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I wasn’t planning on writing a supply post any time soon, but friends have been asking for Christmas gift ideas, and it does seem like a natural follow up to my last post, so here goes!
Favorite Supplies for Hand Lettering!
You will find these pens mentioned pretty much any time hand lettering is happening. I struggled to like these pens for years after being given a set, but after practicing with them daily for my 100 Day Project, I am in love! They are water based, come in well coordinated palettes, and work great for watercolor painting projects too. A little on the pricey side ($27 a set), they are often on sale at Michaels and Amazon. This brights set is a great one to use when just starting out.
If you’re looking for a budget or kid friendly alternative to the Tombow Markers, these Crayola tips are an excellent deal! I bought them on a Black Friday deal to give them a try, and was pleasantly surprised at their quality. The tips are also a bit short than the Tombow’s so I think they would be even more beginner friendly. They are water based as well, and come in a gorgeous tin case!
I’m not joking when I say I use this pen in EVERY lettering & painting project I complete! They are an excellent way to add highlights, stars, and other embellishments to make your drawings pop. I’ve tried other brands of white pens, and they never come close to the quality of this ink. Just make sure your paint is completely dry before applying it!
I first purchased these highlighters for Bible Journaling. They’re nice and light, and don’t bleed through the thin Bible pages, but I use the grey color most often. Just like I use the white pen to highlight my lettering, I use the pointed end of the grey mildliner to add shadows and depth to lettering!
FREE Practice Pages & Resources
We all like free, right? Dawn Nicole is pretty much the queen of brush lettering, and she has a vast array of free practice pages available here. I utilize these a lot, and I have also learned another style of lettering from VeronicaLetters. Her youtube channel has a lot of great resources for supplies and different styles. I find her instagram of the same name especially inspiring!
Favorite Supplies for Watercolor & Illustration!
As you can imagine, there is a lot of overlap between these two categories, so feel free to mix it up and experiment when you are creating your own supply kit!
I have had this set of water brushes for years, and they are still holding up great! Since the barrel holds your water, they are super handy for traveling, but also help if you are crafting around small kids because no one can tip over your water cup!
I purchased this palette 3 years ago, and even with almost daily use, I have tons of paint left! That’s the beauty of watercolor, a little bit goes a long way. If you don’t want to purchase brushes, one does come with the set.
This is a great pocket sized sketchbook for watercolor and lettering. I used this exact one when we were in Tokyo, and I love it. The quality is excellent!
These are acrylic based paint pens, and add a richness to your illustrations. Sort of like the water brushes, I love that all your paint is held inside the pen, and I don’t need a messy palette to create great artwork! I still have yet to find the perfect paper to use with these pens, so let me know if you solve the case!
I’ll admit that I don’t use colored pencils often at all, but when I have in the past, I love the prismacolor brand! This set is under $10, so it’s a safe bet if you just want some to try out.
AKA, every artists favorite pens! Seriously, don’t share these pens with anyone. They are alcohol based, which makes them especially suited for use with watercolor, because they won’t bleed on your paper! If you’ve watched any of my youtube videos, you’ll know I always use the graphic size. I use the smaller sizes in my urban sketches. The set I linked above comes with multiple sizes, which makes it great for experimenting and learning what you like best.
Favorite Sketchbooks for all Mediums
Alright, we’re nearing the end! I linked a nice sketchbook above, but that’s the sort of “special treat” I buy myself when traveling. For everyday use and experiments, I use the paper types listed below. You can find these brands pretty much anywhere, which makes them a convenient choice.
This paper works well for everything! There’s a bit of warping with watercolor, but you can tape it down, or just ignore the warping if you don’t intend to display or gift your painting. It’s a great price, so I don’t feel bad mindlessly doodling on it!
I’ve linked to the Strathmore “Better” watercolor paper because it’s a good place to start, but if I am getting serious with an illustration, prefer this “Best” watercolor paper because it is smoother. I encourage you to try both so you can discover your preference!
This paper is fun to use because it is super smooth! It works well for Tombow’s, Microns, and Posca pens, but you cannot blend on this paper because it will not absorb any water.
Hooray, we have made it to the end! If you made it this far, you now have a pretty clear picture of what the mess of my desk contains. Seriously, I use almost all of these supplies on a daily basis, so I definitely stand behind their value and quality. It’s one of my favorite things about traditional art; it takes very little investment to get started, and you will learn a lot. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and create!