Graphite and Charcoal Pencils: Starter kits are great for beginners since there is a variety of pencils sizes, eraser, and sanding paddle.
Paper that is acid free. It won’t break down the charcoal or graphite over the years.
Fixative Spray to spray on your artwork after you have completed it to preserve the graphite, and or charcoal.
Use a tortillion to blend out drawn lines.
When blending, keep your strokes close, even, and in the direction of the object, then blend out with your blending tool.
Avoid shading where light is on the subject.
Use a kneaded eraser to lift out highlights. Highlights are important to achieve a realistic drawing.
Examine your subject and look at it in values of shades rather than the color, then determine the value. That is, look at the ’empty’ shapes adjacent to the shape you are trying to draw. The shape between the nose and lip, or the space between the limbs of the tree. Practice doing some Negative Space drawing exercises so you become familiar with observing Negative Space.
Drawing upside-down makes everything look unfamiliar. Drawing an inverted image forces you to look carefully. Try it as a warm-up exercise.
Practice everyday, no matter what the subject may be. Everything is a subject.
Carry a sketchpad with you, and in the car.
Keep all of you artwork or copies of them in dated order. You can look back on them to see how far you’ve come with your progress.
Remember to be kind to yourself and not critical of your artwork. What you think looks bad is will not be to someone else. It could be just what their looking for.
Everyone has his or her own style and technique. There is no right or wrong way, just different.
If you have question then ask them. The only dumb question is the one that is not asked. Getting more than one or two opinions will also be helpful.
Never give up on yourself.