Basic art tools are pretty simple. In order to get started on some really basic sketches, all you need is paper (a little practice sketchbook is great!), a blending stump or tortillon (we won’t get too fussy on this in the beginning), a kneadable eraser (you’ll see why), and a mechanical pencil with 0.5mm 2B graphite. You can also use a hard eraser, but make sure it’s good quality – you want to be able to erase mistakes without tearing up the grain on your paper. Starting off, though, you should be drawing lightly enough that you can erase your mistakes with the kneadable eraser.
This is a small size blending stump (virtually, paper squashed together with a pointy tip). This is your new finger – never again use your finger to blend! Your hands have oils all over them that can destroy your masterpiece. Use a tortillon (for more textured drawings) or a blending stump (for smoother blending). You can also use a shammy (chamois leather), mobile device cleaning cloth, etc. It all depends on the texture that you want! Avoid tissues if you can, as they leave behind little fluff that can get into the grain of your graphite and mess things up.
Blending stumps and tortillons come in a variety of different sizes. Choose the size that will let you work the most effectively.
This little guy is a tortillon. Notice how the tip is textured – that’s because it’s just rolled up paper! You can buy these little gaffers in bulk at any art store. I’m not sure about Wal-Mart, but you can look there if you’re super curious. Tortillons are great for textured blending, such as for hair.