Gouache and watercolors
For watercolors and gouache illustrations, I like using Winsor and Newton gouache and watercolors. They are rich, easy to use and reliable. I have a small travel set of Winsor and Newton watercolors and several tubes of gouache for opaque work. I use these interchangably in projects depending on what I need.
Paintbrushes I never have enough of and I like to use both ultra cheap ones from Flying Tiger or ones like these to pricier ones, such as Rembrandt by Royal Talens. I also have brushes for acrylics from van Gogh.
Paper and sketchbooks
I love love love Strathmore Mixed Media paper. I use it for almost everything art-related. I also like to mess around with cheap watercolor paper that I keep getting as birthday gifts from fam+friends, and some A5 sized ones that I get from the Flying Tiger.
I always carry a dummy sketchbook with me from Flying Tiger that is really cheap, but perfect for quick pencil sketches. It is not suitable to paint in. For that, I always use the large Strathmore ones linked above.
I have a Lenovo Yoga laptop that I use to draw on too, because it can fold into a tablet. I am over the moon about this laptop. I have a small and a big wacom that I inherited from my product design education and work experience, and the smaller one I take with me when I travel. I have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil to draw on using Procreate app.
I also have an Epson scanner which is very compact and perfect for my needs as an illustrator with limited studio space.
For cheap and cute paint blending, I recommend going to the thrift store and getting porcelain cups and plates. Porcelain is perfect for this purpose and it works just as well as buying a palette that is going to end up costing you much more. Bigger plates are also cool for bigger projects.
I like to store my art supplies in mugs that I don’t use and like to hunt for cans and tin boxes in thriftstores to put my paints in. Occasionally I will buy a pot or vase, paint it and put it on my desk. Fun stuff 🙂
I have some canvases and an easel that I all got off Marktplaats (a dutch second hand stuff platform). Painting on larger canvases is a hobby I’m playing around with and I didn’t want to break the bank, and now I was all ready to go for a mere ten euros. Good budgeting is always smart!
Old food jars I like to use to put markers and pencils in after I cleaned them. I have one jar that I use as a prompts jar, filled with pieces of paper with drawing prompts.
On my desk, I also always have a stack of sticky notes around to write down any ideas I might have. I also have a clipboard that I use for illustration at events and that keeps scraps of paper organized.
That’s pretty much it!
I have way more stuff than this lying around, but these are my go-to things. Hope this was useful for you! Quick note: I added affiliate links to this post, so if you end up purchasing one of my favourite supplies I get a small fee for referring you. In that way I get something in return for keeping this list neat and curated. I promise I will add things to this post if I end up forgetting things or if I make cool new discoveries!
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