Back to School: New Drafting Students
Drafting students get the bulk of their supplies from art supply stores. With that in mind, we thought we'd share some ideas on what the basic needs are for beginning drafting students.
You can get a lot of your basics in a beginner's drafting mechanical kit. Such a kit includes an architectural scale, a mesh bag, a cross section pad, a compass, a protractor, various triangles, a French curve, a lead holder, and more. Various beginner kits will have slightly different materials, but those are certainly the essentials. Some will have calipers and micrometers, which should be considered as important tools of the trade. If you don't want to start with a full kit, all of those things will need to be purchased individually.
Let's expand a bit on the lead holder. When you think of drafting you think of drawing fine lines. To get the fine lines you need, you'll want specific marking tools. One of your most used tools will be a mechanical lead holder that takes size 2mm lead. Purchase 2mm lead in shades 4H, 2H, H, HB, and F. An array of mechanical pencils should also be in your arsenal. At the very least you'll want one that takes 0.5mm lead and one that takes 0.7mm. You'll use these for tiny lines and then the 2mm for laying out the drawing and creating thick outlines or borders. You may fine that additional lead diameters will prove useful, too. Likewise, you'll also want a few good technical pens, which will be useful for certain projects.
Tracing pads are useful for initial sketches or for simply tracing images, as the name implies. Once you get ready for a final draft you'll probably want to use vellum or Bristol pads.
An appropriate surface for your paper is important. You can use a PXB drawing board, PEB drawing board, or a PLB drawing board or you can choose from an array of more basic drawing boards.
Finally, you'll need a way to store and transport your works—essentially, a portfolio. You might want to discuss with your instructors what sort of portfolio would be best for you at this stage of your artistic endeavors. What will be going into that portfolio? Usually some sort of paper. If charcoal is your medium (which is a common medium for starters), you'll want a charcoal pad. These pads are great for all dry media. Watercolor paper can be used for dry mediums, too, in addition to, obviously, watercolors.
Those essentials will have you ready to tackle drafting student basics. Start drawing!