One of the most frequent questions I receive are from artists looking for art supply recommendations. Remember that every artist will have different preferences based on the subjects they draw and their art techniques.
Art supply shopping can be overwhelming with the number of brands and options available on the market today. Please use the list below as a guide – this is not a mandatory art supply list. When purchasing a new art medium for the first time, I recommend buying a small pastel set or individual colors (open stock) before investing in larger sets. This post contains a comprehensive list of art supplies that I regularly use for my pastel drawings.
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- Stabilo CarbOthello (available in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, & 60)
- Derwent (available in sets of 12, 24, 36, & 72)
- Conte (available in sets of 12, 24, & 48)
- Faber-Castell PITT (available in sets of 12, 24, & 60)
- Caran d’Ache (available in sets of 12, 20, 40, & 76)
For a comprehensive comparison review on the pastel pencil brands I use, check out my blog post:
- Sennelier (I recommend the 1/2 stick portrait set for animal drawings)
- Jackson’s Art
- Faber-Castell (discontinued 2021)
- Clairefontaine Pastelmat (available in large sheets and assorted pads)
- SOFFT tools blending knives (I use the No. 1 (rounded) & No. 3 (oval) sizes most often)
- Disposable eye shadow applicators (Also found in the makeup section of many stores)
- Paper stumps (Available in various sizes. I frequently use the 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch diameter stumps)
- Silicone blending tools (Available in various sizes and assorted shapes. The tapered tip shape is my favorite for precise blending.)
- Spectrafix Degas Pastel Fixative (12 fluid oz) Note that this fixative may darken your pastel or charcoal drawing. This fixative is best used as a workable fixative (not a final finishing fixative). Always test fixative on a separate sheet first to see how the colors will be affected prior to using on your artwork.
- Mobius & Ruppert (M&R) Brass Pencil Sharpener
- AFMAT PS10 Manual Pencil Sharpener (compatible with Stabilo CarbOthello and similar diameter pencils)
- Deli Pencil Sharpener Model No. 0635 (compatible with Caran d’Ache, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Stabilo, and similar diameter pencils). Not compatible with Conte pencils.
- Glassine Sheets to prevent smudging while drawing. Glassine can also be used as interleaving sheets when storing pastel drawings.
- Mahl Stick also to prevent smudging while drawing. Often used by painters but is a handy tool for pastel work. Look into DIY Mahl sticks if you’re interested in making your own for a fun weekend project.
- Kneaded Eraser
- Wood Drawers: there are several different models available. I own two 3-drawer units from the brand Creative Mark.
Have you tried these brands before? Do you have any brand recommendations for me? Leave a comment below!