Know your Tools! Traditional and Digital

There are so many different tools to draw and paint with, the variety of possibilities is just awesome! I will introduce you to some basic tools and of couse to my favourite ones <3
Please remember this is just my personal opinion, as there isn’t just one way to draw. Feel free to test different tools and use what suits you and your needs best.



Pencils & co.

Tools-PencilsStandard pencils are gread for shading and rough sketches (I tend to get really messy with them).
They come in different degrees of hardness (H means you are on the hard side of the scale, HB is in the middle, B means the graphit is soft and darker). They range from 9H to 9B. Start with and HB (doesnt smudge too much) and an 2B for darker parts and more smudging 😀
On the other side mechanical pencils are great for smooth thin lines, when I used for shading I think you should hatch and crosshatch (but I am not very good at this so maybe just try it out!)
You will need an eraser! I encourage you to erase a lot! If you think you could make this line better, erase and draw it again. Nothing is more disappointing then a crappy drawing when you know you could have done better, but you were just too lazy!
I reccomend a kneading eraser, it doesnt make a mess on your desk/sketchbook with those little fuzzy shreds and you can knead a small tip for correcting details, without erasing too much.
For sketching you can use simple copy paper, if you want to sketch on the go and a sketchbook, make sure the pages arent too thin and too smooth.

Coloured Pencils

First I have to admit, I haven’t coloured a drawing with coloured pencils in ages. But still I am using them, because I love to sketch with them! It gives your sketch a different mood. I also like to ad clearer lines with a mechanical pencil, pens or even another coloured pencil x)
My favourite ones are the polychromos from faber castel. They are smooth for drawing and the colours turn out great 🙂

Just try what you like. I know people who just use ballpointpens for sketching (and drawing). They prefer them over pencils, because it is more convenient for them 😀

Inks, Pens & Markers

I adore people who can handle pen and ink (make sure it is waterproof)! I tried it various times, but my results were pretty poor. Instead I use Pigma Micron & Copic Multiliners to prepare the linework for my copic drawings. The multiliners are available with a brushtip, which is great for different lineweight but it needs good practice.
Copic Markers for painting are sure fun! These are markers on an alcoholic base, which  makes you able to blend two or more colours smoothly together! I love to draw some traditional stuff with them from time to time 🙂


Hardware – The Tablet

Since I never used anything else then Wacom tablets, I cant recommend something else, altough there are some alternatives.
I started with a Wacom Graphire 4 which I got in 2008 (it is still alive and in use by a friend of mine xD).
Nowadays for beginners I would reccomend the Wacom Bamboo. It is a small tablet with USB-connection and a pressuresensitive pen. In the beginning it sure is confusing to draw on the tablet/desk and watch your monitor for the result, but the more you practise, the more you will get used to it!
Now I got a Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid, with an inbuilt display. You can use it as a mobile (heavy) tablet for drawing. The operating system is android, so you can get sketchbook pro.
I use it mostly with the other function. I plug it into my computer and have a display on which I can draw, with every software I can install on my computer.


I use Photoshop 90% of the time. With the monthly subscription it isnt as expensive as it was earlier. You have so many possibilities, the ones for photoediting are also handy for drawing 😀
Clipstudio Paint is also very nice, specially for people who are drawing manga or comics. You can manage pages and make panels, and the brushes are awesome! I love the oil & watercolour brushes, because they give you a feeling that the different colours react with each other.
Sketchbook Pro for android operating systems. I tried it but we just don’t belong to each other 🙁
Since it is very affordable, try it! I have seen people with awesome results!
Paint Tool SAI is another very neat program! But only for Windows users. I have a Mac and tried it with a virtual machine but thats too much workaround for me.
Besides that the pen tools are amazing, as well as the brushes. The colors blend and mix as you draw, just lovely!


Bonus Tips


Seriously, get yourself a sketchbook. At least a small one. Keep it everywhere you go and sketch whenever you have time – waiting for the bus/train, on the bus/train, in a cafe, got to public places. Resources are everywhere, watch people, catch their poses. Real life is the best teacher you can get!
A sketchbook comes in handy if you have an awesome idea, but no time. Sketch it down, write it down, don’t let it slip away! 🙂


A small camera, even the inbuilt one in you mobilephone can be a great tool to catch reference from real life. Places, architecture, nature, that fancy texture from that tree/leave/rock. Just snap a pic and capture the moment!
Hint: If you like a texture, make a custom brush out of it – this applies to digital painting 😉

This is it for today 😀 I hope it was helpful. The next time I will talk a little bit about anatomy and stuff!

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