Are you curious about what tools others artists use? I am too and because some people ask me sometimes what tools I use, I’ll describe them and why I use them.
For sketches and works in graphite.
I always use a 4H graphite pencil when I work in my sketchbook. It is lighter and doesn’t leave a mark when I erase it. Very useful when I draw a final sketch, a bit less when I have to scan it…
3 types of erasers
– a mechanical eraser, very thin and so so helpful to erase details, I use it all the time!
– regular eraser
– kneadable eraser, useful to catch graphite dust
Mechanical pencils from Alvin Draft Matic, 0.3mm – 0,5 mm – 0,7 mm all HB
I use them for my works in graphite and the 0,3mm is so great for tiny details! I sometimes add a 6B for the darker part but they seems to not blend perfectly together. For the lighter part, I have a 8H.
Some tortillions for the gradient, a pencil extender and a good sharpener.
For the study in colors.
Small brush and acrylic gold for the border I add sometimes in my study
Same 3 erasers, the kneadable one so helpful to catch the color dust so I don’t stain the paper
I use a sharpener from Faber and Castell, This is the only one I found which sharpen the pencil very pointy.
For the colored pencils, I buy from Faber Castell and Prismacolors. These are my favorite brands, they go well together and Prismacolor have a range of light colors that I really love. Also a blender pencil frome Derwent, very useful to blend many colors.
I usually start my colored drawings with a base of markers from Promarker and Touch. And some Sharpie or Staedtler for the black parts and a 0.1mm pen for details.
But for good results with these tools, you need good papers and not every kind or brand will work well.
The papers for drawings and studies
Fabriano pad : Super smooth, heavy and very white. Perfect for work in graphite.
Ingres pad: comes in various colors, they are made for pastel but I use them for drawing in colors. The colors looks very bright on it.
Canson pad: this is the paper I use most of the time. They are made for pastel and the colors are very bright on it. You can add lighter colors and they really show up instead of others papers. They come in many colors and have a beautiful range of pastel shades.
Kraft paper sketchbook: colors look great on it but the paper fibers are more fragile, tends to break if you erase too much.
Toned grey skectbook: like the kraft paper sketcbook but in grey, the paper is a bit stronger.
Yupo paper: this one is very new for me. It is incredibly smooth, it’s like drawing on butter! And if you buy the translucent one, you can draw on both side. This a paper made in plastic so you can put everything you want on it. But colors will appear more lighter and I’m not a fan of how markers looks on it. I would suggest to work in graphite on top and add colors in the back for better results.
Transparent Vellum : If you like the translucent propriety from Yupo but want a bit more grip , I would suggest this. You can use it almost like the Yupo paper. But notice the paper tend to curl a bit and will need to be framed.
For the painting
Some of my favorite brushes, I don’t have a specific brand. I use anything for now and I wouldn’t make any recommendations since I’m still kind of new to acrylics.
I always kinda hated acrylics but since I’ve tried hi-flow acrylics from Golden, I love it! They are fluid like inks but high in pigments.
For the gold borders, I use fluid acrylics. They are just a bit more thick and gold is more opaque than its version in hi-flow.
I use mini bottles for some mixes of colors I do. And tooth picks to mix them.
Some soft body acrylics from Liquitex, I got them since a long time. I use it only to paint the side of my wood panel.
Gesso from Liquitex. Very opaque. I use it in my mixes to make it more opaque but also to recover old ugly paintings I can reuse.
Airbrush medium, very useful to thin your paint or for making some wash layers.
Acrylic retarder, when I want to keep my mix wet for a longer time. Don’t put to much of it, it could thin your colors.
And finally varnish and a sponge brush for the application. The result is more even than using a square hair brush. Just don’t forget to trim the border with scissors to have a smooth finish!
These are the tools I use most of the time. What are your favorite brand/tool?