The most fascinating part of working with pencil is using the most basic of art tools, that is pencil and paper and from there, your job as an artist is to make a fine art drawing from these most fundamental items. My preferred choice of pencils are Staedtler Mars Lumograph in the grades of 2B and 3B. Occasionally I will use a B and my outline is done in an HB but in general the whole drawing is done with just the two grades. These pencils are consistent in their performance and seldom have the tiny gritty bits that are so annoying and scratch into your paper. The paper I use is Arches watercolour paper in a hot-pressed, 300 gsm weight. It has a slight tooth but is still lovely and smooth and I find I can achieve all the effects I need with this quality product. Due to the time investment that goes into pencil work, I feel it essential to use the highest quality products to achieve the best results. I use two erasers, mainly a kneadable for the majority of the time, either a Faber Castel or Cretacolor brand and for heavier erasing I use a vinyl eraser made by Caran d'ache, it does the job well without damaging the paper. Because of the amount of drawing I do, I could not live without my mechanical sharpener as it puts a super sharp point on the pencils and gently shaves the wood casing, not destroying the lead or wood. Last but not least is a soft brush for removing debris that falls off the pencil and eraser rubbings. I use a watercolour brush for this and wash it on a regular basis to remove the graphite from the bristles.
This cheetah is nearly finished and I have used the above listed art tools for this drawing. What are your favourite art tools?