Paper comes in a variety of different sizes and qualities, ranging from newspaper grade for practice up to high quality and relatively expensive paper sometimes sold as individual sheets. Papers can vary in texture, hue, acidity, and strength when wet. Smooth paper is good for rendering fine detail, but a more “toothy” paper will hold the drawing material better. Thus a more coarse material is useful for producing deeper contrast. Bristol board and even heavier acid-free boards, frequently with smooth finishes, can also be used for drawings. Acid-free, archival quality paper keeps its color and texture far longer than wood pulp based paper such as newsprint, which will turn yellow and become brittle much sooner.
For pen and ink work, typing paper is often used for practice drawings, but heavier paper holds up better. Bristol board makes a hard surface that is especially good for ink or fine detailed graphite drawing. Coldpressed watercolor paper is sometimes favored for ink drawing due to its texture. Tracing vellum is often used for experimenting on top of a pencil drawing, prior to committing a technique to the final page. True vellum produces very finely-detailed painting or drawing.
Various tools are routinely used in the process of drawing. These include a pencil sharpener, sandpaper, kneaded eraser, blending stumps, and chamois. Other tools that sometimes prove useful are tracing paper, a circle compass, ruler, frisket, fixative (never hairspray), and drafting tape. The use of an easel or slanted table reduces the distorting effects of perspective. Metalpointing can include silver, platinum, copper, bronze, and even gold. Some of these metals can change color over time through oxidization and produce interesting results.