Many fine papers are available today, but to get started, I recommend an 18"x24" pad of Strath-more 400 Series Drawing Paper, regular surface. This is a good all-around paper with a nice surface that is accommodating to both pencil and charcoal.
Newsprint is an inexpensive type of paper (newspaper) that is excellent for formulating your ideas and working out problems without the fear that you are wasting good paper (14" X 17" or 18"x24" rough will do nicely).
Your sketchbook should be at least 5Vi" X8V2" and hardcover rather than soft. This sketchbook should accompany you wherever you go. Get in the habit of sketching everything around you; it's a wonderful way to start training your eyes to see. Every sketch does not have to be a masterpiece, but wait till you see the difference from day one to the day you reach the last page.
A. The Art Gum or soap eraser is good for cleaning surface dirt from large areas.
B. Pink Pearl is another old-timer that has shaped ends for removing pencil marks.
C. A white plastic eraser will remove pencil marks without much effort.
D. A blue plastic eraser is for more stubborn pencil marks and grit, and it will not harm your paper. Both plastics do an excellent job.
E. The kneaded eraser is a must in anyone's equipment box. This eraser can be squeezed into any shape and is very good for lifting charcoal or pencil out of dark areas that you wish to lighten. Do not scrub with this eraser, as you will just embed the dirt into the paper.
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