Anyone who has seen my collection of novelty pencil sharpeners (this one is a particular favourite) can probably attest that I love stationery and art materials... It sometimes feels like a bit of a contradiction when I create most of my client work digitally, but I use a sketchbook and 'analog' materials for drawing when I'm out and about, as I love drawing from life. I also enjoy trying out new materials and finding out what products other illustrators and artists recommend (if you're into that kind of thing Illustrator Kendyll Hillegas has a very thorough materials/equipment list which worth a look.)
Today I'm sharing some of the materials I carry with me when I'm not at the studio and how I use them. I also share my sketchbook work on my Instagram stories if you want to take a look.
I know some illustrators use sketchbooks for roughs but I primarily use mine for sketching and drawing when outside the studio. When I develop roughs for client work, I find printer paper or layout paper work better for me as I work my way through sheets quite quickly. (Using loose sheets also means I can spread out and view several sketches at once, and I find them easier to scan!)
Another student recommended Moleskine in my first week of university. I find the paper quality to be great, it's smooth and the absorbency can handle light water based mediums. The thing I like most about them though is the binding - the round corners and elastic closure means it's protected in my very disorganised bag!
As I work on the computer most of the time, I like to use a brush pen in my sketch book as the inconsistant line and looser marks create a completely different feel to the work I usually make.
This ink in this pen is highly pigmented and water resistant once dry so you can use wet media over it. The Pentel pen I buy comes with four cartridges. Replacement cartridges are available separately, but I find by the time I have worked my way through four it's time to replace the pen - they last ages, I have only repurchased twice since I started using it.
I’ve used Tombow pens for a while after discovering they are water soluble - using water over the ink means they blend to create an inky/watercolour effect. For me they are a versatile alternative to traveling with a set of watercolour pans.
These pens come in a large colour range and have both a brush and fine tip. They are available in sets but I like to buy them separately and choose my own colour palette as I go. I often pair them with the Pentel Aqua brush - a paintbrush with a built in water cartridge - more travel-friendly than a jar of water/brush combination! I've tired other brands of aqua brush but I find the Pentel has most consistency in the water flow, and the bristles maintain their shape well. I use the medium size.
This Paperthinks pencil case (actually listed as a 'long pouch') is just the right size that I can't over fill it (which I know I would do if it was bigger!) while again being sturdy enough to withstand the environment of my bag.
Paperthinks products are available in a range of colours and are manufactured in an environmentally friendly way, using recycled leather made from offcuts and trimmings from the leather industry. You can read more about their story here
I'd love to know in the comments if there are any materials you think are worth trying!
ps. I've included some links to places you can buy some of these products but this post is not sponsored or affiliated, these are just my personal recommendations!