When we first start drawing as kids, all we need is a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. However, if you notice a growing artistic talent in a special girl in your life, then you can encourage her with special materials. Better tools lead to better work for any artist, and you can help her take her sketching to the next level with the right gift.
At Authentic Girl Co., we believe that drawing is one great way girls can express their authentic selves, and we hope we can encourage them with a few recommendations for the right materials. Read on to learn more!
When you’re shopping for a true artist, an ordinary number-two pencil doesn’t always cut it. There are actually many different kinds of pencils to choose from when you shop an office or art supply store. One choice you’ll need to make is whether you want to give your artist a set of pencils made with hard or soft graphite. 9H graphite is one of the hardest varieties available, and it’s great for making thin, light lines and keeping a very sharp point. 8B graphite, on the other hand, is very soft and creates a thick, black line.
When it comes to shopping for your budding artist, keep in mind that they might have a favorite brand of pencils they use all the time. Ask her, a friend, or a family member to make sure you bring home a case of pencils they’ll use and love. Just any pencil won’t do for a true artist!
The future famous artist in your life may like using ink as well as graphite in their drawings. If that’s the case, look for some felt-tip pens as a gift! They can create different kinds of marks for some variety within a sketch. Because the ink cannot be erased, they also offer a challenge. Using pens rather than pencils can help any artist hone their skills as they learn to be more careful and deliberate and work with their mistakes!
There is one more drawing utensil every artist should experiment with: charcoal! This material creates a whole new palette of shades and textures for your favorite girl to play with. You can find charcoal in both stick and pencil forms, and the team at your local art supply store can help you decide which would work best for your budding artist.
Art isn’t just about creating lines — sometimes it’s about blurring them too! A blending stump or tortillion is essential for smudging or blending. The artist in your life can use her fingers to create shading, but it’s less precise and the oils from their skin can make the drawing look dirty. Blending is especially important if your artist is honing her skills on realistic drawings, because shading is the key to creating three-dimensional effects!
A Good Eraser
An eraser is just as important to an artist as their drawing tools. Before you throw that familiar pink rubber eraser in your cart, however, you should know that there are different kinds of erasers to choose from too! Rubber erasers are great for removing graphite and other materials from paper, but they use friction to buff away the marks, which can be hard on some kinds of paper.
To avoid tearing or crinkling, you may want to buy your budding artist a kneaded or gum eraser. Kneaded erasers lift material away from the paper rather than rubbing it away. Gum erasers use friction like rubber erasers, but they crumble as they are used in order not to damage the paper. Your local art supply store likely has a set of different erasers available at a low price if you want to let your artist experiment and decide for herself!
A Pencil Sharpener
Once the special girl in your life has drawing materials she loves, make sure she can keep them in perfect form with a high-quality pencil sharpener. Electric pencil sharpeners work great, but they should be reserved for young artists who know to only use them with graphite pencils. Colored pencils are made with a waxy binder that can ruin electric sharpeners.
A manual pencil sharpener works fine for most artists, and it can sharpen both graphite and colored pencils. Keep in mind, however, that a slightly pricier sharpener will probably work better and last longer than what you normally find in the back-to-school aisle.
The Perfect Sketch Book
Last but not least, your favorite artist needs a blank sketch book! Drawing for an artist is like exercise for an athlete, so you want to find a sketch book that will entice the special girl in your life to use it every day. A hardcover sketch book creates a nice, sturdy surface for them to draw on even when they don’t have a desk or table to use, and a bright, beautiful binding will draw their attention again and again.
Authentic Girl Co. creates stationery with purpose, including beautiful sketch books for girls! Our Sketch Books are made in the U.S.A. and environmentally friendly, with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved paper and soy-based ink. We also donate a portion of the proceeds from every sale to the Authentic Girl Foundation, which funds nonprofits working towards girl empowerment. Give your favorite new artist a sketch book she’ll love, and feel great about supporting girls everywhere!