Materials for beginners

Alright, lads. If you're an amateur, an aficionado or even a moonlightning cartoonist you don't need to invest in expensive material to start cartooning. Don't let this prevent you to start producing cartoons.
Basic material:
  • something to draw
  • something to draw on
  • something to draw about
We will cover the two first bullets, third one is an art by itself.

Something to draw

Pencil and pen. Nothing exotic.There's plenty of stationery material out there that is useful. Only some basic tips:
  • You don't need to go to the cheapest pencil on the store ( nor to the super-mega-incredibly specific sandal-wood-limited-series pencil). I did it when I was in a very short budget (as teenager) and found that cheap pencils have unhomogeneous mines. Chunks of graphite inserted in the mine so tracing a line felt like scratching the paper followed by a slide followed by a hard stop. A simple HB pencil that you would use at school or in the office is enough.
  • Wood pencils are cheap, available everywhere and the smell of wood when you sharp them is great. But the need to sharp regularly can be a disadvantage sometimes.
  • Mechanical pencils. Very popular and also wide available. The thinner the mine, the less pressure you can do on it or it'll break up. A 0,7 mm mine is fine for most people.
  • Clutch pencils or leadholders. Nostalgia lovers like me appreciate them.
  • I've seen some young cartoonist producing professional cartoons with rollerballs like Pilot or UniBall. They are cheap, fadeproof, smooth... very useful for a quick sketch or even crosshatching.
  • Markers are also useful. Years ago the main concern was to get a consistent black line. Nowadays you can enhance the black with your computer, so markers are nice although they can be smudgy when using water... but that's also a nice effect.

Something to draw on

Stationery paper is a good idea. Just remember to go over 80g, less grammage can be rip easily during drawing.If you want to invest a bit, a watercolor paper can hold ink & water very well for wash drawings and a glossy paper gets nice colors using color markers.


Happy Fry-Day by Brian Cox

On his blog, illustrator Brian Cox describes the process to make a T-shirt design, including some step-by-step pictures as well as his techniques and materials.

Inking detail



Printing and binding the handouts helps to use them as quick reference
There are plenty of handouts out there. From time to time, servers fall down and the copies are lost in cyberspace, so I reccommend to download (so you can check them in a tablet) or print (bind them together as a reference/morgue file) those useful resources:


Sam Gross

One thing I tell young cartoonists: a magazine is like going out on a date, and a book is like getting married. If you’re going out on a date, you don’t need a lawyer. If you’re doing a book, you get a lawyer

Sam Gross
Via Mike Lynch blog, a podcast with cartoonist Sam Gross.


Hello, world

Hello world

My name is Jose M. Bielza and I'm a moonlightning cartoonist from Madrid, Spain.You can see some samples of my work here (spanish) and here (english).

After more than 600 posts in my blog in spanish about Cartooning Resources I realized most of the material I collect comes from english sources. So, why not starting an english blog?

This is a blog about free cartoonig resources. That is tips, tools, materials, tutorials, books, videos, examples... whatever you would need either if you are a pro, a moonlightning, an amateur or a humble aficionado of this form of Art. I post my own material as well as links to other resources that are available in multiple internet places (copyright owners still hold their rights, of course).