Materials I Use

This page is still somewhat under construction – no photos, but you can read the text and it’s more or less up to date. Please check back soon…

Paper:

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I used to mostly use printer paper, to be honest – up until mid-2017, in fact – but more recently I’ve invested in actual drawing paper for my basic drawings, and Bristol board and watercolor paper for more serious projects. It actually does make a difference, and depending on brand/store/coupons, it’s not THAT much more expensive. I can usually get 50-75 pages of 9×12 drawing paper for under $10, and really, how often am I going to go through 75 pages?? Not often.

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I’m also working on Bristol board for larger pieces, and again, it does seem to make a difference. But then again, I’m way more confident in my art than I used to be – and way more comfortable using more expensive paper. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with using printer paper or cheap paper, especially if expensive paper trips you up (as it did with me.)

Sketching/Drafting Pencils:

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I love Derwent pencils, especially the Graphic series. I have a set of 6B-5H Graphic graphite pencils, plus a 2B, a 2H, and an HB, which I bought separately to add in (since they’re my most-used grades).

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I also have a set of Derwent Academy pencils, which were a gift from a friend. Thanks Denise!!

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I do, however, often find myself settling back into my mechanical pencil hidey-hole of comfort. My favorites are the Papermate ClearPoint ones, largely because, well, they look cool – nah, also because they’re incredibly comfortable to hold and I don’t get sore fingers even after quite a while of sketching (I tend to have a very tight grip on pencils/pens and it can hurt a lot after a time).

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I will occasionally use my (very broken-up, missing a lot) set of Prismacolor Turquoise pencils, but that’s rare, and it generally just means that I’m doing a pencil-only sketch.

Erasers:

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I’m a bit picky about erasers. I use Staedtler MARS plastic erasers for my initial sketches, and then when I’ve inked, I erase the last of the pencil lines with a Factis Black 18. I don’t like to use the Black 18 for too much of the erasing because it tends to tear up the paper and rip off some of the inked areas. It’s just rough on the paper.

Inking:

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I am a Sakura Micron purist when it comes to fineliners, but lately, in my inking, I also use…

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Yes! Dip pens!! I started out with a rather crappy Speedball sketching set, but then liked it so much that I ordered a Tachikawa nib holder and some Nikko G-pen nibs. I use primarily Speedball ink, but sometimes dip into my reserve of acrylic Daler Rowney FW ink for fancy things.

I also use brushes, usually, Artist’s Loft synthetic brushes. My favorite brushes, though, are Princeton Artiste Select; I have only been able to afford two so far, but I love them. Also highly recommended: Masters brand Brush Cleaner and Preserver. If you want your brushes to last much time at all, this is a must.

 

Colors:

Oh gosh, color media. Not my strong suit. I always joke that I could probably get by just fine with total colorblindness, in terms of my art, because I so love black-and-white media and am so bad with color. HOWEVER, lately I’ve been really attempting to step up my color game.

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Alcohol-Based Markers: A mix of Prismacolor, Art Alternatives, and Soucolor (no-name brand from Amazon), all alcohol-based markers that are not Copics. I’m a bit of a “reverse Copic snob,” or alternately have a Copic Complex: I resent the fact that I can’t afford them, so I boycott them, only semi-consciously. (Yes, I do annoy myself.) I actually have a review up of the Soucolor set here.

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Colored Pencils: Prismacolor pencils are my besties. I had a set of 120 when I was about 14 (thank you Mom and Dad!!) but they perished in a tragic event and I wound up with zero. Recently (Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2018), the 150-set went on sale on Amazon.com for $47, and of course I jumped on that right away. Review coming!

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Watercolor: I use Winsor & Newton Cotman pan watercolors, as well as (occasionally) some cheap Artist’s Loft tube watercolors.

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Watercolor Pens: I freaking LOVE the Arteza Real Brush Pen watercolor brush pens! You can literally scribble with them on watercolor paper, and then add water with a brush, and create incredibly smooth “imitation watercolor” effects. My boyfriend bought the full 48 set for me for Christmas 2017 and I am eternally grateful.

Extra Tools:

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Occasional BiC Wite-Out, Sakura Gelly Roll pens, and of course my trusty Uniball Signo white gel pen.

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Various zipper pouches from The Container Store, as pencil pouches.

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X-Acto blade in a Husky blade holder (for scraping acrylic ink off of heavier paper – my version of erasable ink!).

Digital Media:

I RARELY work purely digitally, but I do often use a tablet to touch things up. This is a very basic WACOM Bamboo One that I got off of Amazon. It came with instructions solely in Chinese, which was fascinating, and might have presented an issue except that this is a very simple tablet and is essentially plug-and-play.

I film my videos on a tiny, crummy-but-reliable Nikon Coolpix L32, and my MacBook webcam. I then edit them with iMovie.

I use these with a 2014 MacBook Pro and Photoshop Elements 14 (back when you could just straight-up BUY a copy of PSE and not a subscription service).