fully commit to learning. 

I must admit drawing comes very easily to me and I can complete a lot in an hour. Typically you can find a basic number 2 pencil laying around the house. You can also draw on printing paper. Two very basic tools to come across that we may take for granted. Anyway, we can get technical about paper in a later post. But for today we will review the basic drawing tools. It’s good to understand the medium –also known as tools –  you are using and what it can do.

  1. paper
  2. pencil
  3. eraser – a good one

Now, pencils can get very fancy. The reason they have a range in lightness and darkness is so that you can achieve different gradation. The gradation can help you achieve different tones, shades, and darkness. (See links below for an example.)


Pencils are made of lead, typically graphite and when that strikes the paper your create a mark. They can range from 8 or 9B to 6H. Typically you use a number 2HB pencil. It’s in the middle range and is used in many schools. It makes a dark enough mark, and is able to erase very well when making mistakes. Note that the softer the lead the darker the mark. If you’d like to know more history on pencils you can check that out the link provided below.

When I draw I usually have a number 2HB pencil. I draw lightly if its a portrait and darker if its going to end up as a painting. The more confident you get, and as you build control over your pencil – you can use a really dark pencil and draw very light.

You’ll also need a hard surface to draw on – a desk space, or an actual drawing desk would be great. When I learned to draw we had to have our papers angled. Posture played a role (and I loved being close with my head down). The reason to draw on an angle is to help with the perspectives.


Links for examples:

Drawing Link

pencil history 

drawing tables 

drawing boards


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