I don’t often get asked about the supplies I use, but I really appreciate when artists are willing to share their favorite supplies and manufacturers. Because of this I thought I would put together a list of my favorite supplies and suppliers.
Get ready, because I have a weakness for art supplies and pretty lead holders/pens.
Each heading is hyperlinked to the company that either makes or supplies the product. Clicking on them will open a new window and take you to their site. Please note that I don’t get paid for promoting these products or companies. I’m just trying to make it easier for artists to get products that will help them succeed in creating their work. I’m a creature of habit and tend to shop the same websites. I highly recommend these companies based on my ability find supplies, shipping times, and customer service. Some links below are by other companies, I’ve listed these because I’m doing my best to support smaller companies instead of Amazon.
– BLICK ART MATERIALS
– JET PENS
– McCLAINS PRINTMAKING SUPPLIES
– McLOGANS SCREENPRINTING SUPPLIES
My Everyday(ish) Carry
- Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks
- These sketchbooks are awesome. They all feature heavyweight/extra heavyweight paper and you’re able to work on both sides of the page without bleed-through. I’ve seen artists use watercolor, ink, and alcohol markers without bleed-through to the other side. You can get their sketchbooks in a variety of sizes, binding options, paper color, and paper texture (hot press vs cold press). They also will lay-flat when you’re working on them. I personally use their Nova series, and have their black and grey paper sketchbooks in a variety of sizes.
- Leuchtturm 1917 Sketchbooks/Notebooks
- This is my go-to white paper sketchbook. I wanted something with a heavier weight paper that could take my inking. My current favorite is their pocket sketchbook. It has 96 pages of bright white, acid free, 180gsm paper, page markers, a pocket in the back for extras, and a band to keep it closed. I keep it in my bag with me, and it’s proved to be fairly durable. In my opinion it’s basically a higher-end Moleskine. Their notebooks are nice too and feature page numbers and a customizable table of contents.
- Global Art Pencil Cases
- I recommend these to anybody that likes to carry a lot of supplies with them but wants to save room. My current go-to is the leather 72 pen case. The number stated can be deceiving, and unless you’re putting ONLY pencils or slim colored pencils in the case I don’t think you’re going to fit 72 different items in there.
- Yes, everything listed below (“pencils” through “other”) outside of one eraser and the empty altoids tin fits inside of this case.
- Empty Altoids tin
- Staedtler Graphite Pencils
- Honestly any of your favorite graphite pencils will work. I just like that this has a wide range of values (9H – 9B)
- Monolith Woodless Pencils
- Not a large range of values but I like the feel of them and because they’re woodless I can use them sideways and lay down thicker lines.
- Derwent Water-soluble graphite pencils, Light/Medium/Dark
- It’s fun to use these in conjunction with water brushes to lay down a wash and then work on top of them in graphite
- 2mm Turquoise Non-Photo Blue lead in a Staedtler Lead Holder
- Used for sketching and under-drawing
- Blue Lead in an Alvin Draft-matic mechanical pencil
- Used over the non-photo blue under drawing to clean up and refine lines
- Pentel Multi-8 PH802
- This is unnecessary but fun. It’s used for under-drawings.
- Cretacolor Ecologic Grip lead holder with 5.6mm White Chalk lead
- All of my white pencils are for working on black paper
- General’s white charcoal pencil
- Progresso white woodless colored pencil
- Koh-i-noor Versatile/Hardtmuth Lead Holder with 5.6mm 2B Gioconda lead
- Kimberly 9XXB pencil
- Pencil extender
- Tri-tip eraser
- Staedtler Retractable Plastic Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Eraser
- Copic Multiliner SP pens
- These are definitely an investment but I feel that it’s worth it in the long run. They’re quality pens and you can refill them and replace the nibs.
- Blick Studio Brush Alcohol Marker, Black
- Cheaper than Copics or Prismacolors, blendable, refillable. I use this to fill in large black areas while inking.
- Itoya Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker
- I’m trying to learn calligraphy! I keep this around to practice with.
- Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
- Various black and white Posca Acrylic Paint Markers
- White acryla-gouache
- Used to cover up mistakes on white paper while inking.
- 6″ metal ruler
- Scrap cloth
- Water brushes in various tip sizes
Linked below are the supplies I use for inking (without a brush or brush pen). Tachikawa brand is obviously my favorite but I haven’t used much outside of it and Speedball brand supplies. I highly recommend checking out JetPens for your traditional inking supplies because they have a wide variety of nibs and nib holders to explore.
- ArtBin Pen and Nib Case
- Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Holder (with cap)
- This is a nib holder that is comfortable to use for lengths of time thanks to its grip. It’s compatible with the nibs listed below as well as other regular and round nibs. The cap is works well at protecting your nibs in case you need to toss your nib holder in a bag to go.
- Tachikawa Mapping Pen Nib No99
- Tachikawa Nikko G Nib No3
- Tachikawa Nib No600EF
- Higgins Pen Cleaner
- Dr. Martin’s Black Star Waterproof Matte India Ink
- They also sell a HiCarb version if you prefer an ink that dries glossy
- Dr. Martin’s Pen White Ink
- Daler-Rowney FW Waterproof Acrylic and Pearlescent Inks
- Gamblin Oil Based inks (for works on paper)
- Gamblin Drive By/Textile Black ink (for works on fabric)
- Battleship grey linoleum
- Holds detail well, doesn’t crumble as easily as gold linoleum
- Speedball Pink Speedy Carve
- Doesn’t hold detail as well, but good for creating stamps
- Pfeil carving tools
- Legion Stonehenge Paper
- Blick Fabric Screenprinting Ink
- Ternes-Burton Registration Pins