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What Materials Do I Need to Get Started Drawing?


So you're ready to finally get started drawing, but you don't know what you need or how to get started. As a former high school art teacher, I can hook you up!

First of all, you need good paper. Not typing paper or copy paper, but honest-to-goodness artist grade paper that will stand up to good drawing pencils and erasing. My favorite all-purpose drawing paper is 90# sulfite loose paper. But you might prefer a bound pad of paper, so I've linked to both below. Whichever paper you choose, I recommend that you get either 80# or 90# paper.

You'll also want a good eraser, one that won't buff up the paper and leave ghosts of what you have erased. As long as it's a good quality plastic eraser, you will be fine. 

Finally, good drawing pencils are a must. If you already have a good quality #2 graphite pencil, that might be all you need. If, however, you want an actual drawing pencil, I've listed a set of chunky ones that I like plus a good pencil sharpener.

Choose materials that speak to you. And know that you can pick all these things up at a brick and mortar store. I'm adding links because that is a super easy way to show you exactly what to look for. (And yes, I might receive a tiny commission if you buy at Amazon.)



Now that you have your materials, what will you draw? 

That is probably the thing that keeps pages blank. A good stategy to help you move beyond the blank paper is to "set a ground." To do that, you just take one of your 2B or 4B pencils and using light pressure, evenly color the entire piece of paper. Then use a piece of paper towel or scrap art paper to blend the graphite on the paper so that you have a uniform light gray over the entire paper. Don't use your fingers to do this because you'll incorporate the oils from your hands into the ground and that will reduce the archival quality of your art.