Here is a list of my personal must-have supplies for working in graphite.
With graphite, you can get started with a single #2 pencil if that’s all you have, but these are my favorites to work with.
I am so much less picky about the paper I use for graphite than the paper I use for colored pencil. For the most part, I prefer very smooth paper. Here are a few I recommend you try out to see which best fits your style:
- Strathmore Bristol Vellum
- Stonehenge white (the one sold in pads is smoother than those sold individually, good for graphite, not great for colored pencil IMO)
- Fabriano Artistico extra white Hot Pressed 140lb watercolor (I get this from dickblick.com, this one is always WAY overpriced on amazon).
- Glassine This is what I keep under my hand to prevent smudging my work with my hand.
- Derwent pencil extender This is so that you can keep using your pencils even when they’re used down to the last inch!
- Drafting Brush This is used to wipe away eraser shavings or graphite dust without smearing your work
- drawing board I don’t use the clip, but use low tack masking tape instead to tape my work to my board.
- shading tools For blending smaller areas and details
- chamois For blending larger areas
- Kum handheld sharpener I’m in no way saying this is the best sharpener, but it’s cheap and has worked well for me. I have gotten a few lemons over the years though.
- Kum long point sharpener This sharpener is a two parter. You first sharpen the pencil to a long point, but the end will have a lump. Then you use the other side which brings it to a very fine point. This one seems to work great for some pencils but can be temperamental. I didn’t love it when I first got it, but now I find myself using it all the time.
The links on this page are my amazon affiliate links, but make sure you price check. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy from an art store.