Artist Picks: Art Supplies & Technology We Can’t Live Without

Artist Picks: Art Supplies & Technology We Can’t Live Without


This is a new post series we’re trying where we ask artists from our community which art supplies/technology/apps/etc. are their favorites. The other day I sent out a few quick questions asking what supplies people use and picked some of them to feature here. Read on, get inspired to create!

Drawing Pens

suggested by Chris (Me)

I LOVE THESE. If you follow our sister site, Nonsense Thoughts, you might see these pens hanging around in some of the pictures. I use them constantly along with pencils and charcoal. I love the thick and bold strokes they make. They aren’t like regular pens that take some effort to write with, these leave smooth strokes with any amount of pressure. They feel amazing. Additionally, they come in various writing widths which help a lot. I’ve seen many artists use these to create bold, dark drawings and swear by using them. I definitely can’t get enough of these and have tried many brands which are all awesome. Artline pens are my favorite though.

Art Markers

suggested by Chris (Me)

I also like Prismacolor Art Markers when I want to draw even thicker strokes that feel more like watercolor paint. They come in various colors. However, I like to use subtle hues to give midtones and light shadows to my work. Sometimes I will add a very light grey marker stroke to my ink work to give it extra depth.

Wacom Capture Tablet

suggested by AshleyRose

AshleyRose, of My Year of Star Trek and other awesome art projects, told me about some of her favorite tools for creating her unique illustrations. At the top of the list was her Wacom tablet. Tablets are incredible tools for drawing directly into your favorite computer program. More and more artists are going digital these days, so investing and learning how to use a tablet is definitely a good idea. The possibilities with a tablet are extraordinary. You can draw in super high definition, use a variety of stroke styles, and choose any color in seconds. You can also utilize layers and effects (like overlays, etc) to take your illustrations to a new level. AshleyRose currently uses a Wacom Capture Bamboo but would like to move up to a Wacom Create or a Cintiq in the future.

Watercolor Pencils

suggested by AshleyRose

AshleyRose also suggested Durwent Watercolor Pencils, which she often uses to create her unforgettably soft and beautiful illustrations. They provide the color and feel of a watercolor painting, but are so much easier to use and sharper! AshleyRose says they’re also great for travel. After you buy these, you’ll have no excuse not to create art wherever you are in the world.

AshleyRose also uses regular watercolor paints and suggests Reeves tubes.

11.7-inch x 16.5-inch Color Scanner

suggested by Charity Royall

Our friend Charity is a comic artist who swears by her 11.7 x 16.5 inch scanner. After hearing about it, I really want one. As artists, unless you’re a photographer, filmmaker, or digital illustrator, we always want super-high quality versions of our artwork online to share and promote. A large, color scanner is the perfect tool to do this. You can set it up in your home studio or office and immediately transfer your work on paper to the computer screen. Charity suggests a Mustek A3 1200S High Speed A3 Large Format 11.7-inch x 16.5-inch Color Scanner.

Canon 5D Mark II

suggested by Thomas Cole Simmonds

Our friend Thomas Cole Simmonds (a super talented fashion photographer from the UK) sent us his #1 tool of the trade, a Canon 5D Mark II. He also suggests getting both 85mm/50mm Lenses. The Canon 5D and lenses, along with the help of Photoshop (Camera RAW), have been very helpful in his photography business. If you haven’t checked out Tom’s work before, please do. It’s great. He also mentioned the Canon A-1 and Bronica ET-Si as alternative favorites.

Not for you?

Maybe use stuff you find in your cupboard. Check out Carne Griffiths’ creative work using tea, ink, graphite, vodka, whiskey, and more: