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  • Writer's pictureMonika Gupta

Lets start sketching!

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

A few days ago, some friends asked me to teach them sketching and drawing. At first, I panicked!



I firmly believe that ‘creating’ Art and ‘teaching’ Art are two different skills! And the latter is not my repertoire (neither is the former, but that’s a topic for another day). However, I also believe in stretching my limits, getting out of my comfort zone, connecting with friends, sharing and learning together… and so, after a few lost heartbeats, I agreed.

Now the real problem – where to start? There’s so much to explore, and yet so much unexplored. Also, there are as many ways to create art as there are artists. So what should I share with my dear friends that can help them blaze their own path. (On a side note - one of my favorite inspiration quote says, “Blaze the path where none exists!”)

Fortunately, as I ventured out on my next solo sketching expedition, I starting noticing the process I go through when starting any new artwork. So, this blog is my attempt to record and share what I have learnt about Art.

I plan to start with basic materials, and then venture into other tips – both from my own experience and from other artists I deeply admire and respect). Hope you’ll find it useful. Feel free to share your comments and any questions you want me to cover in future blogposts.


The very basic materials to get your feet wet is a pencil and paper. Any pencil and any paper will do. But if you want to get fancy, then here are a few details you want to note:

Pencils come in a variety of materials - Graphite, Charcoal, Carbon etc. (the common writing pencil is a graphite one) and a variety of hard/soft levels (e.g. 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 4B... and so on). ‘H’ indicates ‘Hard’ and ‘B’ indicates ‘Soft’. The higher the number, the higher the level of hardness/softness. HB is the middle of the road, and most common writing tool.

**To get started, you want an 'HB' (some vendors use 'F' instead of 'HB') and a few ‘soft’ graphite pencils. e.g. 2B, 4B, 6B.

Any erasor will do, but if you want to take your sketching to a higher level someday, then invest in a ‘kneaded eraser’. You can purchase this from any Art store. It allows erasing without affecting the grain of the paper, and leaves no residue.

You most certainly need one, and a basic one from back-to-school supply list will do for graphite pencils. Charcoal and Carbon pencils are thicker and usually need a specialized one. More on that later.

Ah! Where to start. There are many many brands and types of paper. My favorite is Bristol and Strathmore paper, but even they come in variety of levels – Hot press, Cold press, 400/600 series etc. Then there are very popular, but expensive ‘Moleskin’ sketchbooks. If you’re an absolute beginner, get any sketchbook with a quality paper (i.e. don’t buy newsprint or a paper that feels like it’ll tear apart at the first stroke of pencil). As you get more familiar with your own style, your pressure, your preferred pencil types, you’ll be able to shortlist your favorite paper too.

As you can see above, Pencils and Papers need their own dedicated blog posts! Hopefully, soon in future. For now, thanks for reading and sharing this journey with me :)


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1 Comment

Rh 2018
Rh 2018
Jul 14, 2018

You are awesome!!! This is such a great initiative!👍

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