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How to choose appropriate art tools

How to choose art tools_theartcrafttherapyroom

Buying the right drawing tools for your needs is largely a question of trial and error. 2B or not 2B? How about HB? These are questions we always ask ourselves before sketching. We are very fickle when it comes to picking up tools to draw simple Dragon Ball Z figures or be it painting Bob Marley on a big canvas. From hard/light and soft/dark variants of each tool to highly realistic pencil renderings everything seems to give us a hard time. Here is a simple to guide to help you out in selecting some very common appropriate art tools.


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  • Choose the right grade of pencil – Generally a 2 to 4H pencil is as hard /p[as you need for light areas, an HB is used for midrange, and a 5B to 6B is used for darker areas. Instead of changing pencils for each tone, try altering the pressure. Try solid graphite pencils. These are tough sticks of graphite and clay composite which have no casing, so it allows for covering larger areas more easily, creating various effects.
  • Choose the right paper – To create a highly realistic style try using a smooth, hot press finish sheet of paper. Arches’ 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper or Bristol board plate finish are highly preferred. 
  • Blending stumps -. Used generally to create gradations and half-tones, the sanded area of the stump is great for blending while the point is ideally used to blend lighter areas. These stumps leave no oily smears which our fingers have. Cotton wool, make-up wipes, paper towels, paper tissue, chamois are some other tools you can use in blending. Warning: attempting the use of blending tools for an amateur can look smudgy, so don’t rush. EXTRA TIP – if you have none of these use an eraser with light strokes to create a light smudge. 
  • Blending tortillons – Another blending tool. The milder paper surface of mixing tortillons gives an alternate mixing surface to stumps, and they can be utilized to push shading and relax pencil edges.
  • Kneaded eraser – Unlike standard office erasers, kneaded erasers are dry and don’t smear or leave chipped buildup. Their delicate quality makes them perfect on sketching papers that have a rough texture. Use them to pick out highlights in eyes and hair.
  • Brush – Use number 8 round red sable watercolor brushes or synthetic-blend brushes with a round number 4 and a 1inch flat for detail work. For oil based painting just choose a natural China-bristle (hog hair) paint brush.
  • Palette – Cake and Pan Color sets have built-in fold out palettes that are used in many degrees depending on their size and orientation. Try buying something that has space for hues, a simple to-hold plan and a cover so you can spare and re-utilize your paints.
  • Canvas – Linen canvas is the canvas of choice for many famous artists, as it gives a stronger, smoother surface with great durability. Linen holds onto its natural oils, rendering the fiber more flexible and prevents the surface and paint from becoming too brittle and cracking.
  • Paper for watercolors – Use any watercolor pad, loose paper or block with a weight of number 140 or higher. The heavier the paper, the less you have to worry about the dampness of the paper. 
  • Cleaning oils – Use turpentine or linseed oils to clean your paintbrushes. There are many available from different brands, just buy any decent brand., Inc


The above mentioned tools are some of the best ones to produce a very beautiful piece of art. Try to stick to this collection for the best results.

All links to products are suggestions only.
  Image source: Rachael Gorjestani (unsplash)
Writing Source: A Mim Likhon
How to choose appropriate art tools by The Art & Craft Therapy Room

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