As you can see, I have a lot of stuff.
Yesterday, Rony and I decided to hit the art store and replace some of our inking pens and other dried out supplies. I’d been making due with a few, but it was getting harder to do clean pieces with what I was working with.
I replaced my pens, found a few new things I’ve been wanting to try, and then decided to organize all my supplies.
…this is just what I use for my watercolor and ink illustrations.
I asked on Instagram if anyone would be interested in me running through my supplies and here we are!
There’s a lot so get ready. We’ll start with my old stuff.
My watercolors are a mix of pre-set and custom. The bottom is a Prang Professional watercolor set. It’s essentially like those kids Crayola sets but a bit better. Despite upgrading, I like using it because the basic colors are very bright.
The top is a palette I made myself. You can buy these blank ones at any art store or online. I wanted a big one and split it up between base colors and the top are my skin tones. You squirt those little tubes into the compartments and wait 24 hours for them to dry. Ta da! Custom palette.
The only downside is that you want to use good, new watercolor paints. A lot of the ones I used were old and sitting around and if you look, you can see they’ve cracked and are in pieces. This sucks because now every time I close it, they get EVERYWHERE.
The Prismacolor pencils are a newer edition. My friend Alex got them for me and I’ve been using them for light color shading and depending the colors on certain places. I would use Prismacolors all the time in High Schools so it’s nice having a new set to play with again.
These are my inks! Aren’t they pretty?
I’m very much in the vein of “use whatever works.” Half of these are hand-me-downs or I found in an art supply box in Rony’s old house. The Liquitex Inks I bought on my own.
All of these are great but I have a grip with the gold ink. It’s super sheer. If I’m getting gold ink, I want that shit opaque. It’s not. At most it’ll give your stuff a light yellow glitter-ness to it but I was super disappointed. The bronze is wonderful though! I use it a lot and this is my second bottle.
Pens are next. I use a lot of pens for inking. My go to are my Micron pens that I finally replaced after forever. They have a good size range and if you have coupons, can be pretty cheap.
For a good thick pen, I also use the Prismacolor inking pen. It’s nice and I don’t have as much trouble using it over watercolor like the Microns sometimes.
So I think I got this as a present and I love it, but it’s a little tricky to use. It’s a fountain type pen. Basically a fancy quill pen with the ink built it. It definitely takes getting use to because you cannot use it like a regular pen, but once you get it then you can do a bunch of different brush line strokes. I like it, even if it is challenging.
Next is the Pentel Pocket Brush pen and the Pentel Brush Pen.
I got the bottom one in Seattle two years ago and its still holding up, but I definitely may need to replace it soon.
The pocket brush was one I had been lusting over and it’s wonderful! I do wish more ink came with it and OF COURSE, I lost my refill so now it’s drying out and I have to order a new pack. But when it’s not dried out, you can get all sorts of thin to thick brush strokes. If you like calligraphy, this would be a good pen. I really really love it.
My white pens! I like to use these for highlights and to add a pop of white on top of my colors. The top is a gelly roll pen in white and my go to, ride or die white pen. I use these like crazy and have not found a better gel white pen so far. Gel pens are good because they won’t sink into the water or paper like ink or water based ones do.
The bottom is new! I found it last night and liked how opaque the white came out! It’s a thicker tip which is usually and look at how bright and non-streaky the white is!
These are newer but I’ve been using them for a bit. I’m actually a big fan and might invest in getting a set. The colors stay even and not streaky even after multiple layers which is good for flat color lays! If you want to add a darker shade, it’ll take a few layers which I like. I got these to test darker skin tones and I love them!
Rony got me this little Ninja roll and I’ve been using it constantly. Here’s everything I keep in it! It all looks so nice.
A few other mentions:
I only have a few Copic markers and I still love them. Brush tips are the absolute best. I just wish they all weren’t so damn expensive.
Sharpies are always good! I like to use the silver, gold, and bronze for detail work because they’re so bright!
More gel pens for when you want to do a bright, colored outline! Usually you can find a cheap set anywhere they sell coloring books.
Prismacolor markers! I have a whole set and are great for flash colors! I have the fine tip/chisel tip set and they’re soooo useful! Downside though is they do bleeeed a bit! So watch out for that!
And then my Faber Castell markers. I have a set of gray tones and a few primary colors. The gray tones are wonderful for my ink drawings when I want hard lined shading or to add a bit of detail. It came with both cool and warm toned grays which really helps depending on the piece!
Now on to the new stuff!
These ink colored brush set things!
Initially I got them because they looked like a aquawash watercolor set and I was all down for that. But once I tried them, they’re basically brush markers. The color payout is good and solid, but the downside is the brushes are all kinda jacked. They’re split and splayed so clean lines are a no-go. And you can’t wash them out at all which could be a good and bad thing.
But the whole set was only $5 so I can’t complain. They’re Michael’s store brand also.
The Pentouch Caligraphy pen in gold! I’ve had my eye on this for a while and see a lot of artists use it! It’s a super opaque gold and so great! The tip is a chisel and takes a bit to get use to, but the color payout is so work it! I can do thin or broad lines and I’m so freaking pumped to use it. This is the color I wanted my Liquitex ink to be!
And I splurged and finally got some masking fluid! If you don’t know, this is for use mostly with watercolors and inks! I’ve seen it used and oh god, it’s glorious. I even got the pen tip because why the hell not. If I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna get the good kind.
How masking fluid works is you paint it over whatever you want to not have paint on it. I did a little test page to show. I put it over the moon and the tiny star. You have to let it dry until it’s translucent! It takes a bit, but just make sure you don’t glob it on or else you’ve have to wait longer.
Once it’s dry, you paint like normal!
Wait for the painting to dry! This is the only frustrating part of masking fluid. The wait time. You have to wait for the fluid to dry and you have to wait for the painting to dry. Or else this happens:
Note the star came out perfect but the moon peeled off part of the paper and is scraggly. Just move on to other parts of the painting until it drys or you risk ruining it all!
Other tools would be my brushes which, honestly, I just grab whenever and they range from good brands to crayola to shitty ones. I abuse them too much to put in the money for good ones.
I use little ink caps when I’m working on big pieces to have tiny ink wells and an eyedropper for my watercolors so I don’t have to mix the water in with my brushes!
I tend to just use a mechanical pencil, but I love to sketch in red grading pencils! They’re amazing and you can see it a lot in my sketches. A couple of new editions are these amazing Blackwing pencils our friend Victoria gave to us that I’ve been practicing with! I’m working on practicing more freehand and sketching a lot so these will be great for that!
And my marker bag is a travel bag from the Target dollar section.
You don’t have to spend a lot or use high quality supplies. Anything and everything will work!
Finally I organized everything and put it all away in this neat canvas bag Rony got for me from Blick for Christmas.
Hope this helped someone and was neat to look at! I know it’s a ton of stuff, but I love to use everything!
If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!