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My Favourite Drawing & Art Supplies

Drawing Tools for Artists & Amateurspencil sketch with art materials by Artist Rachael Grad

Daily drawing is a fun way to keep challenged as an artist. Over the years I've completed several daily drawing projects. Most recently in spring 2020 during COVID-19 lockdown in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and around the world. You cana read more about that daily drawing project in this Art Blog post: Daily Drawing During a Pandemic. In difficult times like when I had a newborn baby and during lockdown when stuck inside my home, working on a daily drawing project kept me sane and feeling more creative and productive. Keep reading to learn more about what art supplies are best to use and my favorite drawing tools including sketchbooks, pencils and erasers. 

Do I Need Artist Quality Art Materials for Drawing? 

No, you do not need to invest in expense art supplies if you're a beginner artist. You really don’t need anything fancy to draw, paint or make art. Basic pencils, plain paper for drawing are fine for drawing. Scrap paper, old photos, mail, anything can be cut up and used in collage artwork. I've painted interesting paintings with my kids' washable paints and care an easy, fun way to work in a loose, free art style. 

When I'm playing around in my studio or doing art and craft projects with my children, I don't use artist quality materials. Sometimes it's better to use cheaper, disposable materials to experiment in the art studio, loosen up and get rid of inhibitions or fears, which can be present if worrying about "wasting" expensive artist materials.

Warning: Artwork May NOT Last If You Use Kids' Art Materials

I want to warn you that Murphy's Law will inevitably come in to play when you use lower quality art supplies. Meaning: you'll probably make your best artwork ever that one time you paint loosely and freely with your kids' paints. Then of course you'll wish you'd used other higher quality paint or art supplies! With archival artist quality materials, you won't have to worry about your artwork changing over time through fading, disintegrating, warping, etc. 

When Do I Use Artist Quality Art Materials? 

For artwork that I create for special art commissions or to show in an art gallery or public spaces, I always use the highest quality artist paints, paper, canvas, linen or other art supplies. This is to ensure the artwork that an art collector purchases will not change or alter in a few years. 

Drawing Tools for Artists & Amateurs by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad
Favorite Drawing Materials for Sketchbook Drawing 

Shown here are photos of my favorite art supplies and drawing materials but not adding links to buy. Over the years I’ve found that links change or get removed. So if you want to find these drawing favorites, it’s best to search online for current in-stock art supplies. My favourite drawing tools include: 

  • Staedler hard eraser white
  • Staedler or Faber Castle Soft erasers. The Faber Castle erasers come with their own case which I like for keeping the eraser clean and easy to find.
  • Holbein mixed media sketchbooks. These are my absolute favorite drawing and sketchbooks. When I used to travel and leave my house more often, I always carried a small sketchbook in my purse or knapsack. Unfortunately, Holbein are difficult to find in Toronto, Canada. 
  • Faber Castle colored pencil crayons
  • Staedler pencil sharpener that comes with a case to capture pencil shavings

Over the years, I've grown less fond of charcoal and pastels. I like working with drawing materials that are using too clean up and don't create dust (as do charcoal and chalk pastels). The above listed drawing materials are simple and easy to carry around in a large ziplock bag. Back when I traveled, I always carried those drawing supplies in my travel carry-on bag so I could set and draw on vacation and when I had a few free minutes. 

Want more drawing suggestions and tips?

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Let me know your favorite drawing tools & art supplies!

Drawing Tools for Artists & Amateurs by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad