I was thinking about what tools do I use at home for illustrating. While there are an array of choices, the ones I find that work best for me are the Staedtler lead holders. Previously I liked using a normal .5mm mechanical pencil and or a standard number two pencil. I hadn’t tried the lead holder until I signed up for Joe Kuberts (comic book legend) school. I received my supplies and included in the box was a lead holder. I liked how kit felt in my left hand. How it felt when I gripped it and the type of lead it used. Once I started using it, it was hard to go back. So on that note, let us begin.
Drawing supplies I use:
I commonly use a Staedtler lead holder for my sketches and everyday practicing. They are nicely weighted and remain the same size unlike a number two pencil. Just think of the little golf pencils they become that are really are to use. They come with various lead refills like the HB, 2HB, 3HB, and 4HB. I commonly use the 2HB and 3HB lead for my style of drawing. To fill, you just remove the top and insert your lead which is roughly the length of the holder. You can use that top as a sharpener OR…
You will need a sharpener or lead pointer. It gets it to a fine point and has a grinding stone which makes them nice and sharp. It comes with a cotton insert for removing excess graphite so it doesn’t appear on your paper. Just make sure you push out the right amount of lead because too little, it won’t work and too much might snap off the lead into the sharpener. It is easy to get out by just knocking it out into a garbage can. I say garbage can because you don’t want to try knocking it out in your hand. You will end up with a lot of graphite dust. Trust me on that one. Also, if you travel, put it in a plastic, sealable baggy or else it will spill out in your bag.
That brings us to paper. I tend to use the Strathmore Bristol board, mixed media, acid free, 200 or 300 of various sizes. I use them because if I ink them with inks that will last, it is archival. Meaning it will remain the same colour 10 or 75years from now unlike other paper which may discolour over time.
To erase any errors, I love my kneaded, rubber, eraser. They don’t leave crumbs like normal erasers and I like to dab the graphite to remove my un-needed lines. You can roll it or mesh together if it gets dirty. I use them to add highlights to hair or faces. The one shown below, I’ve used repeatedly and it keeps on ticking. It doesn’t dry out and if pulled apart, just knead it back together.
Pictured also is a blending tool. It is white with pointed ends. I don’t use it too often as I’ve moved on to digital art but will use for some of my pencil drawings.
You can buy them in your local art store if available and if you have an Amazon account, you can click on Dutch’s Recommendations below. I’ve added them to my links below.
In Part two, I’ll cover other materials used to draw straight lines, various shapes and other tools.