• martianshore

What do you need to start drawing

Updated: Feb 8

I had many first days of school, but one of the most special ones was my first day at art school. There was a ceremony at an old church that was within walking distance of Campus (my college campus was an assortment of buildings downtown). We walked down the sidewalk along with teachers and professors, to the sound of someone playing bagpipe. It felt strange but also very pompous. I felt important. Inside the church, we were instructed to sit on the benches, and in each available spot, there was a black sketchbook and a red pen tied together with a red ribbon.


I was a poor college student and I was just happy that I had gotten a free sketchbook! But after some presentations and speeches, the college president took the stage. She spoke many beautiful things that stay in my heart to this day, and by the end, she acknowledged that we now had these sketchbooks and invited us to make our first mark as art students. She could have said it in many different ways: Make your first drawing, write your first line… but she chose “make your first mark”.


And all this story is to say that I could talk for days about types of paper, software, tablets, computers, pens to answer the title's question: what you need to start drawing. But the truth is to start drawing you don’t need the best Moleskine sketchbook, the entire collection of Copics, or the latest Cintiq or iPad. You only need a tool that allows you to make a mark and a surface to put that mark on.


A stick and Sand? Go for it!

Pencil and scrap paper? Heck yes.

Paint and wall? Get some permission then dive in!


You need to start with what you have, what is possible and available to you! Because at the end of the day, the technique, the style and everything that makes your art unique is going to develop over time and practice. The tools will change the aesthetic but they are just tools. What you do with them using the knowledge gathered over time is what will make the result incredible. After understanding that you can choose to invest in these awesome tools I listed above when and if it makes sense to you! <3


I hope you can start today, and that we can all see your progress soon.


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