Pastels & Pencils & Pens & Ink

Drawing and sketching tools and materials for the artist and student including graphite pencils, charcoal, pastels, coloured pencils, drawing pens, sketch pads and paper, erasers, sharpeners and pencil cases! Here you can buy the full range of drawing media. You will find drawing materials from the top brands including Derwent, Caran d’Ache, Unison Colour Soft Pastels, Cretacolor, Conte Carre, Jakar, Steadtler, Winsor & Newton, Daler Rowney and many more. If you are just starting out, you may wish to order from our selection of mixed colour starter sets.

All you need to create the simplest drawing is a graphite pencil and a sheet of paper. Graphite pencils come is a number of different grades. The hardest leads are graded as 9H and the softest leads 9B, the softer the lead the blacker the mark. These pencil marks can be removed with an eraser.

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Different types of sketching and drawing pencil also include those with a charcoal core, and carbon pencils which include a blend of clay for smoother application. Coloured pencils contain pigment mixed with a binder and watercolour pencils have coloured or graphite leads which are soluble in water.

Charcoal is made by heating wood in the absence of oxygen, this process removes moisture leaving carbon. Marks from charcoal are very black but tend to smudge. Finished drawings should be treated with a fixative.

Pastels offer a further form of drawing media. They are made using finely powdered pigments and different types of binder. Soft pastels are powdery and blend easily and hard pastels contain a higher level of binder for more detailed drawing. A watercolour pastel contains a water soluble binder and oil pastels contain a non-drying oil and wax binder giving them a soft, buttery consistency. As pastels tend to smudge easily the finished drawings should also be treated with a fixative.

Drawing pens and nibs, fibre-tipped pens and fine technical drawing pens provide the artist with black lines and a choice of colours. The water-soluble colouring pens can be blended with a wet paint brush and used in combination with pens containing permanent inks.