If you want to learn how to draw or paint and are wondering what materials you’ll need, this list of art supplies for beginners covers the top products every new artist should have. In this article, you’ll learn about each supply and find out how to choose the best ones for a beginner, as well as where to buy them.
A sketchbook is an essential supply for those learning to draw. Whether you plan to take a drawing class or learn on your own, this item should be the first on your list. Sketchbooks can be used for drawing shapes, practicing composition, shading, and other drawing skills. Even if your primary interest is painting, a sketchbook is a perfect place to plan out a painting before working on other materials. Once you’ve learned the basics of drawing, consider getting a drawing pad too. Drawing pads are made with heavier-weight paper, which is better for finished work.
- Graphite Drawing Pencils
Graphite pencils can be used to draw everything from the simplest of sketches to highly detailed drawings. They can be bought individually, or in sets. Sets are great for beginners because they have an assortment of pencil types for drawing and shading. The average six-pencil set will have a 2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, and 6B. These numbers correspond with the hardness of the graphite.
- Kneaded Eraser
A kneaded eraser is a must-have supply for removing pencil marks. This special type of art eraser won’t damage the paper or leave a residue behind. It can be molded into various shapes and used to erase large or small areas.
- Art Pencil Sharpener
A pencil sharpener will keep your pencils sharp for your drawings. Metal hand-held sharpeners are easy to use and allow you to see the pencil tip as it’s being sharpened. This helps prevent over-sharpening and broken pencil tips.
A ruler is a necessary tool for drawing horizon lines, streets, structures, or anything else with straight lines. Choose a 12 or 18″ (30 or 45 cm) ruler made with stainless steel or anodized aluminum. These types of rulers are easy to keep clean. Some artists like “cork-back” rulers because they stay in place on the paper or canvas.
- Watercolor or Acrylic Paint Set
Watercolor and acrylic paints are two of the best choices for those learning to paint. They’re both water-based, so paint thinners aren’t needed for painting or clean-up. Beginners can learn basic painting skills by taking a class, or from books, videos, or online tutorials.
- Paint Brushes
Once you have paints, you’ll need some brushes. If you visit an art supply store, you’ll find many types to choose from: natural or synthetic bristle, long handle or short handle, and various shapes and sizes.
To keep things simple as you’re learning how to paint, choose a beginner’s brush set for watercolors or acrylics. Sets include an assortment of brushes for different painting techniques.
- Watercolor Paper Pad or Canvas Pad
Watercolor and acrylic painting can be done on various surfaces, but pads are one of the easiest for a beginner learning how to paint.