Best sketching supplies for artists
March 7, 2024

Best sketching supplies for artists

By Anthony

Embarking on a sketching journey is an exciting adventure for artists of all levels. To set the stage for your creative exploration, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the right sketching supplies.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of sketching tools and materials, offering insights into the best options available for unleashing your artistic potential.


Types of Sketching Pencils

  • Graphite Pencils: Ideal for precise lines and shading, available in varying degrees of hardness (H) and softness (B).
  • Charcoal Pencils: Perfect for expressive and bold strokes, great for creating dramatic contrasts and textures.
  • Mechanical Pencils: Provide consistency in line thickness and eliminate the need for constant sharpening.

Pencil Sets and Grades

  • Pencil Sets: Consider purchasing sets to have a range of pencil grades at your disposal.
  • Understanding Pencil Grades: H pencils are harder and lighter, while B pencils are softer and darker. F and HB fall in the middle.


Choosing the Right Sketchbook

  • Size and Weight: Opt for a size that suits your preferences, and consider the weight of the paper for durability.
  • Paper Texture: Experiment with different textures—smooth for fine details, medium for versatility, and rough for textured effects.

Sketchbook Recommendations

  • Moleskine Sketchbook: Known for its quality paper and portability.
  • Strathmore 400 Series: Ideal for various techniques, available in different sizes and bindings.


Types of Erasers

  • Kneaded Erasers: Moldable and perfect for lifting graphite or charcoal with precision.
  • Vinyl Erasers: Soft and gentle, suitable for delicate papers and detailed work.
  • Electric Erasers: Ideal for precision erasing and creating highlights in dense areas.

Eraser Recommendations

  • Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Eraser: Adaptable and suitable for all types of paper.
  • Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser: Residue-free and efficient for detailed erasing.

Blending Tools

Tools for Blending

  • Blending Stumps: Tapered and ideal for subtle blending.
  • Tortillons: Smaller, pointed blending tools suitable for intricate details.
  • Fingers and Tissues: Simple yet effective for achieving smooth transitions.

Blending Tool Recommendations

  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens: Double-ended for precise blending.
  • Paper Tortillons: Budget-friendly and versatile.

Inking Pens

Types of Inking Pens

  • Fineliner Pens: For fine lines and details.
  • Brush Pens: Mimic brush strokes and allow for varied line thickness.
  • Multiliner Pens: Available in different nib sizes for versatility.

Inking Pen Recommendations

  • Micron Pens: Renowned for consistent and archival ink.
  • Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen: Combines flexibility and control.


Importance of Fixatives

  • Preventing Smudging: Fixatives protect your sketches from accidental smudging.
  • Preserving Pencil and Charcoal: Ensures longevity and durability of your artwork.

Fixative Recommendations

  • Krylon Workable Fixatif: Allows for additional layers without smudging.
  • Grumbacher Final Fixative: Provides a clear and protective finish.

Drawing Boards

Benefits of Drawing Boards

  • Stability: Provides a firm surface for sketching, preventing paper warping.
  • Portability: Easy to carry and use on various surfaces.

Drawing Board Recommendations

  • Art Alternatives Hardboard Sketch Board: Durable and lightweight.
  • US Art Supply Adjustable Wood Artist Drawing & Sketching Board: Versatile with an adjustable angle.


As you embark on your artistic journey, choosing the right sketching supplies is a crucial step toward unlocking your creative potential. Invest in high-quality pencils, sketchbooks, erasers, blending tools, inking pens, fixatives, and a reliable drawing board.

Remember, the best supplies are those that align with your artistic preferences and help you express your unique vision. Armed with the right tools, you’re ready to sketch your way to artistic mastery. Happy creating!