Tool and Supplies: Drawing People

Drawing Skull

First and foremost in drawing you do NOT have to spend a fortune on supplies. The goal here is that you are learning to see and duplicate what you see on paper. If you have archival paper and professional supplies that is great, but if not you can also have plain white copy paper, a 2B pencil, and an eraser.

With these simple tools, you can spend a lifetime learning to represent the human body, and still not know all there is to know. The information provided in this series of lessons is just a tip of the iceberg of what is possible. In the future, we will delve deeper into specific areas.

Basic Drawing Supplies

The Basic Drawing Supplies:

You need paper, a 2B pencil, a paper towel or tissue, and an eraser. My current preferred tools are a mechanical pencil 0.5, a blending stump, and a kneaded eraser.

Making Marks:

If you wish to experiment, set yourself with a variety of tools, below is a sampling of the type of marks each will make. The light area on each is where I used the kneaded eraser to see how easily it removed the mark.

Drawing Marks

Pencil sharpeners relatively easy to come by and are very inexpensive. Myself I have an electric one in my studio I use regularly. If it I am working away from the studio I will take a small, inexpensive sharpener along.

Additional Drawing Items:

Below are some supplies you may want to try.  From left-to-right: A wooden skewer, a sharp knife, a sandpaper block, a white pastel pencil, a hard eraser.

A sharp skewer can be used in a method to score into the paper before shading, leaving a white mark visible. The knife and sandpaper block are so you can sharpen your pencil to a preferred point. Having a white pastel pencil on hand helps in creating value in your piece, mainly if you use a toned paper. And lastly, a hard eraser will take more of a mark away than the kneaded eraser usually will.

Extra Drawing Tools

Drawing Paper:

Paper comes in a wide variety of shapes textures and colors. As mentioned before using plain white copy paper will do fine if that is what you currently have access. The point is to be learning; the tools themselves aren’t as crucial in this case as what you do with them.

We could do an entire series on just the types of papers available. So, for now, focus on getting what you can afford and feel the most comfortable using. If you are a beginner, begin with a white or cream that is about 90lb.

Drawing paper

Next time we will explore the traditional classic proportions of the human body.

Receive a FREE guide today of the body’s skeleton proportions and critical areas when doing realistic life drawing. http://bit.ly/2rpkTvt

drawing figure

3 thoughts on “Tool and Supplies: Drawing People

  1. I was wondering why you use a stump ? Is it because you use only one pencil ? How do you feel about using multiple leads and strokes and get away from the stump ?

    1. I’m all for doing what works for the individual. At this point I’m just trying to blow out the cobwebs, so I started as simple as possible.

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