My take on Art Supplies

My Workspace October 11, 2015

My Workspace, October 11, 2015

The other day I shared a picture of what was on my desk on Facebook and Instagram. I have posted it above. I always think it is fun to see what other people are working on and what art supplies they like to use. What is on your desk? I’d love to see a picture if you can post a link! Also, what are some of your favorite art supplies?

My thoughts on art supplies (if you want to know my take on an art supply that I haven’t listed, please feel free to ask). You don’t have to agree with my opinions. My opinions are derived from actual use of the products I mention here. I am not getting paid by any of these companies to give my opinion.

Watercolor Paper: The Strathmore and Canson watercolor paper pads are okay for making ATCs (I use Canson 140lb Cold-Pressed for my ATCs). If you were making full-size paintings (especially if you plan to sell them), I would recommend the following papers: Arches, Kilimanjaro, and Fabriano Artistico in either 140 lb (300gms) or 300 lb.

Watercolor Paint: You truly get what you pay for! There is more pigment and less filler in professional grade watercolor paint vice student grade, which have more filler and less pigment. Any professional artist grade brand of watercolor paint should be fine. Here are some of my favorite brands: Daniel Smith, Holbein, Sennelier, Schminke, M. Graham & Co., Winsor & Newton (not Cottman-that is it’s student-grade line and contains more filler and less pigment), Grumbacher (not Academy-that is it’s student-grade line), and Lukas.

Acrylic Paint: I used to use craft paint and student grade paint until I tried professional grade. For Acrylics I typically use Golden and Liquitex (not Liquitex Basic as that is student-grade). I also use both Golden and Liquitex acrylic mediums.

Watercolor Paint Brushes: Escoda Prado Sintetico (any brush by this brand, but I exclusively use the No. 8 Round), Princeton Neptune (again any brush by this brand, but I use the No. 8 Round, No. 6 Quill, and ¾ Dagger), Simply Simmons (No.s 2, 4 and 6 Rounds, and ½” Flat), Grumbacher Goldenedge (1-1/2” Wash), Silver Black Velvet (1” Flat), Winsor & Newton California (3/4” No. 2 Ox Hair), Richeson Professional-Steve Quiller (No. 10 Round), Ebony Splendor Rigger Creative Mark (No.s 0 and 3), Cheap Joe’s Fritch Scrubber (No.s 4, 6, and 16), and a really old size 14-16 Round that I have no idea what brand it is because all of the paint has come off the handle and it is the wood underneath is exposed.

Acrylic Paint Brushes: These are not as important to me as my watercolor brushes. I mostly use flats and rounds. Some of the brands I have are: Simply Simmons, Royal Soft-Grip, Princeton Art & Brush Co., Loew-Cornell, Robert Simmons Sapphire, and Protégé.

Alcohol-Based Markers: I like Copic Sketch markers and Prismacolor Premier markers equally. I have and use both. I have also tried Spectrum Noir markers and the newer Touch markers by Shin Han Art, but I still prefer the Copics and Prismacolors.

Other Markers:  I use the Stabilo Point 88 fine 0.4 markers; these are water-based and can be used to shade by putting a wet brush to your ink line. I also use the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens, which actually contain India Ink; they are permanent once dry. Another good choice is the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens.

Fine Lines Pen: I exclusively use the Rotring Rapidograph .10. It is not cheap, but also offers replacement ink cartridges and nibs. I especially like that the nib is metal and not a felt tip.

Outlining Pens: Copic Multiners, Copic Multiliner SPs (refillable and replacement nibs available), Pitt Artist Pens, Sakura Micron Pigma Pens, and Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers, and Staedtler Pigment Liner Fineliner pens. The only problem is that all of these are felt tip and I have a heavy hand when it comes to drawing so none of them last me very long and the felt tips get destroyed quickly!

Calligraphy and Writing Pens: Tombow Calligraphy Pen (WS-BH), Brush Pen No. 22 (I don’t know the brand because it is written in Japanese (it resembles a water-brush except it is filled with black ink), Wink of Luna and Wink of Stella brush pens, Zig Art & Graphic Twin pen (brush tip end), Copic Sketch Markers (brush tip end), and Lamy Safari Fountain Pen.

Gel Pens: Sakura Gelly Roll (metallic-gold & silver, moonlight meteor-clear glitter, and white), Sakura Glaze, and Sakura Soufflé).

Paint Pens: Molotow One4All Acrylic Paint Pens and Sharpie Water-Based Paint Pens.

Fountain Pen Ink:  Noodler’s Inks (favorite: Heart of Darkness-bulletproof black ink).

Dip Pen Ink: Dr. Ph. Marten’s Bombay India Inks and Higgin’s India Ink.

Mechanical Pencils: Staedtler (size 0.5 with H2 lead and 0.7 with HB lead), KOH-I-NOOR Rapidomatic (size 0.5 with H2 lead), and Artisto DK2 (size 0.5 with HB lead).

Wood Pencils: Staedtler Mars Lumograph (drawing set), Caran d’Ache Black Wood 499 HB (a big fat pencil great for transfering graphite lines onto paper and linoleum), Stabilo All Aquarellable (Black and White), Prismacolor Ebony, and water-soluble graphite (any brand).

Colored Pencils: Prismacolor Premier.

Watercolor Pencils: Prismacolor Premier, Derwent Inktense, and Derwent Graphitint.

Oil Pastels: Sennelier Artist Oil Pastels.

Water-Soluble Pastels: Caran d’ache Neocolor IIs (water-soluble wax pastels) and Portfolio by Crayola (water-soluble oil pastels).


Inktober Week 2


Inktober Week 2

Well I’m already into week two of #inktober. It is going by so fast. I have seven new drawings to share with you today.

Inktober Day 5: For Day 5 I used Dr. Ph Marten’s Bombay India Ink in Van Dyke Brown and then I used Dr. Marten’s Iridescent Calligraphy Colors in Copper Plate Gold for the accents. I used a dip pen and found that I was having an extremely hard time regulating the brown ink with particular nib I used. The ink was bleeding everywhere and through the paper too. Overall  I guess it came out okay, but I was pretty frustrated by the time I finished it.

Inktober Day 5

Inktober Day 5

Inktober Day 6: For Day 6 I used Higgins Calligraphy Ink in black, although I personally think it looks more like a dark gray, and a dip pen. This drawing went pretty well until I accidentally dipped my pen to far into the jar of ink and a big old splotch landed right on my llamas nose! I was so disgusted so I decided to splash on some more ink. In the end I suppose the ink splotches worked out fine.

Intober Day 6

Inktober Day 6

Inktober Day 7: For Day 7 I used Higgins Drawing Ink (waterproof) in Black. The Higgins drawing ink “black” is much darker than their calligraphy ink “black”. I used a dip pen again. Overall the ink and pen seemed to cooperate with me and I am relatively happy with the results. When I was writing my info on the drawing the pen kind of flicked ink upward (where it looks like little black vertical lines) so I decided to also add a few ink splatters.

Inktober Day 7

Inktober Day 7

Inktober Day 8: For Day 8 I used Daler-Rowney Black India Ink for all the outlines and the pattern on the fabric. For the large areas of black I used a Pitt Artist pen in black (which is also India Ink). The colored areas are done with Copic markers. I used silver metallic and clear glitter gel pens by Sakura for some of the accents in her hair ornamentation. I am really happy with this drawing. The only problem was when I went to write “Geisha” I had too much ink on my nib and big splotch dropped right on her neck. 😦

Inktober Day 8

Inktober Day 8

Inktober Day 9: Day 9 was actually done a day later as I was overwhelmed with projects on Day 9. Since I was trying to catch up I used my Lamy Safari fountain pen instead of dip pen. My pen is filled with Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink. I used Copic markers for the fingernails and the word “hand”. I also used a Sakura white gel pen to add highlights to the fingernails. I’m not very good at drawing hands so I wanted to try out this new techniques I saw for drawing hands. Hey, at least it looks like a hand now. LOL.

Inktober Day 9

Inktober Day 9

Inktober Day 10: For Day 10 I used Liquitex Acrylic Ink in Sap Green with a dip pen. The words “lil Froggy” were written with a Copic marker (brush tip). This lil froggy was fun to draw. I felt comfortable drawing with the dip pen on this one and I’m happy with how this lil froggy came out.


Inktober Day 10

Inktober Day 11: For Day 11 I used Daler-Rowney FW Pearlescent Acrylic Ink in Moon Violet and Dr. Ph. Marten’s Bombay India Ink in Van Dyke Brown. I was NOT happy with with how the FW Pearlescent ink behaved with the dip pen. I don’t think I will use those pearlescent inks with dip pens again. Using that ink was actually a bit of a nightmare and made for an unpleasant drawing experience.

Inktober Day 11

Inktober Day 11

Well, that is it for week two of Inktober. I’ll be back later to show you what I draw this week! Happy drawing!

Inktober is Here!


Inktober is here! You might ask “What is Inktober?”

Every October, artists all over the world take on the #inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year. The logo above is linked to the Inktober web page where you can read the rules and other information.

I am participating in Inktober for the first time. You can use any kind of ink pen, but I want to learn how to use a Dip Pen for drawing. So I will be challenging myself to do all 31 drawings for Inktober using a Dip Pen. I have a whole box of different inks and a lot of pen nibs so I plan to have some fun with this challenge. I will post my Inktober drawings on a weekly basis (so you’ll see a weeks worth of drawings in one post).

Here is my Day 1 Drawing using Higgins Waterproof Drawing Ink (Black):

Inktober Day 1 Drawing

This was my first time drawing with a Dip Pen. You might notice the there are some spots where the pen really bled, this was due to my applying too much pressure with the nib. The nib separates and widens when pressure is applied. This is definitely going to be a learning experience.

Here is my Day 2  Drawing using Bombay India Ink (Cherry Red):

Inktober Day 2 Drawing

I seemed to have better control of the Dip Pen on my second drawing. I also used a small amount of Daniel Smith’s Shadow Violet watercolor paint on the flower petals to create some shadows.

Here is my Day 3 Drawing using Bombay India Ink (Tangerine):


Day three’s drawing was a lot of fun, especially with the Tangerine ink! Again I felt I had good control over the nib of the pen.

Here is my Day 4 Drawing using Daler-Rowney Calli Calligraphy Ink (Blue):

Inktober Day 4 Drawing

This one was also fun to draw. Again, I felt like I had good control of the pen nib.