Ew Additional Fun and Very Useful Tools

There are several other items you'll want to purchase for your budding art career. I find the following tools to be indispensable when drawing, and I know you will, too!

A Ruler, Circle Templates and French Curves

If you choose to draw anything architectural or mechanical, such as a building or a B-52 bomber, you can either opt to keep it sketchy or aim for a truly realistic look. For the latter, you will need a few special tools: rulers, French curves and circle templates.

None of us can draw a perfectly straight line, so a ruler is a must. Even if you're not drawing a complex subject, you'll want a ruler for such tasks as checking proportions and angles. I prefer a plastic C-Thru ruler, as it has a very useful grid on it and a centering row of numbers. You can find a similar ruler at the fabric store.

Circle templates and French curves are useful for the more uniform parts of the drawings you might do. They are usually made of plastic. Circle templates contain multiple circles of varying sizes, and they are useful for drawing precise circles or arcs. French curves are templates that help you draw other complex curves and shapes. Both of these tools will be discussed at length later in the book.

Erasing Shields and Blending Tools

Made of thin metal, erasing shields have openings of various shapes that allow you to carefully erase lines, highlights or other details without disturbing nearby areas. They are usually available in the drafting section of office supply stores.

Paper stumps and tortillions are used to smoothly blend pencil strokes. A paper stump is a compressed wad of paper, pointed on both ends, that can be used on its side or tip to smooth and shade pencil marks. The tortillion is rolled paper with one pointed tip for use in tiny areas that need smudging.

V jiij if you don't have a fancy art box, a fishing tackle box is perfect for toting around your newly acquired drawing supplies. It has plenty of compartments for storing your goodies.


Circle Templates and French Curves


Circle Templates and French Curves

Erasing Shields, Stumps and Tortillions

Getting It Straight

There's no law in art that says a manmade object with straight edges has to look mechanically drawn. Freehand lines are very nice, charming in fact, and can look realistic. If you desire to have the object look even more realistic, though, then you should use some type of straightedge such as a ruler.

Navigating Curves

A variety of French curves can be of great help when drawing mechanical or uniform curving shapes such as those found on musical instruments, cars, jars with curved sides and arches on doorways.

Smooth Blending and Shading

The paper stump (shown here) may be used on its tip or side, unlike the tortillion which is designed to be used on its tip only. If you have a large area to blend, use the stump; save the tortillion for smaller areas. These tools can do more than just blend previously pencilled marks; they can pick up and retain graphite to be used for making their own marks.

ace to Draw On

You can draw on almost any surface. Certainly, there isn't a right or wrong paper, only a preference for a certain look or feel for your drawing.

One of the first things to consider when choosing paper is thickness. I like to do my finished drawings on bristol board. It's very heavy and forgiving, allowing me to correct many mistakes without jeopardizing the surface. Thinner surfaces like newsprint are more sensitive to erasers and harder to blend on; they just don't work that well. The only real benefit in buying thinner paper is that it saves you some cash.

Another consideration is surface texture. The texture, or tooth, of your drawing paper is determined by touch and makes quite a difference in the final appearance of your work of art. The paper designated as smooth or plate finish allows for a finished drawing with lots of detail. The individual pencil strokes tend to blend together well because the graphite will fill in evenly on the paper surface. The bristol board I use has a smooth finish.

Papers labeled medium, regular or rough have more texture, causing the surface to grab the graphite in an uneven manner. The rougher paper holds more graphite, allowing for deeper shadows and more contrast, but results in a grainier drawing.

In addition to buying paper for your finished drawings, you'll also want to stock up on tracing paper. Tracing paper is useful for a number of tasks, such as keeping your drawing paper clean and spotting (and correcting) errors in your drawing. Later we will cover the use of tracing paper in more detail.

Smooth Sailing

This fuchsia was drawn on smooth bristol board. Smooth paper gives your drawing a softer, less sketchy look. It works well for smooth skin tones, glass and other slick surfaces. Of course, you could intentionally use rougher paper for smooth subjects to create interest.

Evelyn's Fuchsia

Graphite on bristol board 10" x 8" (25cm x 20cm)

In the Rough

This one was drawn on regular drawing paper, which has more tooth. Rougher paper adds texture to your drawing, which makes it a good choice for highly textured subjects like landscapes, animals, stone and so on. Between these two drawings, I liked the smoother surface better, as the drawing looks more delicate.

Evelyn's Fuchsia II

Graphite on regular drawing paper 10" x 8" (25cm x 20cm)

'^fj If you buy paper in a spiral-bound pad, place a piece of cardboard underneath the page you're working on so you don't score the page underneath. After you finish the drawing, put tracing paper over it to protect from unwanted smudging.

And while we're on the topic of pads: Either buy sealed ones, or if none are sealed, take from the bottom or back of the stack. Pads that are unsealed or in the front may have been fondled by other shoppers, and the oils from their fingers ruin the paper.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment