A peek into the world behind the art… supplies!

Voilà– my current favorite art supplies for drawing and watercolor painting.


Inspired by a trip to the art supply store this afternoon, I thought that today would be the perfect time to share my favorites with you.  I’m not yet a loyal brand fan for every tool that I use, but a few things have been in the pencil case for years. Starting with the items below:




I had a fabulous high school art teacher who introduced us all to these Paper Mate Sharpwriter #2 pencils.  They have the perfect smooth lead– not too dark, but still quite soft, and they’re always sharp!  Which is good for me.  Because I am really, really bad at sharpening pencils– my regular pencils are always nubby and dull.


Later in college, I started using the Staedtler black pens for drawing and they have become indispensable.  My two favorite sizes are 0.1 and 0.3.  These are what I use for outlining and sketchy drawing in all of my watercolor works.


Next up: the sketchbook.  I have tried many sketchbooks over the years, and find that my preferences vary with my intended use– that is, sometimes I like Moleskin for a specific size or paper quality, or other times a spiral bound book is preferable.  Right now, my favorite all-purpose notebook is this 8″x8″ square book by Hahnemühle.  I love the quality of the paper– thick enough to hold a small bit of water, but not so thick that it feels too precious to use. The size is perfect for me, too, as it can still easily fit into my smaller handbags, but it’s not so small that the pages fill up too quickly.





I’m still learning about all the watercolor paper options out there in the world, but Arches makes some gorgeous paper that soaks up watercolor beautifully, and allows you to continue layering lots of color.  This is my favorite texture and size right now (Cold Pressed, size 7″x10″).




Aaaah, the watercolor palette.  This is my first set of real, fancy watercolors.  I went with Winsor & Newton, and for the most part, they’re great.  I found that one color (Prussian Blue) is a bit too hard to get started with a soft brush and I really have to scrub to get it going.  Besides that, I am pleased with the quality.  I would like to do more experimenting with tubes of color that I have laying around to see if I can get comfortable with using liquid watercolor paint as well.


My watercolor brush is also the first fancy brush in my collection, and I use it for all of my watercolors and love it!  It’s a #6 from Raphaël (Martre Kolinsky).




There is an embarrassment of choice at the supply store near my home, and every time I go I always find new things that I’d like try.  Today I picked up an assortment of different papers (colors, textures, materials – bamboo!) and they’ve been calling to me ever since I got back home.  Off to do some paper-testing now!






Questions? Comments?  I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below or send me a message via the contact form.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *