While not an exhaustive list, these are some of our favorite tools to use for the sketching of a design. Of course everyone has their own favorites so we don't in any way claim that using the below tools is the only way to go. But click the links to read more info, check out reviews, and if you want, give them a try!


Lead Holders

Staedtler Inc.

Staedtler Mars Technico

This is a light-weight yet solid lead holder. Make sure to get a rotary sharpener with it (see below). I've found lead holders to be helpful in creating a much more fine and precise tip than regular pencils.


Koh-I-Noor 5616 | Italy

This is my favorite lead holder. It is about twice the weight of the Staedtler and the grip is slightly longer. This is an old school clutch pencil and does not have a clip like the Staedtler. It's a matter of preference as both will serve you well.



Alvin Rotary Lead Pointer

This is used to sharpen the lead in your lead holder. If you have never used one of these before, here is a video that shows how it works.


2mm Lead (2H, H, HB, 2B)

I use 2H most of the time which is a hard, light lead. H or HB is a good middle ground and 2B is great for refining sketches or just darkening the lines a bit.

Acme United

Westcott Non-Shatter Clear Ruler - 12"

Clear rulers really help in allowing you to see your design while you're setting up guides. 


Alvin Stainless Steel Erasing Shield

This is a super helpful tool when erasing in tight areas. It is made of steel, but very thin. The varied holes allow for lots of options when trying to erase only a small area of your sketch.

Staedtler Inc.

Staedtler Mars Plastic Erasers

These erasers are great and they last a long time. They are soft enough so as not to mar the paper, yet stiff enough to get the job done.


Tombow MONO Zero Eraser, Round Tip

This works like a mechanic pencil and allows for very precise erasing. The pen-style body makes it easy to use and to store.



Strathmore 400 Hardbound 8.5"x11"

I love this sketch book. I do all of my Scripture and personal lettering pieces in it and plan to one day pass it along to my daughter.


Strathmore 400 Drawing Pad 9"x12"

I use this for client work and pieces that are a little larger. It is much easier to scan or trace over a sketch done in this book because it is flat and the pages tear out.