Occasionally, I get asked what sort of supplies I use.
I prefer regular printing cardstock. The specific kind I use is “Georgia-Pacific” 110 weight paper. It’s heavier/thicker, takes ink well, and doesn’t smudge pencils easily. It’s also acid-free and marker tends to do pretty well on it.
I used to swear by regular number two soft lead pencils, but now I use just regular Bic mechanical pencils. I honestly don’t think it matters what you use, as long as you like using it. I like the mechanical pencils now because they give a firmer line and are easier to scan. But if you prefer softer lines, I’d recommend the soft pencil.
Sometimes I’ll use "Uni Color" mechanical pencils. They come in blue, rose pink, red, orange, green, and mint blue pencil leads. A friend of mine buys just the mint blue ones so she can ink directly over her pencils without erasing and just takes out the blue layer in Photoshop using channels. I’m not so sophisticated - I just like the pretty colors.
I like “plastic” erasers. I use two different brands and see no difference between them. Staedtler Mars Plastic and Pentel Hi-Polymer. They’ll be white block erasers with a cardboard wrapper around them. I’ve probably got twenty floating around. Honest. I went looking to find the other brand and I’ve got four of them on this desk alone.
Here’s where I just give you a list of the brands I use or have used. I don’t have a distinct preference, though I guess I do lean towards the Copics because they’re designed to work with alcohol markers and Millennium because you can pick them up at Wal*Mart for cheap. I haven’t used all of these brands with markers yet, so always test before you ink something important.
- Copic Multiliner or Copic Multiliner SP (I prefer the SPs) [They come in colors too, which work just as well.]
- Faber Castell PITT artist pens
- Millennium with ZIG memory system
- Pigma brand Micron (Sakura)
- Staedtler brand Pigment Liner sketch pens
Ultimately, I recommend at least two distinct line-widths (ex: 0.2 and 0.5), though the more line-widths you have to work with, the better. Technically, though, if you’re light in the touch when doing thinner lines and willing to add more “weight” to the areas that need it, you can get away with using just one pen. Sometimes I do that if I can’t be bothered looking for my other pens.
I prefer alcohol-based markers, especially if they have brush tips. In order of preference, I use:
And, yes, I’ll use plain Crayola markers in small areas sometimes. Especially if I’m working on an artist trading card (ATC). The problem with Crayola and other school-grade markers is that they don’t blend or layer. They also have the habit of “roughing up” paper.
PS: Don’t throw away your old alcohol-based markers. There are tutorials online of how to “refresh” your marker using regular rubbing alcohol. I’ve saved about 30 dollars worth of markers by just using 50 cents worth of rubbing alcohol.
I love OpenCanvas. I may also purchase Sai in the future, but for now, I’m happy with my copy of OpenCanvas.
Other Coloring Mediums
I typically only color in marker or digitally, but I’ll also use my old colored pencils indiscriminately (I don’t like Prismacolor pencils, though. I’m not sure why. I ended up giving my set away to a friend who loves colored pencils.)
I also use regular Crayola Watercolor pencils and Derwent Inktense pencils - which are like watercolor pencils, but “thicker” like ink.
And then some random supplies.
- Ruler (I don’t use this as much as I should)
- Compass (esp. if it has a plastic end rather than a metal end. Great for drawing circles!)
- Folders/binders and sheet protectors to put in binders! (ORGANIZATION.)
- Xacto Knife and/or scissors (I use these more for crafts than for my regular art, but they’re great for certain types of artwork that have cut-out elements - or if you need to remove something from a bound sketchbook.)
That’s all I can think of right now… feel free to ask me more questions if you have them. :3