Martin Blore asks: Can you advise me on what kind of art supplies you purchased? Art paper, pens, pencils, etc? I just want to go ahead and order some equipment and start doodling!
My Answer: I finally have a second to breathe and answer some questions! There’s only an hour left to place an order for my art commissions, so I can relax a little and reply. XD
So — all of the sketchbooks I use for my larger work have the covers ripped off, because I’m a terrible person and abuse my sketchbooks like crazy. I just toss them in bags and on the ground and sometimes fling them off my bed when they’re taking up too much space — so I can’t tell you exactly what they are. T_T
But here are all of the tools I do use and know of to help you!
- Strathmore 300 Series Sketchpad - This is lightweight paper perfect for sketching on with pencil. You can even trace with it if you need to since it’s so light! It’s not the best paper, so if you’re going to be mailing someone a commission, do not use this. But definitely use it for scans of artwork since it renders the same on a computer as on finer paper!
- Strathmore Vellum 11 x 14 - This is what I used to do my large gallery piece. Vellum paper is REALLY great for dry media like colored pencils, oil pastels, and pencils. You can use other media on it as well, but I prefer to stick with what it’s advertised for!
- Moleskine Plain Blank Hardcover 8.5 x 5 - My FAVORITE portable sketchbook! I never leave my apartment without this in my purse. It takes ink, pencil, EVERYTHING. I LOVE IT.
- Prismacolor Verithin 36 Pack - This is what I use for a lot of my tighter lines when I’m coloring with color pencil! I love these.
- Prismacolor Premier 120 Pack - This is my “play” box. I sort through the craptons of pencils in here when I’m trying to find the color that fits JUST right. :) Lots of color pencils with a soft core that come off really easily when drawing!
- Sakura Electric Eraser - I don’t know what I’d do without my electric eraser! It was suggested to me by a professional cartoonist friend from Cartoon Network, and I’ve been in love ever since. If you draw a LOT, this thing REALLY comes in handy.
- Pentel Clic Eraser - This is my go-to eraser when I’m not using my Sakura Electric Eraser. The rubber is SMOOTH, so it erases really cleanly! You can even do some cool smudge work with it if you erase lightly enough. :) Don’t forget the refills.
- Tombow Mono Zero Eraser - I think I’d die if I didn’t have this eraser. I think a lot of other artists like to use kneadable rubber to do precision erasing, but this is SO MUCH EASIER. It’s like a super thin mechanical pencil eraser for precision erasing! I have used it on almost every single commission I’ve made to clean up tight spots! EVERY SINGLE COMMISSION. Seriously. And don’t forget the refills!
- Pentel Pocket Brush - This is my go-to pen for all the fancy filler brushwork I do. It’s a really soft Japanese calligraphy brush pen, which means it can create hair-thin lines to THICK lines. It takes a LOT of practice to master, and even I haven’t got it completely down yet, but I LOVE IT for inking solids and larger blocks of space, or for drawing hair in larger pieces!
- Kuretake No. 14 Pocket Brush Hard - This is my calligraphy/script-writing brush pen!! It’s what I use to make the pretty script work you’ve seen me do. I can’t use anything else — this thing is PERFECT. And so cheap. You’ll love it!
- Uni-Ball Signo White Gel Ink Pen - I love this pen! I use it as precision white-out sometimes on my inked or colored pieces, as well as to create highlights on inked or colored pieces too!
- Derwent Graphic Pencils - If you want to understand the differences between different lead hardnesses, this is the set to use. I have this one! It ranges from lead hardnesses of 6B to 4H. I typically shade the solid parts of my pencil drawings with either a 5B Derwent or an 8B if I want to go crazy. It’s fun! It’s like painting with different kinds of paint brushes, except they’re all pencils. Hurhur.
- Staedtler Mars Technico 780 2mm Mechanical Pencil - Have you ever heard of 2mm lead? Yeah. Neither did I until I used this thing. I use this pencil specifically when I need to do a lot of precise shading work so I don’t waste my .5mm or .7mm lead. The end cap comes off and turns into a LEAD SHARPENER so you can keep the tip at a point! Don’t forget the 2B refills! The lead the Staedtler comes with is really hard, and it draws too lightly for my taste. A 2B refill gives you better darkness. So usually, I just switch out the stock lead with the refill lead. :)
- Staedtler Mars Drafting Mechanical Pencils - YOU WILL NEVER NEED TO OWN ANOTHER MECHANICAL PENCIL EVER AGAIN. These are the BE ALL END ALL of mechanical pencils!! It’s a 3 pack of pencils from .3mm to .7mm, and they all have adjustable lead hardness windows (if you ever want to switch out the lead, you can keep track of what’s inside your pencil!). I want to own another of these packs!! Also, they are DRAFTING pencils, which means the metal on the tip is super long to protect the lead from when you’re using rulers etc! So amazing! Don’t forget leads here, here, and here for each pencil size!
- Staedtler Mars 4 Combo Math Set - This is a 4 piece set of every single ruler you will ever need. XD! I use this one! I have literally used every ruler on this thing already. You can use these for their intended purpose (math), or for architecture drawings and basic lines! I looove it. It comes in stainless steel too, but I use the plastic version and seriously, it’s all you need. And it’s cheaper, so haaay girrrrl.
- French Curves - Create ANY CURVE EVER with a French Curve set. This is the set I use, but I’ll probably go out and buy crazier ones soon. This is what I used to create the clean lines on the cloth of my “Enchanting” piece, as well as the vines in that same image!
- Staedtler Combo Circle Plate - This is what I use to create every single clean circle you’ve ever seen in any of my artworks. I use these to do circles, to create arcs, etc! I used this to do the tip of the candy cane in my SantaCon 2013 piece, and also to do the handle on the suitcase of my catgirl/catboy commission! It’s SUPER handy.
- Ratchetta Pencil Sharpener - The best pencil sharpener ever. Instead of turning your pencil to sharpen, you just twist it back and forth, and the Ratchetta sharpens with you doing minimal work! Then, when your pencil is sharp enough, the indicator button pops up so that you can stop sharpening, your lead at a perfect point! I use this to sharpen my Derwent Graphic Pencils AND my Prismacolors.
I have so many more tools that I use, but those are probably my favorites. I hope this really helps you on your art journey, and I’m so glad I inspired you to start drawing! Art is a medium understood by every language, and it makes me so happy to know that you are interested in pursuing it, and that I played a part in that.
Good luck. ^_^
PS. I’ll go back in and link to all of the artwork I mentioned to give you more references and easy browsing. I really hope I helped!