Never ever let me near an art shop. I have a problem.
I covet art materials. I adore and cherish art materials. I cry and dance over colour pencils, paper, paint, brushes, little tubs full of pencil sharpeners. Ah! I love it all. Don't get me started on glitter. Really. But as I have become more settled in the work I create, the stuff I actually use day-to-day has begun to refine and I now have my favourite things that I use regularly and always replace. Skip to the bottom to get a full list of everything I use.
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For dry work such as colour pencil and graphite I use Daler Rowney or Winsor and Newton Bristol Board in sizes a3 and a4. It is a thick, smooth, white paper that takes colour pencil and graphite brilliantly.
For wet work like ink and wash, watercolour or mixed media work I use various brands of watercolour paper in either loose sheets or in watercolour blocks. The blocks from Daler Rowney (The Langton range) are great because they don't cockle as theyre already stretched but only come in a few sizes (and no big sizes here) and are much more expensive. I got a really good pack of practice watercolour paper from Ken Bromley and that's lasted me for ages and the quality is really good. Regarding smoothness and weight, I use a mixture. Sometimes Rough. Sometimes HP. Hardly NP. I like the texture in Rough but details can be lost in it. HP is great for mixing pencil and paint as its so smooth.
I also have my sketchbooks. I've used all kinds and made my own. ATM I'm enjoying Moleskine and a Damien Hirst one. I prefer them hard back.
I use Faber Castell's Polychromos as my core colour pencils but also use Prismacolor Premiere colour pencils and Prismacolor Verithins.
For graphite work i use a standard range of sketching pencils, usually grade 4H to 8B, specifically 4H, HB, 3B, 6B and 8B. I particularly like my woodless graphite pencils. They're solid graphite so you can get some lovely big marks by using them on the side. My Faber-Castell mechanical pencils are also heavily used and I always keep a stash of extra leads just in case. I also use a dark 9B Graphicube and have a few Derwent watersoluable Graphitones in 2B and 8B.
To sharpen I use and electric sharpener and to erase I use a standard eraser (I don't get on well with putty erasers as I find them messy) and eraser pencils. Another essential tool are my blending stumps and of course fixative.
I use Winsor and Newton Artist watercolour tubes, Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolour cakes and Caran Dache Gouache paint. For neons I used Turners acrylic gouache.
I use masking fluid every now and then and replace it regularly as it can go off. Other handy tools to have are sponges,, salt/gin for other cool effects, and Pentel water brushes for painting on the go. I also use glitter/rhinestones sometimes. I apply this with standard PVA white glue. Anything suited for paper.
My brushes tend to be large synthetic ones for getting big washes down and then natural smaller brushes for adding detail. I swear by busted up, glued up, dried out, nasty old paint brushes for getting texture down. I have several in various sizes. I also use a dropper for adding splats of paint, water, watercolour iridescent medium etc...
I use Faber Castell Pitt Pens in various shades and sizes. I love the drawing pack and the grey tones pack. They're waterproof so you can mix them with watercolour washes and they won't bleed. I use Uni-ball Signo pens for white details
Standard office highlighters are great fun and you can also get some washes out of them if you want a cheap neon paint. They work fine with Pitt pens and pencil too. Or you could try neon highlighter pencils.
Other miscellaneous items include my drawing board, vintage paper ephemera like sheet music and postcards, and paper doilies which can be found on eBay, baking sections and charity shops. I collect them when I find them as they can be quite tricky to get hold of and you might not come across that style again.
Here's a full list of everything I've mentioned with links to where you can purchase your own right now. Enjoy!
60 Faber-Castell Polychromos Set
12 Faber-Castell Polychromos Set
24 Faber-Castell Polychromos Set
36 Faber-Castell Polychromos Set
Prismacolor Premier Pencils
Prismacolor Verithin Pencils
A4 Winsor and Newton Bristol Board
A3 Winsor and Newton Bristol Board
A4 Daler Rowney Bristol Board
A3 Daler Rowney Bristol Board
Daler Rowney Langton Watercolour paper blocks ROUGH
Daler Rowney Langton Watercolour paper blocks HP
Ken Bromley Practice Watercolour paper pack
KOH-I-NOOR Woodless Graphite Pencils
Faber Castell Mechanical Pencil set
Derwent Graphite Stick
Derwent Graphitone Pencils
Faber Castell Eraser Pencils
Derwent Eraser Pencil with brush
Royal Langnickel Blending Stumps
Derwent Battery Pencil Sharpener
Winsor and Newton Fixative
Winsor and Newton Artists Watercolour set
Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolour set
Caran DAche Gouache set
Turner Arcylic Gouache (rose pink)
Daler Rowney Masking Fluid
ProArte paint brushes
Pentel Aquash Waterbrush
Faber Castell Pitt Pens
Uni-ball Signo white pen
Deleter white ink
Stabilo highlighter pens
Stabilo highlighter pencils