Drawing tools for my cartoons and illustrations

I really love drawing tools. Looking at them makes me want to draw. Sometimes I go to the fine arts store and buy something, even though I don’t really need anything at the moment.

Do I need 22 erasers? Or 3 kneaded erasers? Or 30 pencils? Or 29 pen nibs? Maybe there’s an imminent apocalypse and I have to make supplies of materials.

After this premise, I can talk about the tools I use to draw my cartoons and humorous illustrations. I also use toilet paper. Seriously, you will see. Toilet paper clean, not used, of course.



  • A sketch pad: I don’t always draw on paper directly. I use a very light-weight paper sheets. Here I sketch characters, scenes, comic strips, objects, characters’ movements, shades, and so on.
  • Graph paper: sometimes I like to use graph paper. It’s useful because all the lines guide me for distances and proportions.

Pencil drawing set


  • Pencils: I use B, 2B, HB, 4H and F pencils. They are soft or semi-soft pencils.
  • A blade (before): all pencil sharpeners I bought ruined the tip, so I used a blade.
  • A pencil sharpener (now): I finally found a pencil sharpener that does its job, it’is from Stabilo.
  • Drawing paper: I used Fabriano paper a while ago, but I didn’t like its logo on the sheet. I also used the Letraset papers. Now I use the Winsor & Newton “Smooth Surface” cartridge pad in A3 size.
  • Set squares and ruler: I’ve broken many of them, so now I have aluminum  set squares and ruler. I hope they last a while.
  • Eraser: I have erasers by Maped, Staedtler and Pelikan.
  • Kneaded putty rybber: very useful rubber to soften the pencil. I have 2 types of putty rubber, from Pelikan and Wiler.
  • A brush: a brush to draw? No, an old brush to sweep away the remnants of the eraser. I don’t use my hand, because it can dirty the paper.



  • China ink: I use only the Winsor & Newton ink (I have a 250ml bottle and a 14 inkpot that I fill every time). It’s the only really black ink.
  • Pen nibs: I have a lot of them, of various sizes and softness. I love the old fashioned inking.
  • Pen ink: useful to draw straight lines or the borders of the cartoons.
  • A very soft rubber: I use it to erase pencil traces after inking. It’s perfect, because it doesn’t fade the ink.
  • Screentones: years ago I applied adhesive screentones to the paper, but now I create them in computer graphic. They cost less (nothing).
  • Toilet paper: did you think I was joking? I use toilet paper to dry dirty nibs, before washing them.



  • Ames lettering guide: I discovered this fantastic tool recently. It ‘s an American product I haven’t found in Italy. I ordered it on Ebay. Do you see all the little holes? Just rotate the inner circle and you can get different heights for the lines and as many for the line-spacings.
  • Pen nibs for lettering: many years ago I used markers to write the text into the balloons. Now I use a soft bronze pen nib.

It looks like a lot of stuff, but, except paper, set squares and ruler, I take the rest in a tin box. Except toilet paper, that’s in the bathroom …

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