To Draw Or Not To Draw II

In terms of drawing materials, the choices are overwhelming and confusing these days, don’t you think so? Below is a summary of the most common drawing materials in order of my personal preference.

Graphite pencils & sticks, vine charcoal & compressed charcoal and drawing pens are definitely my preferred choices. Easy to work with and carry around while traveling.

Drawing pencils are available in hardness ranging from 6H (the hardest) to 8B (the softest). Start your linear drawing with HB or B and create form by shading from 2B to 8B. Sharpen your pencils with a blade to a long visible lead at the end and carry a piece of sand paper with you to sharpen the end of it when needed. Long visible lead will allow you to use the pencil side ways for broad shading strokes.

The vine charcoal is produced by slowly baking willow dowels (grapevines or other wood) to almost pure carbon. Charcoal can be used for fine detail artwork when sharpened as well as very broad, painterly effects. The charcoal can be also compressed into a pencil form for less messy drawing and comes in different thickness and softness. Start your drawing with harder charcoal and finish with softer if you like to do shading or darker lines.

Below is my personal assembly of drawing materials;

  1. Small Stanley cutter with safety lock. My favourite, with a steel durable body.

  2. Derwent watersoluble sketching pencil. Comes in different softness. I like it because it’s like having two mediums in one.

  3. Sketching pencil. Notice how I sharpened all of them.

  4. Black and white Carbothello pastel pencils. Great for drawing, soft, blendable, easy to lift with eraser and lightfast.

  5. Two paper wrapped charcoal pencils – soft and hard.

  6. Woodless charcoal pencil comes in hard, medium and soft finish.

  7. Willow charcoal in different thickness.

  8. Paper stump to help with blending and above is kneadable erazor.

Pictured below shows another type of charcoal I sometimes use and a sanding pad;

I very much like drawing with different pens and markers. There are far too many to name but my favourite is Sharpie pen for fine and permanent lines. It is perfect under watercolours but be aware when using diluted oils or anything with turpentine in it, it will bleed.

The only one I trust for total permanency under any medium is the Staedtler permanent pen, which comes in different thickness.

And the last pen is water soluble pen.

Coloured pencils, pastel pencils and watercolour pencils can all be used for drawing and painting. With all the drawing materials it is wise to check or test for lightfastness.

Jana Vodesil-Baruffi