DRAWING RESOURCES & FAQ's
Q: WHAT PENCILS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A: LYRA REMBRANT POLYCOLOR PENCILS
Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Pencils are what I use in The Art & Science of Drawing series. They are oil-based colored pencils that are smooth, consistent and wonderfully pressure sensitive. Here are some of the individual colors I recommend:
Here are some options to buy a set of assorted colors of Lyra Rembrant Polycolor Pencils from Amazon.
A: DERWENT DRAWING PENCILS
Black and brown Derwent Drawing Pencils are dense and creamy. If you want a rich beautiful darks in your drawings they are hard to beat. Particularly if you’re an artist with a light touch who struggles to make bold marks, this is the pencil for you. Use this kind of pencil for larger, bolder drawings.
Their only downside is that, due to the softness, they are easy to accidentally smear when drawing, but with mindful use, Derwent Drawing Pencils are wonderful drawing tools.
White Derwent Drawing Pencils are my pencil of choice when drawing with white on toned papers. They put down a warm, opaque white that looks gorgeous on most toned and colored papers. Here are some of the individual colors I buy.
Here are some options to buy a set of assorted colors of Derwent Drawing Pencils and a tin for storage:
A: FABER-CASTELL POLYCHROMOS PENCILS
These oil-based colored pencils are another favorite of mine. They are similar to the Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils. Here are some recommended colors:
Q: WHAT PAPER DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A: 18X24" PAD of NEWSPRINT
Learning to draw requires lots of practice and much of that practice consists of drills like practicing basic shapes and volumes. I would recommend doing this kind of practice on newsprint. Newsprint is non-archival, meaning that it will become yellow and brittle over time. Drawings on newsprint are meant for practice, not for keeping. Save the nicer paper for more finished work.
A: 18X24" PAD of WHITE DRAWING PAPER
If you want to keep a drawing, you should draw on archival paper. Archival paper will not become discolored or otherwise degrade over time. With care, it will look as fresh as they you drew it for years to come. Here ares cost effective pads of white drawing paper:
A: CANSON MI-TIENTES PAPER, 19x25”
I use this high quality, archival paper for drawings I might exhibit. It comes in a range of colors and each side has a different texture. White is my most commonly used color but this aper comes in a range of colors that work great for drawing with black and white pencils on a middle value paper. Here is a list of my most commonly used colors:
Canson Mi-Tientes Drawing Paper, Honeysuckle - Great for figure drawing
Canson Mi-Tientes Drawing Paper, Hemp - Great for figure drawing
A: FABRIAN TIZIANO PAPER, 20x26”
This paper is similar to Canson Mi-Tientes paper but it has the same texture on both sides. If it’s a texture you like, this may be a better bargain than Canson Paper because you can draw on both sides of the paper. It is almost entirely opaque so you will not be able to see much of what’s on the other side.
Q: WHY USE SUCH BIG PAPER?
Most beginning students are not familiar with the overhand grip, the most common and useful grip used by professional artists. When drawing using the overhand grip, most of the motion comes from the shoulder and elbow, not the wrists and fingers. 18x24" paper helps students adjust to drawing with the full arm. Also, drawing small can be more difficult because we have very little room to maneuver. Larger paper allows us more freedom to draw big and get deeper into the drawing.
Q: WHAT BASIC DRAWING BOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Lee, Stan and John Buscema , How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, 1978
Loomis, Andrew, Successful Drawing, 2012
Q: WHAT FIGURE DRAWING BOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Aristides, Juliette, Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice, 2006
Aristides, Juliette, Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier, 2011
Hale, Robert Beverly, Anatomy Lessons From the Great Masters, 2000
Hale, Robert Beverly, Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters, 1989
Hale, Robert Beverly, Master Class in Figure Drawing, 1991
McGraw, Sherrie, The Language of Drawing: From an Artists Viewpoint, 2005
Peck, Stephen Rogers, Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist, 1951
Richer, Dr. Paul, Artistic Anatomy by Richer, Dr. Paul, Hale, Robert Beverly, 1986
Simblet, Sarah, Anatomy for the Artist, 2001
Q: WHAT KIND OF DRAWING BOARD DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A: HOLLOW, METAL EDGE DRAWING BOARDS
I prefer hollow, metal edge drawing boards. They are lightweight and come in a range of sizes making them easy to use and transport.. I have many of them in my studio. You will need to purchase either clips or artist’s tape to secure your paper to the board while drawing. Here are the sizes I use most:
Q: WHAT KIND OF ERASERS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A: KNEADED ERASERS AND VINYL ERASERS
I primarily use kneaded erasers because they are gentle and lift pigment off the page without scrubbing. They can be shaped to suit many purposes. When I need to remove as much pigment as possible I use vinyl erasers. Here’s a list of my most commonly used erasers:
Q: WHAT KIND OF EASEL DO YOU RECOMMEND?
A: UPRIGHT EASEL
I own and use multiple kinds of easels depending on what and where I’m drawing. They fall into three categories. The first is a traditional upright easel. This kind of easel works best if you stand when you draw. they come in many sizes. I have a medium sized easel because I mostly draw on 18x24” paper but I like the option to draw on larger surfaces (24x36” or larger). This medium sized easel works great for my most common size of paper, doesn't;t take up too much room and can accommodate larger surfaces when it needs to:
A: DRAWING HORSE
I often sit while I draw, particularly during long figure sessions. For this I own and often use a drawing horse, or what is also known as a bench easel. It’s called a drawing horse because you straddle the bench with your drawing board leaned upright in front of you. This is the kind of setup you’ll find in most drawing studios.
A: TABLETOP EASEL
Many art studios only have tables and not easels or horses. Table top easels are a great way to keep your drawing board upright in these kinds of situations. Although, keep in mind that they require a table. They do not work well in plein air situations. Here is one I commonly use:
This model is attached to a box where you can store and transport art supplies:
Q: HOW DO YOU SHARPEN YOUR PENCILS?
A: WITH AN X-ACTO SCHOOL PRO ELECTRIC PENCIL SHARPENER
Many art teachers tell their students that they must shape their pencils with a razor in order to draw. I don’t believe that’s true. If you know how to draw, you will be able to do so regardless of material. The pencil sharpener I use is the X-acto School Pro. I have one in all of my studios and I take one with me on the road when I teach in-person classes and workshops. It’s designed for elementary school classrooms which makes it able to stand up to rugged studio use. They last years and they are easy to open up to remove any leads that may break in them.
The only downside is that, if you’re using extremely soft art materials like pastel pencils, you have to sharpen with care because the softer the lead, the more likely it is to break while sharpening.
Q: WHAT KIND OF RULER SHOULD I USE?
A: I have many metal rulers. In the course you will see me use a cork backed Alvin or Helix. There are many good brands of these kinds of rulers. 24" is a good length to start with.
All of these are resources I personally use. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products.