Art Supplies – What do you need?

Someone who seems to be on my site regularly (thanks Ray) brought up a good point on my post about 10 Thoughts all Artists Experience, and that point was the burning desire to purchase the next shiny toy. I think this thought probably applies to most artists, from painters to writers to traditional graphite artists. My belief is that the thought of buying something new is motivating, and can make an fledgling artist feel hopeful that the new toy will drastically improve the end product.

So. Stop.

Save yourself some money and heartache.

Yes, Prismacolor pencils are going to do better things than Crayola pencils, but the artist needs to have a base to begin with. If the artist can’t draw what he/she wants to produce, new pencils that cost a small fortune aren’t going to fix that problem.



These are my basic tools, and even I have more than might be necessary (look up 5 Pencil Method on YouTube).

My pencils range from 6B to 6H, with an F pencil in there. I have four mechanical pencils of varying sizes/density. I have charcoal (soft and medium), a black pencil, mechanical pencil refills, a sharpener, eraser, kneadable eraser, a chamois cloth, a stick eraser (I also have a mechanical eraser, not pictured), a brush to clean off eraser leftovers, and a circle template that is used entirely for drawing eyes (the only perfect circles in nature), and a little sketchbook. Yes, most of it is all bundled up in a cloth pencil case, so you can count that, too, if you wish.

Let’s be honest here. In pencils, I probably only use 2B, 4B, and 6B for the soft graphite, and 4H and 6H for the hard graphite. It’s very rare that I use the other shades. I often use black to keep the shininess off darker areas of my drawings (such as the pupil).

In order to draw, you need something that leaves a mark (a pencil, for example) and a surface to draw on. That’s it. The rest of the tools will fall in place once the basics are mastered.

The only thing that will make an artist great is practice.

Drawing Hair – The Good and the Bad

I’ve posted a very basic hair tutorial already, but I’m thinking about posting a more detailed tutorial for different hair types and colors. After posting my latest work on various social media, I got a lot of comments and questions on the hair. More than one person could not be convinced that the hair only took me around a an hour and a half to finish.


It’s soft and touchable, and rather simple to do after some practice. I wish I had hair like that! 😉

Anyway, I just wanted to show this drawing off on the main page for a bit, so here it is! Check out more work under the Sample Art Workheading.

So, the downside to drawing hair? Patience. Drawing hair isn’t about taking a single pencil and simply colouring in some blank space. It’s about building layers, and thinking about light and texture. It can be a therapeutic drawing experience, or a frustrating one.

Oooh, that’s Ugly

Sometimes the worst feeling when starting a drawing is the anticipation of reaching the end. One should enjoy the process of creating a masterpiece, but sometimes that masterpiece starts off really ugly, and that lone fact causes a lot of anxiety.

I am definitely one of those artists that has ugly work at the beginning stages. I know why, but that isn’t the point.


Eee. Seriously, eeeeeee.

But then…


Okay. This is starting to look acceptable. There’s some promise there…


She’s beautiful. She’s not finished yet, but she is very beautiful, and I know that I can’t mess it up now.

This drawing is evidence that you shouldn’t give up. Push through the fugly, and make your work a masterpiece.