5 Essential Drawing Tools for Beginner Artists

I took art for 3 years in high school including drawing classes and AP Studio Art. These 5 materials are easy to use and inexpensive if you are just starting out. Here are some of my favorite art materials I used in high school.

1. Ticonderoga Beginner Pencils

This is the most basic art tool I learned to use in beginner art class. It is something I still enjoy to draw with today. This pencil is great for shading, sketching, and adding value to your drawings.

Note: This lightweight pencil is thicker in diameter than regular HB pencils!

Here are sample drawings and sketches with the thick Beginner Pencil:

a study of Michaelangelo’s David
the Outsider by Bianca Soriano

2. Charocal Pencils

Types of charcoal pencils:

  • Black Charcoal
  • White Charcoal
  • Colored or tinted Charcoal

This is one of my favorite classic drawing tools. General’s black and white charcoal is delicately soft and leaves dark hyper-pigmented marks. It is great for shading and drawing bold lines.

For beginners, buy the black and white first for its cheaper price. I recommend the General’s for their good quality and affordable price.

note: remember to purchase the General’s sharpener!

Here is my sample drawing using a mix of the black and white charcoal for the darkest parts of the face and graphite pencil for the lightest parts:

Angelic Comfort by Bianca Soriano

Colored Charcoal has the same soft and highly pigmented application as black and white but with different colors. This type is much more expensive than regular charcoal.

My favorite colored charcoal set is the Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil Sets in which a starter set is about $14.58.

Another high rated colored charcoal set is the Conte a Paris set!

My sample drawing using colored charcoal:

White Lillies by Bianca Soriano

3. Oil Pastels

I love how vibrant and pigmented these oil pastels are. They have a smooth application and are incredibly easy to blend.

You can use fun and colorful pastels for landscapes, portraits, still-life drawing and more.

Above is the 36 count Oil Pastels from Pentel Arts that I got from my local art store.

A 12 piece set from Pentel cost only $2.25.

Here is my sample drawing using oil pastels:

Drei Dreaming by Bianca Soriano

4. Blending Stumps

Blending Stumps

Blending stumps will smoothen out the marks of pencil, charcoals, graphite, oil pastel, chalk pastel and more.

Use them for a smoother portrait and background.

5. Micron Ink Pens

Micron is known for its for fine and high-quality pigmented ink pens.

It can be used to draw cityscapes, urban sketching, and simple portraits.

The brush tip pen can also be used for calligraphy.

A sample drawing using Micron pens:

Texas Darling by Bianca Soriano


My Favorite Drawing Tools for Art

  1. Ticonderoga HB Beginner Pencil
  2. Charcoal pencil
  3. Oil Pastel
  4. Blending Stump
  5. Ink Pens

Other great tools also include: Hi-polymer erasers, graphite pencils, watercolor pencils, and chalk pastels.

What is your favorite drawing tool?

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