Sketching: what to buy for this hobby?

Sketching is a technique that allows quickly creating a sketch or a preparatory for drawing. Due to the ease and speed of drawing, sketching has gained popularity among students, designers and animators. Moreover, small sketches became a favorite hobby of those people who are not connected with design in any way. So, in this article we are going to speak about tools that are needed to create bright and beautiful sketches.


Of course, it is the first thing that you need for any painting. Try to choose a dense one or take a closer look at the sketchbooks. The density of standard drawing paper is about 130 g/sq. m., but if you are going to use watercolor, it is better to choose a thicker one – about 200-300 g / sq. m, so that paint does not leak through it.

The texture of the paper depends on your personal preferences. For beginners, it is better to choose cold-pressed paper, as its texture is universal and suitable for many artistic techniques.

You can also use paper in separate sheets, notebooks or albums for sketching. Do not forget to pay attention to spiral notebooks or special sketchbooks: the sheets in them are easily turned over, and any one can be easily and quickly torn off. We recommend paying attention to notebooks of a small format – A5 or A6, as it is convenient to take them with you anywhere and work wherever you find inspiration. 

Pencils, markers, pens

Whatever technique you choose, black-graphite pencils are best suited for the initial sketch. Moreover, they are easy to use – it is not hard to make changes and corrections while working with them.

Pencils differ in the degree of hardness: harder pencils marked H, 2H and are suitable for clear contours and careful study of details. Softer ones are designationed B, 2B and are ideal for creating shaded, blurred and soft lines. For beginners, we advise to give preference to medium-hard pencils with mark “HB”. To quickly correct what is drawn, we recommend buying a pair of soft vinyl erasers – they are best suited for working with black and colored pencils. As for the markers, alcohol-based markers are good: they give a translucent coating, and when working with them, you can achieve subtle transitions from tone to tone. 

Pens-brushes are an alternative to black-graphite pencils, and they are needed to create the basis of the sketch. They are durable, give clean neat lines, and do not require special care. We recommend to give preference to waterproof ink with a neutral pH — they will allow the drawings to last as long as possible. When choosing markers, it is important to pay attention to the level of light resistance – the higher it is, the longer the colors of the drawing will remain bright. It is also ought to be kept  in mind that several markers may slightly change the shade when drying. If you want to add more colors, you can try multi-colored brush pens – with their help you can create a lot of visual effects.

Paints and brushes

Many artists are not ready to stop at laconic monochrome drawings and want to enliven their sketches – to make them colorful. Watercolor technique is well suited for this: with its help you can adjust the transparency and color saturation to your arts. Paying attention to ready-made sets for watercolors: paints and brushes are sold in convenient cases that you can carry with you. Missing colors can always be purchased separately.

As for the brushes for watercolors, it is better to choose a traditional round shape. The material of the hair can be natural or synthetic – there is not a lot of difference. To begin with, choose several different brushes of small size in order to understand which ones are more convenient for you to work with. 

So, sketching is a technique that involves a lot of work outside the home or workshop, and there is no need to take with you all the art materials that are at home: choose the most compact tools that are easy to put in a bag or a small backpack. 

Conclusion: what you will need for sketching

  • Sketchbooks for drawing paper 

When choosing, you need to take into account the drawing technique: paper with a density of 200-300 g/sq.m and above is suitable for working with watercolor paints, 200 g/sq. m or even a little less is enough for other techniques.

  • A black—graphite pencil 

You won’t make a single sketch without it. However, it is better to buy a set of pencils of different hardness and use them for different purposes.

If you want to add more colors or clearer and brighter lines on your art, pay attention to them. 

  • Watercolor paints and brushes for drawing 

Choose them if you want to enliven the drawing, but don’t want to add clear lines. 


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