Tools of The Trade: For The 2-D Artist

Tools of The Trade: For The 2-D Artist

Tools of The Trade

So a couple months ago, I mentioned in a “5 For Friday” post that I was inspired by #The100DayProject and thought it would be just the type of project motivation I needed to get back into art, sketching, and giving myself the daily QT with a passion. . . well, here we are almost four months later from that post, and I’m 10 days in. Yes siree, one tenth of the way through the hundred days, and I have indeed started my own project, #100DaysofModels. With no designated desk or studio space, and just my kitchen “pub table” let’s just say it’s not exactly the most conducive space to create in. . . but, that hasn’t stopped me, and I don’t intend for it to be a deterrent, but just makes for rather interesting co-habitation work/living situations even more real. 

Giving myself roughly an hour each day to create my sketches, I’ve gotten back into the swing of my timeless, tested and true tools to get the job done. And so, I thought I’d share my very affordable beginner’s artist/sketch tools that you can buy all together for under $50. And the wonderful fact about them also is they don’t expire. (It seems every non-perishable item these days is given an expiration date determined by greedy manufacturers.)

So here are my favorite tools I sit down with every day (as of late) and urge you to try if looking to replenish or start a new art project (That’s 2-D mind you):

Top Left: Faber-Castell 12-pack graphite pencil set. Graphite pencils, good ones, are primarily made over seas, and these come via Germany, and have the history to back the name up. The 12-pack set gives you the range you need in pencil lead softness (HB, to 6B to 2H) and is kept in order with the light weight metal case. I’ve had my set for many of years and treasure it dearly. Price: @$20

Top Right: Krylon Fixatif. If you’re looking to give some permanence and longevity to your work, this (clear) spray will fix and secure any medium on your paper. I like it so to know my pastels, wax oils, or even dark graphite strokes won’t take on a new, smeared dimension after application. It’s a catch all if you will. Price: @$6

Bottom Left: Kneaded eraser. There’s hardly a kneaded eraser brand you can go wrong with, as they’re all made from the same material: rubber. They’re oh so fun to play with and can offer a nice break/distraction from the task at hand, but really the “Design” brand is the one I’ve used for years. The kneaded eraser not only erases mistakes with graphite (by picking up the lead from the paper) but works as a wonderful tool to create highlights and blurred shading–if done and used properly. Price: @$1.50

Bottom Right: Biggie Sketch Pad. I bought one of these about seven years ago and just now popped it open to start this project–my goal was to not have to buy any new materials for this project, as I had so much on hand it would feel wasteful. Probably not the “best quality in paper” but for sketches it does the job. There is something so satisfying to a drawer staring at the bright, smooth white paper, and an entire blank pad of it. For affordability, this brand is it. Price: @$5-15 depending on where you buy and the size of the sketch pad

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