A listing of the things I use. (UPDATED Sep 2019)
– Hardware –
Pencils: My favorite sketching and doodling tool is my rOtring 800 mechanical pencil, which has the feature to retract the lead sleeve that the 600 does not (bend that tip once and the price difference is immediately worth it). I use either the blue or red .5mm lead from Pentel for my doodles. It gives me the fine precision of a mechanical pencil, while still being easy colors to separate from my inks in the computer. I have some Col-erase pencils too, if I’m doing something where I want the final product to be the original paper.
Pens: After trying several different types and brands over the year, I finally settled on the Sakura Pigma Micron pens. They are the perfect compliment of quality ink in varying thicknesses for most things I would doodle. I usually use the 01 and 08 sizes, though I have a couple 005’s for finer details, and I attempt to use their brush pen on occasion. I also use the Pentel pocket brush pen, which is my favorite of many brush pens I’ve tried.
Paper: I have also found a favorite sketchbook in the Canson Universal 5.5 x 8.5 sketch pad. It’s the perfect size to easily slide into any bag I’m taking with me, and the paper holds up to everything I throw at it.
Drawing Tablet: I was fortunate enough to save up and get myself a new tablet right after the first year. I ended up getting a Wacom Intuos4 Large and I absolutely love it. The difference between it and my previous tablet are like day and night. I decided to go with the Large because of the size instead of the Wireless medium that had just come out.
In 2016 I bought a refurbished Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to be able to draw directly on a tablet. This is like my poor man’s iPad or Wacom Cintiq. We’ve had a few bumps over the years with driver updates, but for the most part I am very happy with it. I only use it for drawing so it hasn’t started the normal Windows slow-to-a-crawl yet… I purchased the Surface 4 pen when I got it and have this selection of accessories that I lug around almost everywhere.
Drafting Table: My dad was nice enough to let me have his 1968 Hamilton drafting table that he’s had since the 70’s. I spent a lot of hours drawing at that thing when I was a kid, and I’m going to love to be able to share that with my boys. Maybe one of them will want it in 30-40 years (though I can’t promise I’ll want to give it up).
Silhouette Cameo cutter: I decided to purchase an computer controlled cutter to same myself the time of manually cutting all my paper designs. I decided on the Cameo because of it’s entry level price, but mostly because it supports custom made designs unlike a Cri-Cut. 100% of the things I cut are custom made.
– Software –
Krita (krita.org): I started using Krita in 2015 as a great intermediary program between Mypaint and The GimP. It allows you to do the same fluid drawing I enjoy in MyPaint, but then offers many advanced tools like blurring and transforming that I used to only do with The GimP.
The GimP (www.gimp.org): I’ve been a happy Gimp user since the late 90’s, before I could even find a Windows port of it. Buy far, my favorite image editor, and absolutely free! I’m sort of an anti-photoshop zealot.
Inkscape (www.inkscape.org): I’ve only been using Inkscape since 2008, and it is an awesome vector graphics tool. Plus free! It’s my go-to-tool where geometry and symmetry matter.
Mypaint (mypaint.intilinux.com): I really like to use MyPaint whenever I’m sketching or drawing from scratch on the computer. It’s much more fluid then the GimP.
Ubuntu Linux (www.ubuntu.com): I decided to build a PC just for my art stuff so I loaded up Ubuntu on a spare PC I had, and hooked it to my office flat screen for a monitor. Drawing on that screen with my Intuos4 tablet is great and the Gimp seems to run much better in it’s native OS.