Pencil, Pen and Paper: Basic resources to start doodling

Doodling has helped me to reconnect with my creative persona, because of my doodling creative venture I have met wonderful people around the globe and been able to create a wonderfully creative community.

Maybe you use to doodle and want to get back to it or maybe you always been curious about it but don’t know where to start, what materials to use.

I have created this resource list, not as a shopping list, but a resource list that you can look at and then decide what better suits you. No overwhelm, no rush! I want you to enjoy the experience of doodling, so this is a guide to see what is out there.

drawing pad and ink pen

Pencils, Mechanical Pencils

You can use Pencils to draft a rough sketch of your drawings. Pencils have different numbers that refer to hardness and blackness of the lead. The lead is made of graphite which is why it leaves the dark grey trace.

From the site, they explain

“Most pencil manufacturers outside of the U.S. use the HB graphite scale, using the letter “H” to indicate a hard pencil and another letter or number to indicate blackness”

So not to get very technical and nerdy…. You have 2B HB… If I had to choose one I would go for an HB pencil with a softer light trace that I can retrace later with an ink pen.

Blackwinds are professional quality pencils, so their price range is higher (around 21$ per pencil). They have a very distinct shape at the top where the eraser is. You can say they are so good that they are a cult pencil, I haven’t tried them though.

These pencils are very appealing #stationeryhorders, they look super fancy in photographs if you plan to share your doodles, let’s say on Instagram.

Mechanical pencils are a great option as well, personally, I like to use them cause the trace can be soft or hard depending on how much pressure you apply. You don’t need to sharpen them, so your lines will always be crisp.

warm color pencils

Ink Pens

There are many brands out there, I’m sharing with you the ones I have in my pencil case. The Ink Pens I use are generally made of black ink, waterproof so I can use them with watercolors and are made with archival ink meaning that they withstand the pass of time. They are permanent on many surfaces, they give out a crisp image that doesn’t bleed.

In my pencil case, I have Pigma microns, of different sizes, meaning that the tip of the pen gets thicker with a higher number.

My favorites ones are number 003 and 005. Be wary that these pens are designed to draw in a 90-degree angle.

I also have in my “not very frequently use pencil bag” Pentel markers, their quality is great and the tip is just like a regular marker.

I don’t have these but If you live in the USA, Peggy Dean from Pigeon letters has cleverly design ink pens that are cruelty-free. They have great reviews and these pens don’t have the 90-degree angle drawing feature. So, you can use them as a regular pen.

If you are into lettering, you can use your Tombow dual brush pen. Using the short tip end to do your doodles or if you like the brush stroke look you can use the brush tip.

Also, these are great to add a dash of color to your doodles. Like rosy cheeky if drawing faces.

Good to know!

Inking is the normally the process of retracing your drawing or doodle made with a pencil with an ink pen. That is why I prefer to do a light mark with the pencil, that can be easily erased after the ink is dry. Is kind of cleaning and tidy up your art piece.

office supplies on desk


You can use just a simple drawing pad or sketchbook. But in this category, you will find endless possibilities. You can use white paper, color paper and even black with a white gel pen in this case.

I have sketchbooks, too many my hubby would say, but I always go back to my Marker drawing pad.

Why? because I can be working on a project, tear the page off the pad and save it in my folder. That way if I want to start another piece I can do it without worrying about wrinkling or damaging what I have already done.

Sorry I digress…

As I was saying there are many options regarding the paper, but my preferred option and what seems to work for my workflow is using Marker paper.

Maker paper is smooth, white and somewhat translucent. The smoothness helps preserves the tips of the markers so they will last longer. I use the one from Cason, but there are other brands like Winsor Newton, Strathmore, Goldline.

A white paper is my go-to, that is the Minimalist with Nordic flair in me. And I love that is translucent enough that I can layer it to try the different option of the same doodle or drawing.

pink sheet of paper and office supplies

Is like the thing you do when you go to a store and look in the mirror and see how a dress would look like on you without putting it on.

Must tell you, Marker Paper is more expensive than your regular paper pad. So, need to balance what works for your budget and what you want to do.

Maybe a small sketchbook for when you are on the go, on the train, on the bus is what you need. Also, dot gridded notebooks are very popular these days, because of Bullet Journaling.

Wow, who knew I could write so much about 3 simple things, Pencils, Pens, and Paper!

If you want to start doodling make sure to check out my Skillshare class Doodling 101, with this link you will get 2 months of Free premium membership.

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