By Iris Yim

We sometimes get inquiries about drawing supplies my father Yim Mau-Kun uses for his pencil and charcoal drawings. Since I’m visiting Taiwan for the holidays, I took the opportunity to take a stock of his drawing supplies.

Erasers and blenders

Pictured here are different types of erasers and blenders that my father uses. From left to right:

1 eraser pencils to create highlights

2 regular rubber eraser

3 and 4 Iken Art Char brand paste eraser

5 tissue paper for blending

6 homemade paper blender made of xuan paper (paper used for traditional Chinese ink painting)


On the left are General brand charcoal pencils. My father only uses HB, 2B and 4B.

On the right are Staedtler brand pencils. My father uses HB – 5B.


For charcoal drawings, he uses Iken Art Char charcoal sticks for details and Nitram baton charcoal sticks for background.


For pencil and charcoal pencil drawings, he uses Fabriano paper. I know, I know, it’s water color paper and I did ask my father why. He said it’s more sturdy and can stand up to being abraded by erasers.

For charcoal drawings, he uses French brand MBM drawing paper because of its capability of pulling charcoal to its surface. He also occasionally uses the back of pastel paper and once uses canvas for a charcoal drawing.

In addition to the drawing tools, one thing I noticed when editing demonstration videos is the frequency and time that my father uses for sharpening his pencils when he is doing a drawing. For editing purposes, it’s all edited out (well, nobody wants to see an artist sharpening his pencils in a demonstration video, they want to see the demonstration), but apparently it’s something very important that he frequently stops to briefly sharpen his pencils in the middle of a drawing demonstration.

When I visited his teaching studio, I also noticed a pencil sharpening station.

There is a Chinese saying, “If one wants to do his job well, he must sharpen his tools” which is perfectly applicable to sharpening drawing pencils for a drawing.

Another tip is that my father says the pencil must be held at a 45 degree, not too high, not too low.

Lastly, we’re offering 25% off for our online video lessons. The offer is valid until January 2, 2019. Enter code “Happy2019” during check out.

Happy New Year!