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Graphite Pencils 

Supply list

​I've compiled a list of graphite materials at Blick,, to make it easier for you to prepare for the course. To visit this list, please go to:

In case you prefer to buy your supplies locally, find out about the different Plaza Art locations on

You may have already some of the materials, so check every item to see if you need it.


Graphite pencils:  9B, 7B, 5B, 3B, HB, and 2H

  • Similar numbers will do too, for example 6B instead of 7B is OK. The idea is to have between 4 to 6 pencils in a variety of hardness, mostly B type (dark) and less H type (light)

  • I recommend Caran D’Ache Grafwood Pencils (Metal Box, Set of 6). They have 2 advantages:

    1. The outside color of the pencil matches the intensity of the lead, so it is very easy to identify the darkness without having to look at the code written on the pencil.

    2. They are a bit thicker than average, allowing for a longer tip (although that means they need a wider-than-average pencil sharpener)

  • The Grafwood pencils are expensive compared to a regular pencil. If you want to spend less, any good brand of pencils is OK

  • Graphite pencils have a characteristic metallic luster that is appealing. However, their darks are not as deep as if they were matt. If you prefer a matt, thus darker look, use Mars Lumograph black pencils.


  • For the Grafwood pencils, I recommend Dahle 155 Professional Pencil Sharpener.

  • If you want a less expensive option, a simple hand-held sharpener will work for most of the pencils. Just keep in mind that if you use an oversized pencil like Caran D’Ache Grafwood, you will need a sharpener that works with that size.

Drawing pad sized 12 x 18 in. or larger

  • I recommend Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad - 12'' x 18'', 24 Sheets, but any other good brand will do.


Drawing board sized to accommodate the 12x18 in. drawing pad.

  • I recommend Blick Sketch Pad Board - 23-1/2'' x 26''. This board is much larger than the 12 x 18 pad, but most available boards are around this size or too small. Moreover, a large board can be useful if you do not have and easel because you can sit with the bottom of the board in your lap and the top leaning on the edge of a table.


  • I recommend having three types:

    • General’s Kneaded Eraser Jumbo

    • Alvin Vinyl Eraser - White

    • General's Factis Mechanical Eraser

Blending stumps

Artist Chamois

Sandpaper Block: for cleaning the blending stumps

12" ruler (and optional triangle)

  • The following set includes a 12" ruler and 2 triangles that will help with drawing verticals and horizontals: Westcott Combo Set - 12''

18" ruler

  • For small drawings it is easier to use a 12" ruler but for some exercises you will prefer a longer ruler, around 18". You can buy just the 18" but it is more convenient to have both: In my Blick list I have selected the Westcott Flexible Stainless Steel Ruler - 18''



  • When you work at home, I recommend to work on an easel rather than on a table, because it gives you a better view of your work, allows more freedom of movement and better body posture. A studio easel is the best option but a budget alternative is a tabletop easel that will not have all the features but it will do mostly fine. Here is one table top easel: A good alternative to the easel is to sit with your board in your lap, leaning the top of the board in a table. 

  • Draftsman Duster, to remove erasures from the paper without smudging artwork. For example the Alvin Draftsman Duster: here:

  • Ruler to measure angles, like the Quint Measuring Systems 112Q The Original True Angle Precision Tool, 12-Inch. It can be found at Amazon

  • The focus of this class is graphite pencil, but if you prefer to work with another drawing medium you are welcome to do so.

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