my favorite art supplies

Updated: May 13, 2020

Hey guys! So I get asked about what supplies I use ALL the time, and I figured I would compile EVERYTHING (with prices and (non-affiliated)links) into one place for convenience!



supplies for digital art

DEVICE: IPad Pro + STYLUS: Apple Pencil

My iPad is my baby. Literally. The reason I decided to buy an iPad instead of a more 'professional' tablet (such as a Wacom or Cintiq) is because I could also use it for school, and my various other hobbies. Fancy tablets are cool, but limited in their use. I use my iPad for everything from drawing, studying, writing, and watching Netflix. Highly recommend! *my model is the 2017 one(aka it still has a home button. There is a newer version!


PROGRAM: Procreate.

If you're going to get an iPad Pro, by far, the most common illustrating app is Procreate. It's a one time $9.99 purchase on the App Store, and has all the features you will need to create something amazing! Procreate is NOT compatible with non-apple devices. If you decide against the iPad and go with a tablet, Photoshop is SUPER common! It has more features, for sure, but also has a hefty price tag: $21 a MONTH. Plus, it doesn't come with a built-in timelapse feature(one of my favorite things about Procreate)!


supplies for traditional art

Let's start with the basics.

PENCILS:

My favorite graphite pencil to sketch with is the Staedtler Norica HB pencil. Staedtler also has a Mars Lumograph line that is significantly more popular, but I find the Norica's to be my favorite. You can find them in a variety of place, but I got mine on Amazon for $11.72!


A close second favorite sketching tool of mine is the Prismacolor Col-Erase Colored Pencils ($12-16). I LOVE sketching with color, I think it adds interest! Plus, these are pretty inexpensive and available in most art or general stores.


SKETCHBOOKS:

Alright guys. I have researched SO. MANY. SKETCHBOOKS. Hours poured into this one area of study, okay? I've literally made an excel spreadsheet for you guys. Here.


Personally, I'm still searching for the perfect sketchbook. My current favorite one is the Illo sketchbook(heard of it, right?). It retails for just under $17 on Amazon, which is a bit pricey, but I found it to be wayy better than the Moleskine(which has a similar smooth paper). Guess what, alcohol-based markers DON'T bleed to the next page! Unlike in a Moleskine.


I also didn't have a bad experience with the cheaper Canson XL sketchbooks, but I wasn't a fan of the cover(ya girl likes her aesthetic). But, these are dirt cheap AND available in nearly EVERY craft store, so...the paper is nice too!


FINELINERS/BLACK PENS:

Honestly I'm not a fineliner nerd so most of them are all the same to me. As long as the ink DOESN'T SMUDGE under water! Make sure you look for 'archival ink' in the product description.

My very first set of fineliners was from Microline on Amazon($24?? I definitely got them for cheaper)-- virtually unheard of and probably a ripoff of Sakura, but they worked great! None have run out of ink on me and it's been 2 years.

Some more popular brands that work for me are UniPins and, of course, the Sakura Pigma Micron pens.


MARKERS: Surprise surprise, I use Copics! Ridiculously expensive, I know, so they aren't a great option for most people. I got mine(72 color set B Copic Ciao) off of Amazon, I think? Maybe Ebay? Look around and see what deal you can find. After I got one set I went off and started buying individual colors(skin tones, mostly, because I didn't have enough) on Blick's. I love Copics for their color choices and seamless blending, but there are plenty of more affordable marker options that do a great job too!

Other (cheaper) options: Ohuhu (72 ct) (brush nib), Winsor and Newton (brush nib), Master(90/180 ct), Art-N-Fly, etc.


PAINTS:

WATERCOLORS: Again, I'm not a huge expert in these. I personally use the Winsor and Newton Cotman student-grade watercolors (12 color, $21), and they've served me WELL. A limited color palette really helped me learn color theory and how to mix colors! But if you're a professional watercolorist, look into the more expensive brands!

Another one worth mentioning are the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors-- it contains a wide range of colors, long flat pans, and the watercolors themselves react a bit differently than Western watercolors...but I don't own them(sadly) so I can't say exactly how. Search it up if you're interested!


GOUACHE: Gouache is not my best medium, but I've done my fair share of research on it. I personally own regular gouache, but often you'll see work that has used acrylic gouache- don't get them confused! Regular gouache will lift at wetness, like watercolor, but acrylic gouache (Holbein is most popular) stays put(easier to layer, in my opinion, but harder to undo and blend).

I own the MIYA/HIMI jelly gouache(I got mine for 16, but they're at $24 right now), and haven't had a chance to try out any more expensive brands(Winsor and Newton, M. Graham). I DID use cheap Reeves gouache and- Don't. Do. It. It's crap.


ACRYLIC PAINT: Again, not my area of expertise. I own Liquitex Basic paint and it's been pretty good to me! I got mine at Blick's, but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere too.


I will probably be adding to this list in the near future, but for now, I hope this helped you find something you like!


Until next time,

elissa :)


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