My Favorite Art Supplies
Below are the Copic colors I tend to grab the most (and I own reinkers for all of them!). Click below to add any colors to your stash that make your heart swoon! You’ll be taken to the Scrapbook Pal website* where I shop regularly. The prices are fantastic and their orders usually ship within 48 hours!
Quality is better than quantity. I’ve tried a lot of supplies over the years, and below are some of my absolute favs. Click on the links to purchase your own.*
I love Arches 100% cotton watercolor paper (I use the cold press most of the time which has a little texture, but sometimes use the smooth hot press for illustration work). It’s pricey, but worth it. I use blocks instead of pads because the edges are glued down to keep your paper from buckling as you work. You can separate the final dried artwork from the block with a palette knife. For travel journaling and watercolor sketching, I love small Moleskine pocket watercolor journals and my square travelogue journal.
Pencils & Pens
I draw initial sketches with 0.5 mechanical pencils and a kneadable eraser (I love that you can get these erasers in cool colors!) The graph gear 1000 pencils are quite heavy in your hand (which I like) and they have a retractable tip for storage. If you prefer something a little lighter… the 500 is great. For inking sketches, I frequently use Microns as they are both waterproof and light-fast. For finishing touches and extra highlights, I like to use a combination of white gel pens and Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White. I apply the latter with a small brush. For fountain pens, I love the detailed Carbon Ink Platinum pen for its fine nib, waterproof ink, and replaceable ink cartridges.
I primarily use round brushes for their versatility (size 4-8 for cards/journaling and size 10-12 for larger projects). My favorites are my Escoda travel brushes (the handle turns into a metal protective covering), Black Velvet Silver brushes (which always perform great), and Rosemary & Co brushes (which can only be purchased from the UK). The Rosemary & Co R2 pocket sable brush comes to a very fine point, and can be used for almost anything! The Anna Mason brushes are perfect for fine detail.
On a tight budget? The Princeton Neptune and Aquash water brushes are great options. (I’ve used both.)
I don’t leave the house without my Faber-Castell collapsible water cup. Not only is it great to use when traveling – it’s perfect for air-drying your brushes after they’ve been cleaned (because the ridges keep them from rolling off). The person who created this is a genius!
I mostly use Daniel Smith tube watercolors due to their beautiful granularity and the Primatek mineral colors (you can paint with amethyst, for heaven’s sake!). Below are a couple of starter sets. They also have reasonably priced dot sheets that let you experiment with over 200 amazing colors! I highly recommend grabbing one to see which colors truly make your heart sing.
If on a budget, I recommend starting out with the “classic” Prima watercolor confections set below. The quality is decent, and with just these basic 12 colors, you can learn to mix pretty much any color in the spectrum. This is what we use in my intro to watercolor class.
I prefer the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer brand. Though technically not watercolor, I also enjoy Derwent Inktense pencils for their vivid color. Unlike watercolor pencils, once they dissolve and dry, they cannot be reconstituted.