Fantasy Art - Course I : Recommended Supplies

This is a reference list for students taking Fantasy Art: Create Your Own Characters and Worlds. Of course you may bring whatever supplies you prefer to class (as recommended on the CIT webpage), however if you are new to the arts I highly recommend these items (all of which can be purchased at Eckersley’s in the CBD).

Also, I am a huge champion of the idea that less is more. Don’t worry about what you don’t have, working with less can challenge you to think more creatively in the first place!

Due to time constraints we're mostly working with dry media, here's what I'd recommend.



  • I personally don’t find it useful to worry about pencil sets at this stage; they can be confusing and it takes time to work with them. A standard BIC mechanical pencil is great! They’re cheap and the lead (.5 mm HB standard) is highly responsive to pressure while also perfect for detail. Available at office works for $3.00.
  • If you’re ready to work with shading, you could get away with buying one 5B - 8B pencil (the dark graphite range in most pencil sets). 


  • There is hard and soft charcoal; both can be tricky to start with. I will provide soft ‘willow’ charcoal in class, if you would like to work with compressed charcoal, I’d recommend one of the following:
  • ‘Conte’ Paris Compressed Charcoal
  • General’s, or Conte’s Chalk Sticks set
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Charcoal pencil and other oil pastel pencils are great for    impact if you can keep them sharp.
  • Erasing charcoal is messy and requires a kneadable eraser.


  • Because of class time limits, students generally work best with a small selection of 1-4 colored pencils or pastels. I will bring coloured pencils to class, however if bringing your own, I’d recommend:
  • Prisma Color or Faber-Castell drawing pencils, even buying 2 or three of your favourite colours should be enough.


  • I personally prefer not to work with cheap paper for several reasons; It erodes, breaks and damages easily, makes your artwork hard to sell, and can make a wonderfully drawn image look like less than what it could have been (trust me!). Here’s what I’d bring:
  • A sketchbook is fine for scribbling and practice, but key words for paper that I look out for with dry media are, ‘Hot Pressed’, ‘Smooth’, ‘Cream Inlay’, and absolutely nothing under 185 gsm -- meaning that the paper has some depth to withstand wear and tear (say no to cartridge paper if you can afford it!). Arches paper brand is generally considered to be the best paper ever . . .and I drive this point home because it’s likely you will create a beautiful piece of artwork, and perhaps you will want to sell it. We will talk about this dilemma in class.
  • I highly recommend Moleskins or Leuchtturm notebooks even just for sketching, because when the paper is that nice you will value your effort more. Pepe’s Paperie in Canberra Centre sells top of the line paper products.
  • For our final projects, I recommend purchasing one or two large pieces of Arches smooth pressed paper, which are about 10$ a sheet. For all other in class projects, use whatever you are comfortable with and if on a shoestring, butcher’s paper does just fine (also, can be purchased in notebooks at Office Works for $2.00

 If you are living in the Canberra region, you will likely purchase these items at Eckersley’s, the nearest one to the CBD being on 42 Mort street.


Here is a link to their Online Store, which also has excellent discount clearance sales:


Here's the link to enroll if you haven't already:

Fantasy Art -- Create your own Characters and Worlds

See you in Class!