Drawing and Writing Tools

You don’t need fancy drawing equipment to journal. We recommend using the following drawing and writing tools with students: 

No. 2 pencil. 

These affordable and useful pencils do not feel like a fancy tool that could make students feel pressured to produce Art.


Pencil sharpener. 

Carry a handheld pencil sharpener in a Ziploc bag (for catching pencil shavings).

Non-photo blue pencil. 

These pencils are useful to block in basic shapes at the start of a drawing. Be sure to get Prismacolor’s “Col-Erase 20028 NP Blue” pencil. A box of twelve pencils costs around $11.00.

Ball-point pen. 

These are inexpensive and waterproof, and do not smear or smudge. Not being able to erase helps students move away from perfectionism and constantly erasing their lines; they just have to accept what is there and move on. These can also be useful for recording written notes in wetter conditions.

Colored pencils. 

A small set of around twelve pencils is all that is needed for field excursions. Before sketching in the field, make sure students take some time indoors to play with the pencils and learn how to overlap colors with a series of light layers. Colored pencils will smear and blur pencil lines, but play nicely over pen lines. If students’ pencils are loose and prone to getting lost, try securing them with a rubber band before the next outing.

Pencil case. 

These can be handy for helping keep drawing tools organized.

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