I am pretty sure that if you are reading this article then presumably you have just started doing some sort of course on art like sketching, painting or you have just started developing interest in the field of art. Don’t worry guys this article will be the solution to all the queries you have in mind as a beginning artist.

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To begin your journey as an artist you need the right tools. And the most important tool is………..any guesses? No, it is not your pencil neither your brush nor your canvas. The most important thing is your observation, presence of mind, innovation, and the ability to present things. You should always start small and sharpen your perspective to understand things. You will still need other tools like pencil, colors brush, and canvas, but they are just the medium through you which can repress your art.

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If you become observant enough you can make anything as your medium to express the art. Have you heard of “Art Attack”? For those who don’t know about it, it is a British Children’s Television series that revolves around art. The special thing about this show is that the artists here use unanticipated things like cans, bags, gloves or any other commodities which have no relation with art. Similarly, if you start observing art in everything, you could become the artist who could exhibit his art out of anything.

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So after this long philosophical paragraph, I know many of you might have lost interest to read ahead but trust me I won’t go back to such philosophical ideas, although I won’t deny the fact that it was very important for you to understand this simple yet complicated thing. Even after this long lecture, I cannot completely invalidate the importance of other tools that are used to express an art piece.

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Sketching

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Sketching is the most common choice of an art form, to begin with, It doesn’t require high graded costly supplies. You only need to have the skills, dedication and the zeal to do it. Coming on the materialistic things needed, here is a complete and detailed list of all the basic tools.

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1. Sketchbook

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For those who have just started learning this is going to be the first thing, you will head to the stores to buy. It is one of the essential supplies that you will need as a beginner. Keeping a sketchbook can help you compile your progress and lessons, you can practice shading, composition, and many other different skills with convenience.

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Specifications for sketchbook

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  1. Approximately 75-90 gsm thick paper would be  enough to work with pencils and charcoal ( as you start progressing you could slowly increase the weight of the paper and even consider buying drawing pads for better finishing).
  2. A 9×12” or 11×14” page-sized sketchbook should work fine as a beginner.

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2. Graphite Pencils

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This is the stationary supply that you can find in every home. Its use is not just bounded for sketching it is even used as an office supply. Generally, if you buy them to sketch then you can find them available in sets. Never-mind you can even buy them individually. The common set of pencils that available consists of 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, and 8B. I know if you are not familiar with this terminology then you must be disarrayed with what I am talking about. Don’t worry let me explain it to you.

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Graphite pencils have two different ranges that depict the hardness of the graphite. H depicts harder graphite with lighter lines and B depicts softer graphite with Darker lines, with HB sitting just between them. The higher the number goes in the H range the harder the graphite it consists I.e. 9H being the hardest and H being the softest In H range whereas the higher the number goes in the B range the softer the graphite becomes. I.e. 9B being the softest and B being the hardest in the B range.

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3. Eraser

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There are different types of erasers available in the market but for sketching, we will stick to just three types of erasers. That is –

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  1. Rubber erasers:-these are firm all-purpose erasers which we use in day to day life.
  2. Kneaded eraser:- these are important from the perspective of an artist. This type of eraser can be folded like a lump of clay and it doesn’t leave any crumbs on the paper. This eraser can be given any shape u want therefore it is generally used in regions of fine details.
  3. Pencil Eraser:- this looks like a pencil but It has an easer in place of the graphite and is verbally used in the area of fine details.

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4. Pencil Sharpener

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Yeah if you are using a pencil you would need a sharper to get the graphite art out of the wood. As a beginner, I will suggest you stick to a manual eraser. But have you experienced several times that the softer graphite pencil tends to break with normal sharper? It is because of the size of the sharper which decides the length of the tip. Use a smaller sized sharpener. There are generally two sizes of sharpener available in a general store one with 8mm holes and the other with 10.5mm.

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5. Tortillion (Blending Stumps)

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It is a thick tightly rolled soft paper, generally used to smudge and blend the graphite or charcoal. It is a very useful tool used for shading as it effortlessly blends even in the region where high precision is required. Art Materials For A Beginning Artist

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Painting

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This form generally uses wet medium like pigmented paint to express your art piece.

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1. Painting Paper

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Papers with a weight range of 90 gsm to 300 gsm are enough for a beginner. I would suggest you shouldn’t use a sketchbook for painting, perhaps as an artist, I had a very bad experience of ruining the whole sketchbook with paint when I was a beginner. With progress, you can keep increasing the gsm.

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2. Canvas

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Sometimes working on paper can be a tedious task therefore some people prefer to paint on canvas. (it is a plain-woven fabric). Canvas is the best surface when it’s time to use Acrylic paint. It makes the painting to appear lifelike and gives it a very enriching look.

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3. Paint

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There are many different types of paint available to work with but the most common and widely used ones are. But it is your choice and comfort to select which type of paint you are going to use.

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  1. Watercolor:- It is made up of pigments suspended in a water-based solution and is water-soluble.
  2. Acrylic paint:- It is made up of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and is a fast-drying paint. These are water-soluble but they become water-resistant when they are dry.
  3. Oil Paint:- It is made up of pigment suspended in drying oil and is a slow drying paint.
  4. Gouache:- It is water-soluble opaque paint.
  5. Encaustic:- it is a strong color pigmented wax-based paint.

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4. Paint Brushes

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For watercolours, oils and acrylics there are mainly 8 shapes available, each for different techniques and details each with size from 0000 to size 24 in general.

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  1. Round
  2. Pointed round
  3. Flat
  4. Bright
  5. Filbert
  6. Angular Flat
  7. Fan
  8. Detail Round

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The bristles of these brushes are mainly made with two types of material Natural and synthetic.

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Natural Hair Bristles:- it is further divided into different factions. Some common ones are-

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  1. Squirrel
  2. Sabeline
  3. Red Sable
  4. Ox Hair
  5. Pony Hair
  6. Kolinskly sable
  7. Kevrin
  8. Hog Bristle
  9. Badger
  10. Camel Hair

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Synthetic Hair Brushes:- as the name suggests these are made up of synthetic materials. It has mainly two types-

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  1. Nylon Hair
  2. Polyester Hair

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The bottom line is that You can use any type of brush with all paint but different types of brush create a different effect when used with different paints.

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Commonly the natural hair brushes are recommended for oil painting because they cope well with the heavy texture of the paint and maintain their shape even after many uses, natural hair brushes can be damaged by acrylic paint over time. Also, these brushes don’t like sitting in water.

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On the other hand, synthetic hair brushes successfully mimic the feel of natural-hair bristles. They’re more recommended for acrylics because they cope well with the acrylic resin and are easier to clean and maintain. They also don’t mind sitting in water. On the downside, they don’t hold their shape quite as well as natural-hair brushes, but they’re still quite durable (if cared for properly) and usually cost way less than a natural hairbrush.

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5. Paint Palette

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You will need a paint palette to mix the colors or dilute them with water or oil. You can even use disposable palette paper for painting as it offers more space and makes it easy to clean.

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