Our Top 5 Essential Art Supplies For The Professional Artist and Hobbyist

essential art supplies

The essential art supplies that a majority of artist begin with, is usually a pencil and a notebook. As time passes, you would need more sophisticated art supplies for your creative work.

Whether you are an expert or beginner, this blog reveals some of the essential art supplies that become your best tools.

If you are beginning to get really serious about your art projects, you could also start investing in good quality and long lasting materials for painting, sculpting and other forms of creative work.

So let’s get this started:

1. Your Best Quality Pencils

This is actually the most basic of the essential art supply but you just can’t pick up any pencil. When it has to do with drawing pencils, you must have the best ones that really connects with your style.

To get the right kind of pencil, it could mean trying out several until you hit the right choice that suits your style of drawing or coloring-in.

essential art supplies

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Drawing Pencil Sets: Pencil sets typically are branded in pretty packages and can be awesome since they often come with complete spectrum of diverse quality grades.

Most of the pencil sets in the marketplace comprise those with harder graphite – 9H, and the softer graphite sets of 6B, among other grades.

With harder graphite pencils, you can produce lighter marks and these help keep a sharp tip much longer.

Those of softer graphite grades produce darker marks and tend to require consistent sharpening.

With a collection of several of these sets – you will be able to work with diverse values and variations of marks as an artist.

Single Pencils: Most artists will find that they do not need to use all of the pencils found inside a drawing pencil set.

So you can buy the individual pencils and save more on costs.

2. A Good Sketchbook

As an artist, you need a really good sketchbooks or canvas depending on the choice of medium used.

The significance of a sketchbook can be compared to a professional athlete’s tools. Your active sketchbook is like your ideal artist’s workout stage.


3. Good Old Canvas

essential art supplies

Canvas is usually made of either linen or cotton and they come either stretched like the picture below or rolled up which for many requires additional work in framing or self stretching.

Rolled up however is usually more affordable and light weight when it comes to delivery services. Some prefer a large canvas to explore and some prefer the flexibility of a rolled up canvas.

For more detailed information on the different types of canvas that you can explore check out this cool site Art Is Fun and see these links Stretched Canvas, Canvas Rolls, Canvas Panels, and Canvas Pads.

Things to consider as essential art supplies – Quality Surfaces

Note that sketches and artworks can be made on just any surface; however the quality of that surface matters a lot as this is as vital as the medium that it is utilized on it.

You should consider the following when opting for a drawing surface as this impact the finished result.

  1. Consider the “tooth surface” – which is the texture of the paper. This plays a vital role on how your drawing material will be received on the surface.
  2. When you utilize heavier textures, this will generate lines that may seem “broken”. And when you use smoother textures, this will generate much smoother lines. For some artist, they might like heavier textures and then others – the smoother surface
  3. Paper Weight – The weight of paper is directly related to the paper’s thickness and this impacts the quality of work as well.
  4. Acid Free Content – Shop for acid free papers as these will stand “the test of time” any day – any time. Such category of papers will not yellow out over time & won’t easily fade out when exposed to UV light.

You can use these types of papers:

  1. Drawing Paper: Go for medium tooth papers as these are more fitting for drawing with coloured pencils, pens, chalks and graphite among others.
  2. Charcoal paper: This category is known as the heavier tooth papers which are lightweight and quite semi-transparent.These kinds of papers are superb for creating texture and you can utilize diverse media like coloured pencils among others – and not just charcoal alone.
  3. Bristol Paper Types: This one is smooth tooth paper which is quite heavier. They are superb for producing smooth gradations. Also great for making in depth line-work with ink.

4. Hail to the Erasers

An artist can never do without erasers as these are designed for cleaning errors. They can also be used as excellent mark-making tools.

Your options:

Rubber Eraser: This is the basic standard eraser for wiping out graphite – though requires friction.

Kneaded Eraser: This helps to remove material from the surface and does not require friction to remove it.

Gum Eraser: This one is superb for removing inks and marks from surfaces that are delicate to tearing and requires friction.

Plastic Erasers: This category is the toughest among all and can erase almost anything.

5. Mighty Brushes

essential art supplies


Although this is ultimately the main tool when it comes to painting, some artist actually have gone by with just the use of their fingers or sponges!

Anyway, since we are on the subject of essential art supplies let’s explore the types of brushes and uses.

Brush Shapes (wikipedia)

Round: pointed tip, long closely arranged bristles for detail

Flat: for spreading paint quickly and evenly over a surface. They will have longer hairs than their Bright counterpart.

Bright: shorter than flats. Flat brushes with short stiff bristles, good for driving paint into the weave of a canvas in thinner paint applications, as well as thicker painting styles like impasto work.

Filbert: flat brushes with domed ends. They allow good coverage and the ability to perform some detail work.

essential art supplies

Fan: for blending broad areas of paint.

Angle: like the filbert, these are versatile and can be applied in both general painting application as well as some detail work.

Mop: a larger format brush with a rounded edge for broad soft paint application as well as for getting thinner glazes over existing drying layers of paint without damaging lower layers.

Rigger: round brushes with longish hairs, traditionally used for painting the rigging in pictures of ships. They are useful for fine lines and are versatile for both oils and watercolors.

Stippler and deer-foot stippler: short, stubby rounds

Liner: elongated rounds

Dagger looks like angle with longish hairs, used for one stroke painting like painting long leaves.

Scripts: highly elongated rounds


PS: Other essential artist tools will also include: Pens, Masonite, An Apron, Mahl Stick, Acrylics, Oils, Watercolor, Easels, Palettes, Varnishes, etc.

Hello my name is Julie J. My love for painting and writing inspired me to create this platform. Enjoy your reading experience and if you have something to share, publish it. We welcome writers worldwide so start writing...