Favorite art supplies. We all have them, and they vary greatly from person to person.
Here are a few of mine:
I have used cheap .07 lead mechanical pencils like the pink one shown here for years. They continue to be a go to for quick sketches, but I find that the lead smears easily and the erasers are oily. Recently, someone at University Art in San Jose recommended the Blackwing 602 drawing pencil to me and I love it. The lead is creamy and rich, but doesn’t smear as easily as some. The line weight I can achieve is quite good, too. I love that I can use it very lightly or for deeper darker line work. The blue pencil on the bottom is a Staedtler non photo blue pencil. I can’t find them on their website some reason, or I’d link to that. I got this one at Michael’s, but Prismacolor makes one that is exactly the same. The lines don’t show up on scans or under certain photo light, and I love how layering marker or watercolor over it causes the lines to recede until they are almost invisible. It makes no line watercolors much easier. I don’t have pencil lines to erase when I’m done!
This one is from Daiso, but it’s my favorite! I’ve never had a hand held pencil sharpener that I’ve liked this much.
I have a standard kneaded eraser that I use for large areas, but I love this Tombow Zero for fine work. The blue one is from Daiso. It’s simply a round fine line eraser.
This is a spot I’m still feeling out. I’m not happy with how this Canson Montval paper curls no matter how much water I use, but for now, it’s what I have so I keep using it. I’ve heard great things about Arches, and am excited to try some when I’ve used the paper I have in my inventory. As for sketchbooks, this Strathmore is not my favorite either, but I think it’s more because I’ve torn pages out and now the spiral is in my way than anything else. The paper is adequate for simple sketches, which is all I’m doing right now.
I’ve been a Winsor & Newton girl from the beginning. Their paint has great pigmentation and even their student grade paint yields excellent results. This pan set is the 12 color student set. While I don’t mind it, I am slowly switching over to tube paint. I like the consistency better and I prefer how rich the color is right away. I have to use a LOT more paint from the pans to get the same richness I get from tubes. I have used Grumbacher tubes off and on as well over the years. I find them to be very comparable to Winsor & Newton so have no trouble going back and forth between the companies tube paints.
There are so many out there. These aren’t special, but for the price, I’m loving these Simply Simmons brushes from Michael’s. If I could afford them, I’d buy Silver… but that’s a ways off for me yet.
Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid. Not much to say here. It comes off all my paper fine without staining, so I’m happy with it for now.
Fine Liners: I love Pigma Micron. ‘Nuff said.
I don’t use these a lot, but for a fun marker to use for simple sketches, the Tim Holtz Distress Marker works fine for me. I also like to use my daughter’s Crayola SuperTips from time to time.
Colored Pencil/Fine Work Pencil:
I love Inktense Pencils by Derwent. They are creamy as a pencil, but rich and beautiful when wet to make an ink. I highly recommend these for adding layers of vibrant ink or pencil shading.
I’m sure this list will change over time. Especially in the paper department, but for now, these are my go-to’s. What are yours?
Share in the comments what you use and why!