Welcome to this level 5 class! If you’re at this level you may already have all the supplies you need for this course; I do recommend working a little larger than you might be used to, as a small version of a drawing this detailed will be unachievable at a very reduced scale. The finished size for the demonstrated piece is 10″ x 13″, and even that had me wanting a larger piece of paper for the next piece to allow for all that beautiful detail work!
The video shows the materials used for this project, and links and further text description follows.
You can create on any paper, but the lessons are shown on Stonehenge – 11″ x 14″. Trying this smaller will make it more challenging to handle fine details; so getting the larger pad will help.
Most of the drawing in this course is achieved with Polychromos pencils – you may be able to use other brands, but
The waxiness of Prismacolors will create different effects in some instances; in the drawing, the black Prismacolor pencil is used for one of those specific effects. In the coloring of other sections of the drawing, however, it’s possible your results could really differ.
The following are the colors used in this drawing; a full set of Polychromos has them all, and if you have a smaller set you can see which colors to add as individual pencils. You should be able to finish this drawing with one full pencil of each easily. But in case yours are starting out short, you might pick up a pencil extender or two – the Prismacolor one only fits Prismacolor, but the Generals Pencil Extender and E and M Peanpole Pencil Extender both fit Polychromos.
If opting to try this in Prismacolor, these are somewhat close matches to those above:
- Any kind of sketchbook. I like the Super Deluxe line from Bee Paper, inexpensive but the paper is sturdy! Another good line is Stillman & Birn. The sketchbook needn’t be large like mine.
- Any kind of pencils – I recommend a harder pencil (2H to 4H or a number 2) for lighter sketching and for use with transfer paper and lighter sketching, a softer pencil for shading (6B to 9B). My favorite brand is Caran d’Ache, but any brand is great for sketching.
- Ruler: a regular ruler, a rolling ruler. or a small tsquare for creating grids
- 1/2″ artist tape: to protect the edge of the drawing. Be careful to get real artist tape; a lot of fakes are out there, and can rip paper badly.
- Tracing paper – preferably as large as your finished drawing will be, but in class, an 8.5 x 11 is used to do an intermediate drawing that is enlarged. You may wish a larger pad to enlarge on, then use graphite paper to transfer it to your finished paper for color work.
- Kneaded eraser – for soft blending
- Mono Zero eraser or Stick eraser – for lifting small areas
- Electric eraser – for tougher areas needing removal
Sharpeners: Not all are needed – select either 1 or 2, and I’d recommend the block for everyone. See the video for explanation below.
- Electric: Quietsharp provides a decently sharp point (BLICK – AMZ take turns being least expensive). You can certainly use this one for all of class, and need not have all in this list.
- Afmat hand-crank provides a long point, but not particularly sharp. It contains a small piece of sandpaper inside but see below.
- Handheld Dahle: for adding a quick turn to finely sharpen a point
- Sandpaper block: for refined sharpening both blending stumps and pencils. Get a couple, they’ll be used a lot. You can also just get your own fine-grained sandpaper and keep a stack of small squares on your desk instead.
- Blending stumps: a variety of sizes is helpful. Have some that will be used exclusively for dry blending, others for blending with gamsol. (I recommend marking them.) The sharp little scissors I use are these.
- Brushes: cheap brushes (I use children’s brushes from the local drugstore!) in a couple sizes – they’ll be used for some fine details with gamsol so a small one for the eye will help, and a flat or round brush for areas like rocks. An inexpensive little set will work nicely.
- Cotton balls – large or regular size
- Gamsol: liquid for blending. I recommend 2 small “jars” to have on hand: one with liquid you can dip a brush into, and one with a cotton ball inside it with the Gamsol so you can get a controlled lesser amount onto a blending stump or brush.
- A scoring tool (with a round “ball” at the tip) can be used to press lines into the paper. It’s not required, (I’m not a big fan of the look) but it’s fun to practice with for whiskers! The one used in class is a Kemper Stylus available at Blick or Amazon.
- Xacto knife – another way to lift off fine lines for whiskers or pull lighter hairs forward. You can use the long blade that comes with it, I feel safer with the #16 shorter blades. You can get the longer #11 blades in a safety dispenser but I havent found the #16s with a dispenser.
- Dust brush: to clear off eraser shavings and slivers of pencil pigment
- Glassine or acetate: to protect drawing from oils in your hand and from unintentionally smearing pigment (You only need a small amount of glassine, I can’t find it smaller than the big pack!) A slippery surface is less abrasive to your drawing, which is why glassine or acetate are recommended.
- Paper towels
I retain the copyright to the content you are learning in class. That means you cannot sell or give away the concepts from my classes – no re-teaching of my specific lessons, nor posting a video with your re-draw of the class lesson; especially not sharing any downloadable handouts with others.
You absolutely are encouraged to post and gift your creations made with these techniques, of course! Please DO make your own designs with any techniques you learn here, adapt these lessons, and develop your own style. I love to see students making strides and personalizing lessons! Tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you’re making!