Collaborative drawing from the Art Jam: Drawing Workshop for Teens & Adults

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach last weekend’s drawing workshop for teens and adults. When I plan classes and projects, I have an idea for how I hope it will come together, but the one constant is that I am always surprised. Thank you to all of you that attended for bringing your enthusiasm, questions, and openness to learn and share. I hope to see you at the studio again!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some tips on supplies with links to help you find them. You really don’t need a lot of fancy supplies, but a good set of pencils is a worthwhile investment. I like Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils because the quality is consistently reliable. You can purchase them at StaplesMichaelsHobby Lobby, or Amazon. They make nice erasers and sharpeners too.

A sketchbook is one of the best ways to develop your skills, but you have to use it for it to work! With that in mind, I like smallish books that I can keep in the car or my bag. I’ll draw when I’m waiting to pick up the kids or when I’m waiting at a doctors office or a restaurant, or while I’m at soccer tournaments and gymnastics meets. I use it as a way to relax or to capture a memory. I’ve found that when I draw something it becomes a much more vivid memory than when I just take a photo. It’s time well spent.

Moleskine makes some really nice sketchbooks, but I prefer the ones that have heavier paper and they have become very hard to find. My favorite is the pocket version of the watercolor album. Since they’ve become scarce, I’ve started using Global Art Materials sketchbooks which can be found at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon. The paper is good quality, and the books are 5.5″ inches square.

If you don’t mind a bigger book, Strathmore and Canson book offer spiral sketchbooks that start at 5.5″x8.5″. The paper may be a little thinner if it’s listed as a drawing paper, but if you look for ones that say suitable for multimedia, the paper will be sturdier. Strathmore also offers sketchbooks filled with toned paper in tan or gray which can be a nice way to work with traditional pencil, ink or charcoal as well as white charcoal pencil or white pens. You can find Strathmore and Canson sketchbooks at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon. If you want to try charcoal, the best charcoal pencils (black and white) are made by General Pencil and you can find those at the same stores.

As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of erasers, but they do serve a purpose. If you want to add one to your kit, these retractable ones are handy because they are can get into small areas and the casing helps them stay clean.

One closing bit of advice is to draw something little every day. Make a commitment to take that bit of time for yourself and see what you can do with it. A sketchbook full of drawings can be very satisfying and a lot of fun to share with others!