Tools I use

Art supplies I use for my drawings

If you are still thinking about which medium to use to create your art, I want to convince you to choose colored pencils. Colored pencils have many benefits. They allow precision, control of detail and depth. You can work lightly for a soft look or with many layers to get the oil painting effect you see in most of my drawings. Additionally, they are very easy to carry, and you can work almost anywhere. It is an economical medium, and you don't need many extra supplies. Even if you buy the most expensive colored pencils (that I highly recommend) you will still spend less than to stock up with markers, oil paint, airbrush and other tools. Working with colored pencil requires little space, no drying time and creates no fumes or chemicals. Not to mention that when you gently touch the paper with colored pencil, nothing happens, which is not the case when working with markers, oil paint, or watercolors... You have full control, and this is what I like the most about colored pencils.

Learn to Draw

Colored pencils

I got a lot of questions about the materials that I use on a daily basis. On this page you can find all that I use and I will explain why. If you want to draw a colorful, realistic drawings like mine, you might also look for the tools I use. If you are looking for the highest quality colored pencils, yet not the most expensive and you want a lot of nuances, then Prismacolor Premier set of 150 pieces is your best bet. These colored pencils are really soft and can be easily spread over the paper.

If you want to draw a variety of things, like I do, you shouldn't buy the set of 24 or 48, because they are just not enough for getting really beautiful, colorful drawings. Of course, you can play with nuances, mix them up and draw with one over another, but this requires a lot of practice, patience and experience. I bought the set of 150 - which you can see in the upper right corner of this chapter - and I found this for a really good price (this set usually costs $190 and more elsewhere).

However, if you cannot afford the set of 150, the set of 48 colored pencils will also suffice for the beginning. This set includes the most important pencils for drawing the skin, such as Light Peach, Beige Sienna, Dark Umber and so on, so you can start to practice and to try out these pencils. You can learn about the pencils I use and read about the way I draw the faces in my book "How to Draw Portraits with Colored Pencils" with step-by-step drawing tutorials. Subscribers on Amazon can read for free, because I've allowed all of my books to participate in KDP program. I bought the set of 48 Prismacolor (you can also buy after clicking the link/image left) for the very first time when I wanted to try Prismacolor.

You can also buy an individual single colored pencil, which is a really good deal. You can see the links below with 3 important pencils for blending and burnishing that can also be applied over the dervent or any other kind of pencils. I'm always using these grey colored pencils but they are not found in the set of 48 colored pencils. After clicking on the White or Cool Grey 50% bellow, you will be led to the selling page where you can chose (beside these 2 pencils) +110 single colored pencils by Prismacolor, so you can chose which colors you want to buy. This is also good, if you have used up only one pencil from your set, you can get that pencil without having to buy the full set again. The last product below is the black colored pencil by Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer, which is the best black colored pencil that I've ever tried. The areas drawn with this pencil remain absolute black after many years, which is not the case with other black colored pencils.


Get the colored pencils I use: Amazing Prismacolor Premier set of 150 pencils (you can buy exactly the same pencils I use after clicking the link/image below). Buy this set now while cheap (it may not stay cheap for long!) "The Best Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolor pencils are so soft and behave so much unlike any other colored pencils on the market. When used correctly, Prismacolor drawings can take on the appearance of a painting. They are perfect for blending and burnishing. Take a look at my drawings below. These are drawn with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils only. In these drawings I used a Warm Grey 60%, Cool Grey 50% and many other nuances, to achieve a lifelike drawing. Check out my YouTube videos to see how I drew all of these.

Since there are lots of colors that I use for my drawings, particularly portraits that Prismacolor does not manufacture, I've found them by Caran d'Ache Luminance. These colors are: Buff Titanium, Brown Ochre, Burnt Ochre 10% and 50%, Steel Grey, Olive Brown, Payne's Gray, Raw Umber 10%, Slate Gray, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and many more. You can buy an individual Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencil on Amazon after clicking the links below, but if you can afford the set of 76 colored pencils (link right/below), don't hesitate to buy these high quality lightfastness pencils for yourself and to make your work easier and successful. You cannot create smooth textures and amazing drawings with cheap colored pencils!


Take a look at my fanart drawings below. All these are done in colored pencil. Colored pencils are just enough for achieving anything. These drawings and more are included in my "Fanart Collection", paperback 8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm), get it on Amazon: Fanart Collection

I also use wax-based Polychromos colored pencils by Faber-Castell. Polychromos Colored Pencils contain the highest-quality pigments for unsurpassed lightfastness.I have a set of 120 pencils, because there are a lot of colors here which we can’t find in sets of Prismacolor and Luminance. The buttery smooth color laydown offered by Polychromos pencils can be easily blended for layered effects, highlights, and transitions. Their break-resistant, water-resistant, smudgeproof 3.8 mm leads are encased in premium California cedar with Secureall bonding to resist breakage while providing sharp, fine lines and permanent, rich color These pencils are good for the more colorful drawings, such are flowers, fruits, landscapes. So, I've supplied myself with all these sets of here mentioned brands which makes my work much easier.

For those on a lower budget, I recommend Lyra Groove Slim colored pencils. They color just as nicely as Prismacolor pencils, also we can use them for drawing the thinner parts, because they have a harder lead. These colored pencils are very creamy, yet we can press harder when drawing with them, because they have an extra break-proof lead. They are easy to hold due to their triangular shape and they will be less likely to roll off the table onto the floor and break. Lyra colored pencils are cheaper than Prismacolor, but they don't offer as large palette of colors as Prismacolor does, so this is why I'm using these two sets together and they are the perfect colored pencil supply to me. If you buy these Lyra pencils from the upper right corner of this chapter, you got a good sharpener bonus (btw: I use this kind of sharpener, I don't use an electric sharpeners). If you have a kid that like to draw, this pack of pencils + sharpener can be a perfect gift for them. As mentioned, they are easy to hold, non-breakable and last really long. I really love to draw with them. In the image below you can see the parts of some of my drawings where I achieved clear, sharp edges, using Lyra Groove Slim colored pencils.

For the beginners, I would also recommend Prismacolor Col-Erase, the erasable colored pencils, which produce vibrant colors. They go onto the paper more lightly and are easier to erase if necessary. Unlike many other colored pencils, Prismacolor Col-Erase erasable colored pencils have erasers on one end that helps you to effortlessly make changes. You may practice with these pencils before you want to apply other kinds of colored pencils which cannot be erased. I particularly recommend Black because black color is the most difficult to correct. If you have some experience with graphite pencils and you would like to try the colored pencils for the very first time, then these are the right pencils for you to begin experimenting with colors.



The next important thing for being successful in realistic drawing is a smooth paper. The right paper is very important, especially when you work in as many layers as I do. You can build up 20 layers, or even more, which is very hard on your paper and can cause the surface to tear or buckle. I recommend a smooth, fine toothed paper, such as Bristol. I draw usually on 11* x 14* or 9* x 15* smooth white paper. You can buy it here: Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper Pad, 9 by 12-Inch, 20 Sheets This is the cheapest selling website that I could find. Bristol Smooth Paper is an amazing quality paper, great for sketching with graphite pencils, drawing with colored pencils and for any other medium. I wouldn't recommend a smaller paper, because when we draw on a small paper, we cannot go much into details.

I often draw on toned paper, because my drawings appear even more realistic. It is really interesting to start a drawing with white or other bright colored pencils. If you take a look at my drawings, drawn on green and grey papers in the image below, you can notice that they are way more lifelike than those that I've drawn on white paper. If you haven't drawn on toned paper yet, you should try that, you won't regret. In the last couple of years I rather draw on toned paper than on white paper. You can buy a really good pack of toned paper after clicking on the Amazon link left. For my 3D drawings I use amazingly smooth and thick A4 Fabriano Bristol paper (link left in this chapter).
Strathmore 400 Series Toned Gray Sketch Pad is also great toned paper.

After colored pencils, the tool that is a must on my table is a white gel ink pen. A lot of people ask me every day what I use to draw whiskers over the drawn areas. I use this tool, because that is easy to draw over the colored pencils. We can leave a white color of paper for the whiskers and draw around them, but this is really difficult and can never look as good as when drawn with white ink gel pen. I also use this pen when drawing the eyes. I draw the reflection of light over the previously drawn pupils and it's really easy to do with this tool. Sometimes I just forget to leave a white dot in the middle of the pupil and this tool helps to achieve it even at the end of the drawing. If you draw an object, this pen can also be useful for the highlights.

This ink gel pen lasts really long, although I use it in almost every drawing. I buy one pen once or twice in a year. I really love this tool. It helps me to achieve the realistic whiskers, not to mention that the lead of this pen is really thin, allowing us to create amazingly detailed parts of the drawings. I've put some of the areas of my drawings where I used this tool in the image below, so you can see the usage of the white ink gel pen. You can buy it on Amazon after clicking on the image in the upper right corner of this chapter. The product next to this pen is Uni Posca white marker. I use it when I have to whiten larger areas.


When drawing an animal, I always use a colorless blender. Colorless blender is just colored pencil with no pigment in it, it is used as smudger. This is a really good tool and helps me to achieve a soft looking animal fur. This is a non-pigmented, wax based pencil, perfect for blending colors and softening edges of colored pencil drawing. They last quite a while. I buy the pack of two pieces by Prismacolor (that you can see in the upper right corner of this chapter) and I have it for more than two years(!!!), although I've been drawing a lot of animals. This tool is really helpful and is a must have for achieving a beautiful animal drawing. It makes a transparent layer over the drawn areas and eliminates the visible white dots of the paper. One more good thing about this tool is that you can go over it again with colored pencils.

For a bit more money you can get even a better deal (link/image left) with the package of 2 colorless blender, 2 burnisher, plastic sharpener(which I'm using) and eraser. The blender pencil is soft and colorless and allows you to blend 2 or more colors together; the burnisher is a hard colorless pencil that provides a rich, glossy finish. In the image below you can see the difference between my drawing of cat before I used a colorless blender and after colorless blender. Note how softer appear the fur after going over with the colorless blender!


When it comes to the graphite drawings, I'm using these amazing graphite pencils from the set in the upper right corner of this chapter. This pack includes 7 pencils (8B, 6B, 2B, B, 2H, 4H, 6H), 4 woodless graphite pencils (2B, 4B, 6B, 8B), and 3 water-soluble graphite pencils (HB, 4B, 8B), magic rub eraser, large kneaded rubber eraser, steel pencil sharpener and sanding board. I'd been drawing with graphite pencils only for almost ten years and have tried a lot of brands and this one by Prismacolor is all I need. I don't use a kneaded eraser, I don't like it, but for those who do use kneaded eraser it's fine to get together with these pencils in one pack.

When I was drawing with cheaper graphite pencils, I always had a problem with the tiny grains that are found in those pencils and they always suddenly scratched my paper, before I could even suppose that it would happen again. This Prismacolor graphite pencils are so great, high quality pencils and I really love them. My favorite pencil is 2B, I'm using it for getting a rich, smooth, absolute black surfaces. I'm also making a powder from them and spreading it over the paper with tissue. I've put some of my graphite drawings in the image below, so you can see the results that I got, the absolute black background, a lot of shades of grey and perfect shadows, using these amazing graphite pencils.

I also use a blending stump for blending both, graphite and colored pencils. If you are currently struggling with making your portrait look realistic, you will see a big difference once you use a blending stump. Right in this chapter you can see the blending stumps I'm using and my book "How to Draw for the Beginner", graphite drawing tutorials, and get it on Amazon after clicking on this link. As a subscriber on Amazon, you can borrow and read for free.

Get the print of my roaring black panther drawing on Society6

In this chapter you can see additional tools that I use. A very useful tool is the pencil lengthener. With this sliding-grip holder, you can use almost every bit of a pencil before having to throw it away! The pencil lengthener adds that feeling of balance and allows for a good grip. It holds both round, triangular and hexagonal pencils securely in its nickel-plated ferrule with a sliding ring. I'm also using a battery-operated eraser for both colored pencil and graphite drawings. Of course, the colored pencils cannot be totally erased, but we can make highlights using this eraser, eliminate the excess of the color, create the tiny hairs and many more things. Also, you can see the camera I use for making my time lapse drawing videos, and sometimes I use my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +, which is also great for taking the picture of the finished drawings. I've added two links to the camera tripod and the phone holder I use. After clicking these Amazon links below you can get the same products I use.




Just received this beautiful set of 120 Polychromos colored pencils by Faber-Castell 😍😍😍😍😍 They are so beautiful ❤ I'm...

Posted by Jasmina Susak on Monday, October 16, 2017

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