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Drawing Tools & Supplies

The following are items I mention on my page about sight-size drawing. They are also useful for drawing in general. 

Drafting Divider

I find this to be an indispensable drawing tool. It's an excellent drawing tool because it is an excellent measuring tool. 

The difference between this and a drafting compass is that this has two points, while a compass usually has a point and a small pencil lead. I don't suggest using a compass as an alternative. A compass is used for drawing circles, so most will have a threaded little bar that one can turn to widen or narrow the angle of the compass. This bar holds the point and pencil in place and makes it hard to widen and narrow the compass quickly or with one hand.

The nice thing about the divider is that you can widen and narrow it with one hand. This makes taking all kinds of measurements quick and easy. So this is great for sight-size drawing, comparative drawing, figure drawing, life drawing, as well as painting.  

Canson Mi-Teintes Paper

This is a really versatile paper for serious drawing. It is thicker and heavier than most sketchbook papers. It is durable and can be used for finished charcoal drawings, pastel, gouache, or watercolor. The 19x25 size is usually just the right size for most figure drawing class settings. The Amazon product is a pack of 10, however, you can purchase single sheets from most large art stores. 


The following is a list of books I've found very helpful in my own development and improving my drawing.

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger

This is my main encyclopedic anatomy reference. I've found no other book that beats this one in terms of the depth of information on anatomy. Its primary virtue is that it provides all the detail one would need, without getting lost in medical detail. This may not be the best book, on its own, for learning artistic anatomy, but I find it an essential part of my library for a definitive answer to any technical anatomy question. 

Books by George B. Bridgman

George B. Bridgman is important. He studied under Gerome in 19th Century Paris, and then came to the U.S. and taught at the Art Students League in New York. Norman Rockwell was one of his students. So he serves as a bridge for a certain kind of artistic anatomy thinking between the 19th century, and 20th, and present day. The drawings alone are stunning but contain an important way of thinking and visualizing anatomic forms. Be sure to get the paperbacks published by Dover. 

The Practice and Science of Drawing, by Harold Speed

This contains a deeper and more conceptual discussion of the process of drawing and creating compelling representational art. The text is a little difficult to get through, but it contains material that any serious artist will need to cover. 

Language of the Body by John Elderfield

This is a special book. It has very high-quality reproductions of the charcoal figure drawings by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. I personally think they are some of the best and most amazing life drawings ever created. I got a copy of the first printing when this came out in 1996. It's been out of print, hence the exorbitant price. If you can find a used copy for a reasonable price, it's a wonderful thing to own.