13 Essential Art Tools for Drawing or Sketching

Posted in Blog on March 17, 2020

13 Essential Art Tools for Drawing_feature_image

Some of my favorite art tools for drawing include drawing tablets, graphite pencils, colored pencils, markers, ink and a sketchbook.

However, I’m dying to learn how to use watercolors, pastels, oils and other art mediums for drawing cartoons.

13 Essential Art Tools for Drawing or Sketching

Every beginning artist should learn about the basic art supplies available.

My best advice is to learn to use one medium really well, then go explore another.

Without further delay, here is my list of awesome art materials for beginners or hobbyists.

1. Drawing Tablets  

Today, a drawing tablet is one of the most preferred art tools for drawing.

It is a device that makes drawing easy and perfect.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional artist, you need a drawing tablet.

Also known as a graphics tablet, a drawing tablet is a digital artboard that helps an artist draw images using a special pen known as a stylus.

Just as you can draw on a piece of paper, it is the same case with the drawing tablet.

However, the tablet makes the images clear, perfect, and beautiful.

If you are a beginner, you need a drawing tablet for several reasons.

First, it will make your work tidy; Since a beginner is always on a trial-and-error process, this is the best device to have.

Also, drawing tablets are available in different sizes.

This means you can pick the best one for your needs.

2. Art Supplies

If you are planning to get into art, there are several essential art tools for drawing you need to have.

Even though there are a million and one supplies on the market, there are some that are basic and you must have to draw.

Some essential art supplies you need include drawing pencils, a sketch drawing book, drawing surfaces, erasers, a pencil sharpener, drawing pen, charcoal, colored pencils and markers, paintbrushes, oil pastels, and many others.

For a beginner, it is wise to go for art supplies for beginners.

This will ensure you do not struggle when starting to draw.

Happily, there are many art materials that are just made for beginners.

However, it is always important to go for quality art supplies to ensure that you have quality work.

3. Graphite Pencils

If you are a novice, you might not know what graphite pencils are.

Graphite pencils are the normal pencils used by professional and non-professional artists.

When learning the basic techniques of drawing, you need to have graphite pencils on your table.

They are affordable, clean, and convenient for a beginner.

In addition, some are made from high-quality materials.

Graphite pencils are perfect for learners because they come with several grades.

And since we create them from a mixture of clay and graphite, it is good to know whether you want more clay or more graphite.

More graphite gives blacker and softer marks, while more clay gives lighter and harder marks.

Graphite pencils range from 9H to 9B.

Since you are a beginner, HB, which is the standard pencil, is the best one for you.

The HB pencil is not too soft or too hard for art.

Besides, it is available in most art stores.

4. Erasers

If you are an artist, you need erasers.

This is because you will make several mistakes, notably if you are a beginner.

Therefore, an eraser is among the essential art tools for drawing you need.

However, there are different erasers available on the market.

Hence, you need to study and practice using them to ensure you pick the best for your needs.

There are Charcoal and pastel erasers, pencil and graphite erasers, chalk and whiteboard erasers, and pen and ink erasers.

Depending on the art supplies you need, it is important to pick the best one for your artwork.

Also, you need to choose from rubber erasers, gum erasers, kneaded erasers, or plastic erasers.

Fortunately, there are several manufacturers who make affordable erasers for beginners.

So, do a bit of research before you purchase one.

5. Sketch Books

If you are planning to venture into drawing, another important item you need is a sketchbook.

Happily, there are many sketchbooks on the market to pick from.

But why do you need a sketchbook?

A sketchbook can be referred to as an artist’s yard.

It is a book for trying new ideas and techniques.

According to several professional artists, a great idea always starts at the sketchbook.

Therefore, this is a tool that you cannot miss on your list of important art tools for drawing.

Choosing a sketchbook is not a difficult task.

However, there are several factors you need to consider before you pick one for your needs.

Therefore, ensure you check the size of the book, the cover of the book, color, the number of pages, and the format among other factors.

But, before you pick one, make sure you understand what you need.

6. Colored Pencils

When you come across a bag full of art tools for drawing, users will find colored pencils.

This is because they associate the color with drawing and painting.

Nevertheless, it might be difficult to pick the best-colored pencils if you are a beginner.

This is because there are different sizes, brands, and gauges to consider.

But with the right information, it is easy to pick the best ones for your work.

If you have never purchased colored pencils before, the first step is to go to the art store and spend a few minutes drawing and scribing with the colored pencils.

The other way is to purchase a few pencils from various brands to try them at home.

Once you have identified the best pencils for your work, you can go back to the store and purchase them.

7. Colored Markers

Colored markers are other favorite art tools for drawing that a beginner needs.

They are inexpensive, provide brilliant colors, are convenient, and work very well with almost every media.

So, whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, you need colored markers for your work.

Many users prefer colored markers because they are colorful and dry fast.

In addition, you can use them in your studio and outdoors.

So, whether it is a simple drawing or a complicated one, colored markers can work well.

However, there are several factors you need to consider that include tip shapes, water-based markers or alcohol-based markers, and color range among other factors.

Also, it is wise to have a budget since they are some brands that are more expensive than others.

8. Oil Pastels

Using oil pastels is always fun and entertaining.

But there are several things you need to understand before you pick them for your work.

If you have never used oil pastels before, I advise you to use the best qualities.

With the best quality, it will assure you that any mess is under control and you do not need other major art tools for drawing such as brushes, solutions, and others.

Even though the outcome of oil pastel drawings is amazing, it will take you some practice to use them correctly.

Oil pastels are not like colored pencils or oil paint.

9. Watercolor Paint Cakes

Other important art tools for drawing you need are watercolor paint cakes.

These are amazing tools that every beginner needs.

They are easy to use, affordable, and available in many colors.

One benefit of using watercolor paint cakes is that they are not as complicated to use as other paints.

This means you can use them even if you have never used them before.

Also, the colors are clear and very perfect even for classrooms.

10. Paint Brushes

You cannot be a good artist if you do not have paintbrushes.

However, there are several paintbrushes on the market.

Therefore, you need to understand the best brushes to have for your needs.

Happily, most of them are sold in sets.

This means you can have different ones for your art demands. 

In addition, most of them are affordable and work well with acrylics and watercolors.

But since it might take time to familiarize yourself with different paint brushes, you need to try different types and practice more often.

Also, make sure you keep your brushes well maintained.

11. Sharpeners

Sharpeners are great art tools for drawing.

You need them to sharpen your drawing pencils and colored pencils, pastels, and other drawing tools.

Therefore, you need one or several sharpeners for your work.

When looking for a good sharpener, make sure you check the size, materials used, and the brand.

Happily, most sharpeners on the market have two holes.

The small hole is for sharpening standard pencils and the large one for sharpening colored pencils and pastel.

12. Rulers

You also need several rulers for your artwork.

Even though some people may see rulers as simple art tools, they play a big part.

They are very important tools; All you need is to identify the type and size of the ruler you need for your work.

This is because there are plastic rulers, aluminum and steel rulers, and wooden rulers.

Every type of ruler has its pros and cons.

13. Mixing Trays

Since you will need to mix several paints and colors, you need several mixing trays.

Happily, there are many affordable mixing trays on the market.

However, it is wise to pick one that is easy to clean, durable, and large enough for your work.


The good news is that most of these art tools for drawing are sold in art sets.

These art sets are great for beginner artists because they contain a variety of basic art mediums.

If I was learning how to draw for the first time, I would invest in quality graphite pencils, colored pencils, colored markers and a sketch pad.

Start your hobby or career with our favorite art supplies below.

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