Sketchbook Materials and Tools - Examples

Supplies for Sketch Journals

Kit Suggestions

Gather what you already have, add a few new materials, and put them together for a new semester!

Students in my classes at UBCO will receive a sketchbook on the first day. This was covered by your course fee. Each student should also put together his or her own portable kit with some drawing supplies for regular use this fall. Hopefully many of you will also continue to use these after the semester is over!

Choices for tools and materials are personal, but these are some examples of basics as well as optional extras.


IN CLASS and at home, you will ALWAYS need

  • Fine point black markers and free flowing ballpoint pens.
  • A primary children’s pencil or a soft pencil (B, or 2B is better than HB if possible)



In addition to your sketchbook, several pens and a couple of pencils, recommended items for supplies include items such as the following:
  • soft coloured pencils
  • soft graphite pencils (2B is a good basic)
  • a sharpener
  • a white eraser
  • scissors
  • a metal or clear ruler
  • a small glue stick and/or children’s white glue
  • a basic nylon brush set
  • Size 10 or larger Chinese brush or other inexpensive watercolour/ink brush
  • some type of pocket watercolour set of 12 (Yarka are good for a very affordable choice, but Koi, Cotman and others have great options)
  • envelopes for collage bits, etc
  •  a folder to collect notes, photos, small artwork
  • paper towels and a small paint rag

Optional Extra Supply Ideas for our Sketch Journals

Additional optional supplies include choices from the following:
  • pencils of varied hardness (i.e. F, 4B, or Blackwing dark, etc.)
  • watercolour pencils and/or inks
  • small container for water if you will be working outside
  • lightweight palette or plastic lids
  • squeeze bottle or dropper and/or spritzer
  • willow charcoal and/or graphite sticks
  • wax crayons and/or oil pastels (especially white) for resists
  • cotton swabs, small sponge,stir sticks or palette knife, etc.
  • some type of camera or your phone for recording image inspirations, work in progress, etc.

The Importance of Materials for Process

We are all attracted to materials and the physical, sensual qualities of mark making, textures and colours. Experimenting to discover the potential of different drawing media, is crucial for learning through art. The drawing process should be energetic and exploratory, especially for children, so it will be important to introduce variety, options and capabilities, pushing limits and playing with possibilities.

As teachers, we don’t need to know everything about every technique; but we do need to make room for children to feel in control of their own learning, with space, time, motivating themes or inspirations, and materials.

Art elements - colour - student watercolour spectrum experiment
Mail Art mixed media student mosaic - Grade 7
India Ink Mark Making
Colour Gradation Lesson Grade 7
Student at Work - Felt Pen with Collage
Handprints and Mixed Art Making Materials - Art Methods Course Introduction & Planning
Some favourite drawing supplies and experimental processes with student examples

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