As of writing this post, this is my list of tools and supplies that I currently use.
Paper and Pads
8.5 x 11 Copy Paper – Copy Paper is totally serviceable for sketching if you don’t have or want a sketchbook. A bunch of stores with an office supply section should have 8.5 x 11 Copy Paper, otherwise that is not much of an office section. Obviously, it’s a lower quality paper, and using anything further than a pencil will cause bleeding and curling, but it’s still the best ever option for learning or practicing art ever.
Sketch Wallet – It’s a wallet…THAT CAN HOLD A SKETCHBOOK! It can fit any 3.5 x 5.5 sketch or notebook. Between this and my phone, I have so much pocket space! My only real critique is that it’s cumbersome for holding actual cash. Despite this, this wallet is a good item to have if you want to practice sketching more often. Having a sketchbook on hand at certain times can make a huge difference.
Crescent Rendr Softcover Sketchbook – I had a 5×7 and I uses 3.5 x 5.5 sketchbook in my wallet. A great thing about this sketchpad is that markers will not bleed through the paper, letting you draw and color on both sides of a page! Since this isn’t marker paper, you’ll have a smaller window of time to blend marker colors without a colorless blender. Ink also has a bit of a spread, so you need to watch out for fuzzy lines. It’s definitely a cheaper option than Moleskine sketchbooks, and with better paper in my opinion.
Art Alternatives Very Big Sketchbook – Have you ever gone through your day and thought, “Man, I would love a textbook to draw in right now.” Well this is a solution for you! This sketchbook is a whooping 12.5 x 10.5 with 300 sheets of 75lb paper! This book is CRAZY huge. Likely the last sketchbook I’ll ever need.
Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencils – I have leads in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 with various hardness of leads.
Pentel Arts Tradio Stylo Sketch Pen – It’s my personal favorite general purpose inking pen. The only downside to it is that it’s water soluble, so if you use paint with this, the lines will run. If you’re getting this, also consider getting refills with it!
Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen – When I need to do fast ink brush work with no dipping and thick and thin lines, this is the often recommended pen to use to learn how to use a brush. Don’t forget the refills!
Copic Multiliner Pens – I have them at 1.0, 0.7, 0.5, 0.3, 0.1, and a Brush pen! Just like the markers, these pens are refilable and the nibs are replaceable. Unfortunatly the 1.0 pen isn’t refillable and I use it for a thick unmissable outline! I bought my pens individually but I’ve linked a set if you want to put in the money. The brush pen is a bit stiffer than the Pocket Brush and I like it more if I’m working on something smaller.
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink -This is my more recent edition of my equipment, It’s great with using nibs as the lines will dry quickly. I also use it to cover large spots of black. It drys fast, but it doesn’t coat well on the first pass so you might need to make paint another layer make it look consistant.
Copic Neutral Gray Markers – I personally think these markers are the prefect markers to start learning how to render in marker! They might break the bank a bit, but when you’re doing fast traditional sketching, they’re worth the price!
Copic Cool Grey Markers- gray markers with cooler tint of course. These are my newest editions to my marker collection.
Black Copic Wide Marker – This is my other “inking” tool for when I want blacks but the spot is too small to break out the ink jar and brushes.
Copic Skin Tone Markers – They had the decency to put the skin tone colors in a pack to find them easily!
Copic Sketch Markers – This particular set I linked to is a decent starter pack of colors for the price. They’re are many more colors out there, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself.
Copic Colorless Blender – You can’t have Copic Markers with out a blender! Use it to have softer transitions between values or colors!
Desktop Computer – My first ever computer that I’ve built myself. I made most of my purchases from Newegg, PCPartPicker, Amazon, and a few tips from Fox-Orian’ blog. My intent for the computer was mainly a good art making computer. I do have a few emulators and some Steam games for if I get bored and unmotivated, but other than that this is an okay machine for what I want to do with it.
My spec according to my receipts and Speccy:
OS: Windows 10
CPU: Intel Core i5 4590
Ram: 16 Gigabytes
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. B85-HD3-A (SOCKET 0) 28 °C
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4600 (Gigabyte)
Storage: 250Gigabyte Solid State Drive 2Terabyte Hard Drive
Asus Republic of Gamers Laptop – My “Gaming ” Laptop. I use this a bit more often than my desktop since I’m out and about more often in my life right now. This laptop is also my option for dual monitor work.
My specs are as follows according to Speccy:
OS: Windows 7
CPU: Intel Core i7 3610QM @ 2.30GHz
Ram: 16 Gigabytes
Motherboard: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. G75VW
Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
Storage: 120 Gigabyte Solid State Drive and 1 Terabyte Hard Drive
Wacom Intuos Pro S – My current drawing tablet. It’s the smallest model of the Intuos Pro lines, so it fits my laptop bag. As a tool, I can’t trust myself to give an opinion about the Intuos Pro as I feel that it’s a new medium that I have trouble understanding and incorporating in my workflow. I can say that a pen tablet of any kind is a better option for digital painting and photo manipulation than a mouse simply for the precision and pressure sensitivity that most tablets have.
Monoprice Over Ear Headphones – I bought this fairly cheaply and they’ve lasted me very long!
General Drawing, Painting, and Editing
Manga Studio 5 Ex (Now Clip Studio Paint) – A great software for making comics and of course, Manga. Compared to other software, I enjoy it’s brush system and how well it handles inking and line art. If you have this, I also recommend purchasing Frenden’s Brushes for Manga Studio to really rock it out!
Adobe Photoshop – It’s the staple software for any professional digital artist or photo editor.
Adobe Flash – My current animation software is Flash CS5.5 but recently it’s updated to Adobe Animate. It’s my main software for making sketch frames since I can test the timing and spacing easily. These days, I don’t ink and color in Flash as I’ll export the frames as PNGs and ink them in Manga Studio or Photoshop.
Other Resources and Software
Neil Cicierega’s Work Timer [Direct Download Link]– A fascinating app written by Neil Cicierega in AutoHotkey for Windows to help productivity. When using programs that you chose for it, the app will time you as you work. If you aren’t using that program or if you stop for too long, the timer will stop until you resume again.
PurRef – A great software to organize your references! It has a function where it can stay on your screen and you can make the window transparent and lock the window so you can do drawing while still seeing it. A perfect thing for dual monitor drawing!
Foxit Pdf Reader – Sometimes references and “ill-gotten” books are in PDFs, so I use this as my PDF reader since it’s less resource intensive than Adobe’s PDF reader.
Open Broadcaster Software – A decent free program to let you livestream and record your drawing videos online!