A listing of the things I use.
– Hardware –
Pencils: My favorite pencil is the STAEDTLER Mars Micro mechanical pencils (with spring cushioned lead sleeve). I usually 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 still love my old favorite, the Pentel R204, but it’s not as reliable and is hard to find.
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.
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 –
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! Unless some crazy lighting flare is needed, almost all the graphics I color on the computer I do in Inkscape.
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.
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.
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.