My favorite art materials and supplies
There are a million and one products out there to choose from for art making and production, but below is a list of materials and supplies I love and use regularly!
Copic Markers are truly so dreamy. I use these to create nearly all of my illustrations. They're alcohol based and super blendable. They even sell colorless markers to aid with blending (I recommend these), as well as refill cartridges so you can replace the ink without having to purchase a whole new marker.
TIP: They are expensive, but you don't need every single color. You can create a lot of colors through laying one color on top of another. For example, I never use black I will first use "dark bark" and then put "ultramarine" blue on top of it and voila!
Here are a few of my illustrations done with copic markers!
I love these bad boys. For all of my illustrations, I will first sketch out the drawing in pencil (I prefer mechanical pencils due to the thin tip and laziness of not having to sharpen it). Once I have my final sketch, I will then ink my lines using Prismacolor Premier fine line markers. They come in packs that range from .005 to .08 tip thickness. I find myself most often drawing with the .03 thickness, but it is nice to have a small range in case you need a very tiny detail or something a little bit more prominent.
TIP: If you are using these markers to draw over pencil, wait 5 minutes after tracing with the markers before erasing your pencil lines underneath. This will give the marker time to dry and eliminate unwanted smudging.
#3: Bristol Board
I use Strathmore Bristol Board smooth surface for all of my final illustrations. Each sheet is nice and thick (100lb), giving your final drawing a professional quality. You can find Bristol Board in any local art shop.
TIP: Leave a small border when creating a final drawing. Never draw all the way to the edge because then you don't leave any margin for error or adjustment.
Truth be told, my paint box is a hot mess and I have all different brands of paint mixed in there. However, if I had to go out and buy more paint- this is what I'm buying. More specifically their Winton Oil collection. The starting consistency is thick and great and I have no complaints.
TIP: Clean the tube tops as you use them so you don't end up with a million paint tubes dried shut. Totally speaking for a friend.
A few of my oil paintings!
I have the Canon Pixma Pro 100 Inkjet printer and use this for creating all of my greeting cards and art prints. The initial printer cost and monthly ink cartridge replacements are costly, but having a printer gives me a lot of freedom and control. The quality is vibrant and crisp, and I even print my large 13x19 inch size posters using my Canon Pixma Pro.
TIP: The paper you use MATTERS! You need inkjet compatible papers and for the print settings to match the paper needs in order to get a quality print. I use Red River Paper Company for all of my paper, and would highly recommend them. They give you spending points to use as credit towards future orders, and their papers come with an instruction sheet on how to setup your print settings.
I use a scanner to transfer all of my drawings into digital files. This allows me to replicate an original design into greeting cards or prints. The Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner captures my drawings with detail, saturation, and brightness. Before I bought my scanner, I used to take photographs of my work and then create a print from the photograph file. I still use this method for creating prints of my paintings. However, for 2D drawings the scanned quality is incomparable to a photograph.
TIP: I always have my scan setting set to "magazine." I have found this setting gives me the best quality scan, and if I need to touch up the file before creating prints I use Photoshop.
#7: Adobe Creative Cloud
This doesn't quite fall under the category of materials and supplies, but I could not operate my business without Adobe Creative Cloud. I use Adobe Photoshop and Indesign from time to time, but I rely on Adobe Illustrator heavily. I use this software for formatting all of my greeting cards, imputing text into a design, adding solid color backgrounds behind my drawn artwork, etc. There are endless uses for Adobe Illustrator, and you can find courses on YouTube or www.lynda.com to explore the possibilities!
TIP: If you get an Adobe membership you gain access to their apps as well. I use the PS Express app on my iPhone to edit product photos for Etsy and social media.