Drawing basics – what do I need?

A lot of people I know draw for hobby and for fun. I would like to give you a few tips on how to get started yourself.

What sort of tools do I need to start drawing?

You don’t need much if you want to start drawing for fun and hobby, you simply need a sketchbook and a pencil. But there are so many types and brands of paper and it’s easy to get lost in the supply of these. Personally I like the following tools.


– Boekenvoordeel.nl – dummy schetsboek A4
– Boekenvoordeel.nl – dummy schetsboek A5

I use an a5 sketchbook which I buy at a local store. It’s really nice for taking with you when you have to commute everyday or if you go travelling. It’s also pretty cheap (I think around 3€) so it doesn’t matter if you mess up a few pages. I’m not sure of the paper weight, but I’ve done some marker and watercolor work in it and it doesn’t even bleed through the page too bad. The paper is also not 100% white which I also really like about it.

I also have an a4 version of this sketchbook that I use for anatomy sketches and studies. I own a bunch of different sketchbooks and watercolor papers but I won’t get into that too much right now as this is a whole different aspect of art and drawing.

Pencils and fineliners

– Bol.com – staedtler fineliners
– Bol.com – micron Sakura fineliners

For my sketches I use a pencil set by KOH-I-NOOR. It’s a case of 12 pencils with different ‘weights’. You probably all are familiar with the ‘HB’ pencils which are considered to be standard. HB pencils are a balance between ‘B’ and ‘H’ pencils. B pencils are made of softer graphite and will result into darker strokes. H pencils are the opposite and the graphite is really dense and won’t crumble as easily as B pencils. The higher the number before the letter (for example 5B), the more the value will be. So the 5B pencil will be softer and make darker strokes than a 2B pencil.

I have a bunch of different fineliners but I currently work a lot with my Staedtler set of 6 different black fineliners. I also highly recommend Sakura fineliners, although they are bit more expensive than the Staedtler ones. In my opinion the quality is similar for these two brands of fineliners. I use these to darken my drawings or prepare a drawing before adding watercolors. It’s also really nice for making black and white drawings. In my Staedtler set are the following fineliners: 0.05 mm, 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.8 mm. The number of mm indicate the thickness of the pen nib and how thick the strokes will be. The 0.05 mm one is really nice for adding really small details and I use it a lot!

Next to these I also use a white gel liner to add final accents and cool effects like for example stars and highlights. For these I use Zentangle Original tool set 9 Gold Special which also comes with a gold fineliner and white pencil plus a tortillon. It’s not super cheap but in my opinion worth the investment.

Let me know if you have any questions!



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