The Best Drawing Tools

After my poor performance in gesture drawing from life on Wednesday I figured that I needed to do more practice today. I already have a plan to continuing to practice all of the fundamentals the rest of my life but currently I feel like I need constant review to keep my skills up. Unfortunately we had a busy schedule today so I could only spend an hour, so to make up for it I figured I would put together some information on what drawing tools I like most. 

The best drawing tools I’ve found, or at least the ones that work the best for me, are as follows.

I’m not sure how they do it but the Conte 1710 B pencil is perfect for more than just gesture drawing. I use it for all of my drawing. It goes down easy, doesn’t smudge too much and it will erase well. In too many cases I have found charcoal that will hit the page then blow away with a slight breeze or the slightest touch, or after it hits the page it sticks like ink and can never be erased no matter how hard you work. The Conte 1710 pencil has the best of both and I highly recommend it. Out of my best drawing tools list these pencils are by far the most important.

This is essential to get the most out of your charcoal pencil, YOU MUST SHARPEN IT CORRECTLY. Check out this awesome video on how to do it.


Also, the smooth newsprint is a must. I can’t stress the SMOOTH enough. Newsprint is the most inexpensive paper to use when training drawing skills and getting the smooth version guarantees that the super fine perfect lines you put down in your figure gesture drawing show up perfectly.

I can’t take credit for doing all the research on the charcoal pencils or the smooth newsprint. I learned about these amazing drawing tools from Watts Atelier Online Fundamentals.

Here is another product that I’m amazed that no one knows about, or at least I have never seen anyone use and that is a simple foam core board cut to size. I got this tip years ago from Anthony Ryder and he described it as drawing on a stiff cloud. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen artist drop those heavy wood drawing boards, or the heavy boards wobble and break studio easels. The wood drawing boards are too heavy and too expensive. Get a nice piece of 3/4 inch foam core, cut it to the size you like, add some clips, and you have the perfect super light easy to move around drawing board.

Using The Best Drawing Tools

Below you can see my list of my best drawing tools at work, well you can’t see the conte 1710 pencils, but you can see the board and the clips. I use two different clips, the top ones are what I think are called “bull” clips from the art store which are fairly expensive. The bottom clips though are much cheaper and can be found an any office supply store, in most cases these work best as the handles can be folded into the  board so the outside of the clip is flush to the board.

Two Minute Gesture Drawings

best drawing tools used in 2 minute gesture drawings setup


best drawing tools used in 2 minute gesture drawing


Five Minute Gesture Drawings

the best drawing tools for gesture drawing


chris beaven's list of the best drawing tools

If you want to see more check out all of my work from the past few months using all the best drawing tools.

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