Saturday, 16 May 2015

My favourite drawing materials

Recently I came across Annie's blog and it's certainly been inspiring me. In March Annie posted about her favourite illustration materials in the form of a video so I thought why not share my own favourites! I don't know if it will help but I had fun writing it, it might steer you towards some new arty supplies you never would have thought about using or get you in the mood to be a little creative! :) 

These two are linked together because I looove the contrast between them. Usually when I draw with ink (sometimes with a paintbrush, sometimes with a stick, depending on the marks) I have to work back into it with graphite. The ink is so messy and free, I love the little splashes and mistakes that derive from ink.
Graphite can be used either softly or harshly and creates a number of textures. I'm not fussy with what brands I buy for either of these- Ink can be quite expensive however I find that the cheaper brands work just as good as the expensive ones so buy whichever you can afford and the same goes for graphite really.

Pencils are too soft and light for me so I tend to stay away from them. I favour materials which are more permanent because then the marks are a lot more expressive instead of them being kept comfortable and rigid- don't be scared to make mistakes! It's all part of the process. Fineliners are a good start because they're available in lots of different sizes; you can go for a large broader pen or a teeny tiny one which is great for very detailed drawings. I don't have any preference when it comes to which fine liners I buy.
Posca paint pens are lovely water-based markers which are amazing for adding bold colours; because they are 'paint pens' they are very highly pigmented so you can use them over any surface. They also come in a range of sizes and I personally find the white is great for adding detail back in to my drawings!
Posca pens can be used over any surface and leave a bright, solid colour- need to be left to dry for a few minutes after using
Promarkers are a more watery pen which are great for including hints of colour; for instance I used to use these a lot in my simple fashion illustrations. They are double sided with a thick and thin nib and come in a range of shades from pastels to brights. These aren't my go to materials although I still like to have some lying around in case I need to quickly liven up any sketches.
Promarkers are a little more washed out and great for blending colours
(And glue.) I do purposely include these materials in my drawings sometimes but they are also my life savers because they can cover any mistakes. If something goes wrong I can apply a strip of paper over it or just mark it off with a piece of masking tape and draw back into it- adds texture, and looks like it was meant to be. Masking tape and brown paper however may not be loved by everybody (my tutor hates it!) Also, if you find giant pieces of white paper or blank pages in sketchbooks intimidating to draw on you can always collage some grounds before drawing- this helped me a lot during my Art Foundation.
Collaging pages up before I draw on them already gives me something to work with so it's not just a blank page
These are just materials I love to use and there is definitely no right or wrong way to draw or make art. Don't just take my word for it- I might like using ink, but you might find it too messy and annoying. Try out lots of different things to see what you're comfortable working with! Personal art styles flourish over time and It takes a lot of trial and error to find out what works best for you.  (Also, all opinions here are my own- I'm not a professional art advice giver (?) just an experienced design student sharing materials I have grown to love over the years.)


  1. I love pro markers and ink and all of this. I agree with you with the enjoyment of making mistakes and pieces that don't look so 'polished'.
    Also, love the part re-design you've done :)

    1. Thanks for the comment Erin! Yeah it's my favourite way of working, I could never be neat though haha.

  2. Such a nice post! We are art students so always love exploring using different mediums - obsessed with fineliner!
    Feel free to check out our newest post x

  3. Gorgeous work! I'm trying to get back into art and still trying out different materials. Lovely blog. x

    1. Thanks Stephanie! The best thing is to just play around with a bit of everything. x

  4. gawd, i was eating up every single one of these photos. i can barely doodle stick figures on napkins, so seeing your work (and the intimidating looking materials behind it) was super fascinating to see. I LOVE your style- and all those popsicle colored colors make me happy. This was really cool to read about :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    1. Aww wow thanks Marlen! I admit I was a little intimidated at first when trying them out haha. xx

  5. love this, fineliners are EVERYTHING x

  6. Love this post-- I may have to steal this post idea! I just ran across your blog while browsing the 'art' category on bloglovin' and I love it! I rarely use paint pens or markers but you make me want to try them out again!

    x Haley // my blog

    1. Oh go for it- i'd love to read it and thankyou Haley, that's good to hear!



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