Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Art Stuff.

A few people have asked me what materials I use, so I thought I'd give you a quick rundown.

  • Hand Book Journal — I've started a lot of sketchbooks, everything from inexpensive wire-bound books to moleskines, and this is my favorite. I like the 5.5" x 8.25" large portrait size. The paper can handle ink, pencil, colored pencil, markers and light applications of watercolor. If you're more heavy-handed with the watercolors like I am, there is also a line of watercolor journals.
  • Pelican Opaque Watercolors — this is the set I use most days now. I like the bold, bright colors and they work well over the ink-stained backgrounds I do. I also have a Yarka watercolor set, a Van Gogh travel watercolor set, Derwent watercolor pencils and Derwent Aquatone pencils.
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens — I use the brush, fine and superfine tips. They are made with indian ink, so they are waterproof and fade-resistant. I can put watercolors over them without having them bleed and I can draw over colored pencil or paint with them.
  • Pigma Micron Pens — I use these for the fine shadow lines in my flowers. I use the 01 and 005 tips.
  • White China Marker, White Prismacolor Pencil and White Gouache — I use these to create highlights.
  • Niji and Pentel Waterbrushes — I used to hate watercolor before I found these brushes and now I use them exclusively. The handle is actually a water reservoir, so you don't have to keep dipping your brush in water. To clean them, you just squeeze out a bit of water and wipe them on a towel.
  • Ink It Up Pre-inked Stamp Pads – I use these to create the backgrounds on my pages. I smear them around on the page, one or two or more colors, until I get an effect I like.
  • Prismacolor Colored Pencils — My all-time favorite medium. It's a bit time-consuming, so I don't use them as often as I'd like. Sometimes I'll add watercolor to a drawing first and then build up the color and details with colored pencils, which goes a little faster.
If I'm not drawing in my sketchbook, I like to use Strathmore Watercolor Postcards and Watercolor Greeting Cards. They are both made with 140 lb. acid free watercolor paper, sized at 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" respectively. The paper has a nice tooth to it and it's already trimmed, which saves my lazy self some time.

I think that about covers it for my daily supplies. Most of them can be found at your local art or craft store and they are all fairly inexpensive. The journals are perhaps the hardest to find, but Dick Blick carries them if you can't find them someplace else.

Now go make something!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Karen. It is always interesting to learn about other people's work methods - like the idea of using stamp pads as background.

  2. Thanks for sharing your stash, karen - I always enjoy that. I love Faber- Castell Pitt pens - especially the sepia colour of which I have a set of 4 in different sizes. I've found that if you squiggle the brush tip one onto something like a plastic lid you can then lift the colour with a waterbrush for a quick wash.

  3. I always appreciate when you give me a "cookbook" lesson. You know I love your work and I'm always interested in how you do things. Be glad I don't live close - I'd be camped out at your doorstep asking for art lessons!


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