Tools are a very important part when learning how to draw. There are many tools that you can use that will help you either sketch faster, draw better or, draw more efficiently. If I showed you a list of tools that were used in making a simple portrait, You probably wouldn’t even know where to find some of these tools let alone know some of the names.
Many beginners believe that if they have the tools that professional are using, that they will automatically make them a better artist but isn’t the case. While it is true that having some of these tools will help you draw better, most of the tools available , different brand art supplies, mostly enhance an artist ability to draw, paint or sketch.
For beginners, tools such as an eraser, pencil, and a piece of paper is really all anyone would ever really need to ask for. For some, this doesn’t satisfy them, as some of us will love to learn how to draw faster and using lots of tools can easily be a misconception in achieving that .
I remember being in middle school and going online looking up tutorials on how to draw certain characters like Naruto and watching certain videos where the artist would use tools that I didn’t have access to. This could easily stop any beginner from getting into drawing, as they might believe that they need the same tools that the professionals are using, or at least people who can draw, to be as good as them.
This obviously isn’t the case, but even for myself when starting out any shortcuts that you could take to speed up the process would easily attract many. I remember I had a friend back in middle school who could draw extremely well and I remember going up to him asking him to be my mentor. He agreed to do so, but after agreeing, I remembered how tedious it was. Even though he was good at drawing, I wouldn’t see him using that many tools except for a piece of paper and a pencil and maybe a pen for inking.
For professionals, using some of these tools really speeds up the work flow, especially when you’re on the job and you have to meet a certain deadline. While using just a piece of paper, pencil, and a pen could suffice, it’s not going to look as good as something at DC or Marvel without the skill.
Professionals not only use professional tools but for some are a requirement, unless they want their work to look sloppy. I’m not sure about you but I wouldn’t pay an artist $1,000 to make me something just to have it look rushed or not as good as it could have been. These are things beginners shouldn’t have to worry about until they get really good drawing.
Take inking for example. Inking is the process of tracing over your drawings with a sketch from a pencil and finishing with a pen for the final outline or line work for the drawing. This can easily be achieved with just using a regular pen but if you want to make your line drawings look more professional, then you will use different grades of pens or pens that are designed for inking.
Some people might not realize but certain tools are good for general-purpose tasks like an average pencil, pens, or paper used for signing or writing, but when you want to draw more professional-looking artwork, then you will want to look into using different grades of pencils and pens not to mention color and as well.
When looking for pencils you’ll sometimes come across the words like 2B, 3B, 5B, etc. . These can easily be defined as the roughness the lead will produce when making a mark on a piece of paper. The higher the number the darker the pencil.
When looking for pens you’ll come across tip sizes that are measured in millimeters (mm). The tip sizes are used for levels of detail. When you’re inking for some very detailed and intricate parts of a drawing, you might need a smaller tip to get those details, otherwise, using broader tips will actually be overkill and obscure some of the detail like hair.
Even paper has its own quality. While drawing on printing paper or notebook paper will be ideal for beginners, for professionals and hobbyist alike, it would be preferable that you sketch in a sketchbook due to the papers high quality, handling of different types of mediums like watercolors, and can withstand more pressure and is durable in comparison.
Lucky for you, this website isn't geared towards heavy traditional drawing which would require the use of certain tools that I haven't even discussed. But what about the digital side of drawing? Digital tools are a lot easier to manage than the traditional tools because digital tools have most of the tools if not all of them located inside drawing software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or SketchBook Pro. Traditional will require you to go out and buy some of these tool sets but if you don't plan on selling your prints or drawings in person then I wouldn't worry too much about it. It’s good to know that they exist and how they work so that the knowledge transfer over to your digital drawings.
Even though some digital softwares give you a lot of these tools pre-installed, that doesn't mean that you will know how to use every single tool. The predefined brushes inside of Photoshop are so many that I can't even begin to count them, with others tools need you to select certain areas and then apply your customized effect which sounds technical but it’s not.
The only thing you will need when learning to draw is just 3 things: a piece of paper, a pencil, and an eraser. If your feeling confident the use those tools to make lines.