I'd like to start drawing.

Which material do I need?


Great! Starting to draw is always a good idea!

So ... what do you need for it?  

Generally you can start simply with a ball-point pen and a piece of paper. That's absolutely enough for doodling. And easy to grab. So, while talking on the phone or while listening to a podcast, you can easily let your hand practicing forms and outlines on the paper.  

When you prefer pencils, I recommend you 6B - it's a very soft graphite pencil, perfect for sketching, because you can create strong and dynamic lines.  

In general you can distinguish between hard (H) and soft (B) pencils, both have a core made of graphite and clay.  

H ... means hard. These pencils have a core with a higher ratio of clay. The number indicates the degree of hardness. The higher the number, the harder the pencils.  

B ... means black. These pencils have a core with a higher ratio of graphite. The higher the number, the darker and softer of the pencil. (That's why I love the 6B. The lines are so soft to draw and so easy to blend with a blending stick.  

But, nevertheless, there are no standards defined for the ratio of clay and graphite. So it's the best, to just try out and find your favorite ones.  

Concerning the paper, it shouldn't be to rough, but only slightly textured. I prefer fine surfaces to better focus on the details of the drawing.  

The texture of the paper depends on the process of the creation of the paper. Coldpress paper has a rather rough texture and is rather heavy. I like this one for sketching. Whereas the Hotpress paper is very smooth, so it is much better for detailed portraits, for example. Well, there are many other types of paper. But I think, the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing the paper, is to know what you want to express with the drawing. Just compare the sheets, try out some and you'll soon have a feeling for the right one for your specific drawing of the day.

Which pen is the right one for you?

I recommend you to use pencils with different ratios of clay and graphite - starting with a HB, which is a rather hard one. Additionally I like to use a 2B pencil, because of its medium softness. It is already rather soft and dark, but hard enough, to draw tiny details of the eyes, for example, such as the lashes. And last, but not least, my favorite, the 6B.  

But >> OH ! << what happens? Obviously I lost all my 2B! I simply couldn't find one for the photo. I am carrying my pens so often with me. And I have them always with me for my drawing classes. While drawing, I forget everything - obviously also my 2B pencils ;)

What else is a helpful tip for drawing?

In some drawings you might focus on the pencil, trying not to use an eraser. But in general, I think it's helpful to have an eraser near you. My absolute favorite one is the kneaded eraser. In the picture I wrote in key words the main areas of application for each type of eraser. It's the way, I use them. If you use it differently, or if you have other favorite erasers, feel free to tell me!  

Another really precious and helpful tool is the blending stick. A stick made out of rolled paper. 

In this class I'm going to show you how to make one yourself: 

You want make your own blending stick?

A blending stick is a wonderful tool for creating a smooth surface. A wonderful way to draw eyes or a fluffy fur. In this Skillshare class I am showing you how to create your own blending stick. You won't need a lot of material for it!

You can watch the class here:
(when you click on the button, you'll get 2 weeks of free access for the entire Skillshare platform)

Watch the Class

A Little Project for testing the material:

Take a sheet of paper (ideally a sheet of paper with a really fine surface and one with a rather rough one). Having pencils of different degrees (6B, 2B, HB for example) you can now test their characteristics on the paper. 

Make circles, lines and wild patterns, using 6B, afterwards 2B and HB. Or any other degree you'd like to test. The pencil 9B, for example, is a wonderful pencil as well, that I'm using for creating dark strands of hair.  

Want to learn more tips & tricks about drawing?

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About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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