I am often asked about my favorite art supplies and which tools I use regularly. Rather than attempting to answer each individual question one at a time, I thought I would draw up a handy little list that I can update as needed. Hopefully you will find this blog post helpful as you pursue your own artistic endeavors. If there is something that you think should be added to this list, let me know! I would love to have an excuse to try something new!
If you already know what lead you use, THIS PENCIL is my current favorite drawing pencil. I’m obsessed with this holder—I love the weight and the fact that my pencil isn’t a little nub by the end of a project! I’m going to purchase a second one. I have B lead and HB lead.
For a more "mechanical pencil" feel, I like THIS ONE. While I personally prefer the one I mentioned earlier, I have carried this one around quite a bit. It's a great back up for me (I have a 0.7mm, but would go for 0.5mm if I was shopping again).
If you are not sure which pencil lead you should use, I recommend starting with a few different leads (like THIS KIT) and experimenting to find your favorite and what works with your style.
Yes, I have an entire section dedicated to erasers! But I find them to be super helpful if you have the right ones.
My “ride or die”, take to a desert island eraser is definitely a KNEEDED ERASER. I can use these this to perform so many different tasks—from lightening a sketch to getting some heavy duty mistakes off the page. While it’s no substitute for a good WHITE ERASER (the heavy lifters of erasers—good for those BIG mistakes), It’s the one that I carry around with me when I travel. If everything I had were lost in a fire, the first thing I would get would be a Kneeded Eraser.
For those of you who are looking for an extra “treat” for your drawing kit, I have just the thing! I recently invest in a Tombow MONO ZERO eraser and I LOVE it. It has the power of a traditional white eraser, but in the precise, fine tip packaging of a mechanical pencil. I love it for working out tiny details and cleaning up my more delicate edges. I purchased the round one originally but went back for a back up and the square tip. Round is still my favorite, but I use both!
A recent favorite already has a cult following: MICRON. I love the smaller sizes, as usual, and the fact that the ink is waterproof. Yes, waterproof. I use the 01 the most, but I love the 005 for details and the 03 for larger items of emphasis (or for letterpress designs). THIS is a good set to start with.
I have used FABER CASTELL since college and have always loved the XS size. I prefer to work with one size and just go back over my lines to thicken and add emphasis, rather than switch between sizes and styles.
For pencil and ink illustrations, I generally use this BRISTOL PAPER or Mixed Media paper (a new love). I like the smooth texture. Perfect for the fine details of a colored pencil portrait or a small ink contour. For sketches themselves, I generally just grab a sheet of computer paper or whatever sketchbook is handy. I am not picky—I just want to draw! haha
I used Verithin colored pencils for years while I was creating exclusively colored pencil portraits. They are very easy to use and have a hard lead which helps you to get that soft, airy look. For more realistic and lifelike portraits, I love to use Prismacolor's other pencils—they have a more of an oily base to them, so they blend like a d-r-e-a-m and look more like a painting.
I learned to paint with a small traveler's kit, similar to THIS ONE BY WINSOR AND NEWTON. If you are just starting out, or find yourself short on time to learn and explore, these pans are really convenient. While I generally use tube paint now, it is because I am more aware of what colors I love and use regularly.
I recently purchased and am loving the PRINCETON NEPTUNE watercolor brushes! The silicone squirrel brushes are so soft and fluid, I’m really enjoying them. I (almost) exclusively use round brushes, so I purchased a size 6,8, and 10, but if you want some variety, they also have a few sets that include a little more variety that I may test out in the future.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend THIS SET. It’s a pretty good kit that’s still affordable and a great way to find out what kind of brushes you like to use. Because these aren’t strictly “watercolor” brushes, they don’t hold as much water and are a little easier to control for beginners.
I have heard wonderful things about ARCHES, but I haven’t made the leap yet into that luxury. Partly because I’m cheep, but mostly because I just really love working on Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor Paper. It handles the watercolor the way that I want it to and it’s affordable! I did try out the 400 series and hated it, but have friends who adore it, so to each her own!
I film my videos entirely on my phone, so I really depend on this Gooseneck phone clip to get the job done. I love how easy it is to manipulate, the fact that I can use it on a variety of different table widths and that it’s white :) She mostly lives on my desk, but I love that it’s easy to move and use in different parts of my house.
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