Monday, December 7, 2015

Sketching Tools

Everyone has their favorite items for roughing out an idea or sketching on the go. I like to organize my tools into two sketching pouches. One is mostly for line and the other is for value. 
I used powdered graphite for value here. All images © Jen Betton 2015  
Contents of my "line" drawing pouch.
Erasers: I have 3 (you can never have too many!)
Kneaded eraser: I love how this eraser is gentle on paper and you can control how much or little of the pencil it picks up. 
Regular eraser-pen: easier for me to keep clean than a rectangular white eraser. 
Tombow Mono-Zero eraser pen: my new love! It can so perfectly pick out the tiniest white lines, or erase exactly the spot you wanted without disturbing other parts of the drawing. 

Pencil sharpener: At home I have a nice glass-inkwell style pencil sharpener, but on the go I love this tiny flip-top sharpener from Muji. 

6” Ruler: Can be handy for some quick perspective lines.

Mechanical pencils: sooooo not supposed to use these, I know. But they’re handy for blocking in concepts or for when I want a crisp line. 
4 or 6B sketching pencil: for darker values or varied line weight. 
Colored pencil: Sometimes I like using a blue pencil for underdrawings, then I draw a cleaner version in regular graphite over the top. 
Contents of my "value" drawing pouch.
Woodless graphite pencils: in a variety of softnesses – I have a 9B for really rich darks.  

Powdered graphite: I LOVE this stuff for soft, atmospheric value. It is super-easy to lift lighter areas out of it. 

Cotton balls and q-tips: for applying the powdered graphite. 

Shammy cloth: works as a type of soft eraser

Water-Soluble Graphite: It’s a bit like working with black watercolor paint, but with a grainier texture and you can erase it a bit.

Paintbrush: for the water-soluble graphite. 

These were done with the water-soluble graphite, working from online reference.
And of course, my Handbook sketch pad. It has a nice tooth for value, and is thick enough for liquid media. 

Those are the tools I regularly use – what are yours? I glean new tools from friends all the time (Lisa Anchin showed me the pencil sharpener, and Brooke Boynton Hughes first introduced me to liquid graphite). 

Jen Betton writes and illustrates for children. You can find her work at on on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment