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  • Writer's picturePeter

So what do I prefer to use?

If you feel inspired to start drawing you would do well to start with the right materials. You can certainly draw most things with a standard HB pencil however you would be limited in many ways, such as the depth of your shading, the feel and texture, the benefits of smudging and ultimately developing your own standard of handiwork - your own style! Everyone has a different hand when it comes to talents and gifts or tasks, and you'll naturally develop your own style when it comes to drawing! It's a bit like handwriting, you recognise your own! If you have the right tools you can start to learn to do the job properly and you'll reap the rewards! You may not be amazing to begin with, but as great pencils and equipment aren't costly it simply makes sense to invest a little to begin with and buy some good ones. It will also make drawing so much more exciting as you experiment with the different types of pencils.

Below shows most of my paraphernalia when it comes to drawing.

Pencils: Faber Castell 9000's are the best I've discovered so far. German engineering - need i say more? (They're the BMW's and Audi's of the pencil world!).

Mechanical Eraser: Tombo Mono Zero Elastomer Eraser (you'll need refills of course). If you have a sharp surgical knife you can cut the edge and it helps with very intricate work. Great for highlights...a lot of pencil drawing is actually more layering and then taking layers off...something which requires a good eraser but also Blu-tac....yes...Blu-tac..straight from your local store or post office!

Staedler Erasers are the best. Don't get a tough eraser, get a soft one!

Helix sharpeners, also by far the best of the best. They don't butcher your pencils!

Faber Castell 'natural' Pitt Charcoal. Great for the blackest of black! I use these for the pupil of an eye. You don't get darker than that and it makes an eye come alive! Also, charcoal sticks....scrawl a thick load on to a sheet of paper and use those smudging sticks to transfer the charcoal over to your work, helpful when doing shading! It can give a great effect!

Mechanical pencils are fantastic for pin point detail. Most of my lizard on the David Attenborough drawing was a mechanical pencil. I use a 0.5mm Rotring 'Tikky' (pictured next to the refill bottles).

And finally (not in the photo), is the paper. I use Daler Rowney acid free 150g smooth cartridge paper.

Most of this you can buy online but if you live local and have an art store on your doorstep please look there first and support the high street. There is a shop near to me called 'Heaps' in a town called Long Eaton (Nottingham) and the man who runs it has most of these in stock and he's incredibly helpful and deserving of business, especially in a climate like today. It's a fascinating Aladdin's cave of art materials, so even if you'd prefer watercolours, pastels, acrylics or oils, have a look at your local store and be inspired!

Thanks for reading, now have a go!


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