Chriswoodartist : Drawing Materials : wet and dry media


I’m forever trying out new drawing materials and enjoy experimenting with them. I have my favourites, which seem to work for me and when I can’t lay my hands on a particular pencil or pen it can be infuriating ! However, for me drawing is not about finding a product or way of working and churning out endless drawings it’s about EXPERIMENTATION. In addition to trying out new things, I like to play with unusual or non conventional media and revisit materials and ways of working that I had written off years ago ! I also enjoy drawing with unusual combinations of products and digitally reworking and manipulating images – reinventing them and giving them a new lease of life.

For life drawing I tend to use either charcoal, pastels or graphite. Whereas, when I’m sketching and travelling light a few graphite pencils, a fountain pen and some watercolour pencils with a water brush offers endless possibilities.

I recently unearthed a large area of my desk and to celebrate I laid out a collection of my drawing materials.

The above photo consists of a few of my favourite bits and pieces and it represents about half of my DRY MEDIA kit.
From the bottom left is a set of black Faber Castell Pitt fine liner pens, a single brown broad Faber Castell Pitt fine liner, a black fine point SHARPIE, a ZIG artists sketching pen, an orange Pentel sign pen, a few double ended Berol Karismacolour markers, a selection of ZIG art and graphic twin pens, a box of assorted coloured CONTE pastels, white chalk, compressed, charcoal, a selection of thick sticks of Willow Charcoal (Winsor & Newton), a couple of charcoal pencils, a white conte pencil, some HANCOCK tailors crayons, (I’m told the American tailors crayons are the best), an assortment of Derwent sketching and or tinted charcoal pencils etc. The top row consists of : a well used putty rubber (for charcoal only) a clean putty rubber in a box (KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH), a couple of rubber erasers (hard and soft), a Swann Morton scalpel and spare blade (I like the number 10 curved blades for scraping back the surface of the paper) a pair of scissors, a pencil sharpener, graphite pencils, 2H, H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 2B KOH-I-NOOR solid graphite pencil (without the wooden sheath), sepia CONTE pencil, graphite sticks, a couple of water soluble crayons, a DERWENT Aquatone water soluble crayon pencil, a ROYAL SOVEREIGN black Chinagraph pencil, a brown ochre REXEL CUMBERLAND Derwent Drawing stick, two large bulldog clips for attaching paper to board or a couple of steel board clips are a good substitute ! Masking Tape is always useful for taping paper to boards or lids on boxes of pencils.


My second selection includes a few exotic things plus the WET MEDIA KIT. From the bottom up : we have, a sharpened stick to apply ink, a long handled homemade brush with a piece of sponge taped to the end, a PROARTE Acrylic number 6 brush, a number 4 cheap synthetic brush, another home made long handled brush with a BRILLO PAD taped to the end, a number 10 flat hog hair brush, a 30 mm flat hog hair brush, a dipping pen, bamboo pen, a PENTEL water brush to use with Watercolour Pencils, a clutch pencil, a mouth diffuser, a bottle of FRISK concentrated dye, Winsor & Newton ink, black ROTRING ink, large bottle of black STAEDLER Marsmatic 745 R50 drawing ink, can of Daler Rowney Perfix Fixative, a small container of water, a small sponge for applying ink or watercolours, ROTRING Art Pen, LAMY Fountain Pen ( great for drawing with), a selection of smudging sticks, a small palette is a must and although not in the photo, I always carry a roll of kitchen paper which has all manner of uses ! To the right and above the tiny palette is yet another box of assorted CONTE and DERWENT pastels !

More photographs and descriptions of must-have artists materials to follow ! Over the course of the next month I’ll show a selection of drawings using some of the kit in the photos.



About chriswoodartist

painter, print-maker and illustrator


  1. I like that Rotring art pen too.Been using it for years. I just sort of took one pencil from a present my son gave my husband for Christmas. It is really nice. Palomino Blackwing 602 (half the pressure twice the speed)
    Looking forward to a creative new year checking in with what you are doing. Happy New Year. Chris

    • Hi Carla – Happy New Year ! I must say that since buying myself the LAMY pen, I had forgotten the ROTRING, which has been languishing in my pen pot for several years but yes they are both lovely pens ! You can’t beat having a good clear out – all sorts of goodies come to the surface !
      I’ve read about the Blackwing pencils but never seen them in the UK – good luck with that and I look forward to seeing some of your fabulous drawings experimenting with it ! My postman has just delivered a late Christmas present today “Hearts of Steel the warship paintings of Paul Wright” Paul was one of the illustrators who taught me at Wimbledon School of Art.
      Have a creative and smashing new year ! All the very best ! C

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