I'll admit it! I have a lot in my pencil case. But I swear, they all serve a purpose. And I want to share them because I think I found a really good balance of tools to have when I'm on the go.
Maybe this will help other wandering artists too?
I really only ever need 2 pencils; one pencil with hard led, one with soft led.
The hard led pencil (2H) has been my go-to for almost everything. This is because I usually draw with pencil before I ink my work or I will erase my lines all together and having lighter lines helps with this a lot.
Then there are the cases when I want a heavier darker pencil line, which is why I like woodless graphite pencils. SOOO much more led real-estate! This one is a 2B.
My Pentel Clic Eraser is the only way to erase. It's clean, precise and feels easy and natural to use. I've been a fan of this guy since middle school.
I only ever need this guy. It writes like a frickin' dream!
I like to have three liner pens on hand, each with different size (thickness) of nib. This can help with creating depth easily in a drawing.
My Micron black pen is my most used liner pen. It doesn't bleed at all, drys very fast and the line is consistant. Bonus points: it's soooo inexpensive!
My Copic Multiliner, which has a little bit thicker of a nib (0.3), is also a very solid pen. It gets points for having sexy packaging. It feels nice in the hand and makes for a great line. The only thing is that you are paying a little more because of the packaging, and the brand name, to be honest.
The Faber-Castell PITT pen I have has a thicker nib, I'd estimate at a 0.7 but they don't number the nibs like other companies do so that's just a guess. Any who, this one is good too. I believe it sits in the middle of the road between the Micron and Copic, price wise.
Duo markers are pretty excellent because they have a bullet point AND a brush point. It's like a one stop shop! The are a bit long in body, but whatever!
The Pentel duo brush marker is my favorite. I have spoken about this pen before (both pens actually!) and since then, I have just been more in love with the Pentel brush. It's expensive (in the pen world) but I can't imagine my pencil case without it. To be honest, if I could only have five items with me, this would be one of them.
The Tombow duo brush marker is great, but be warned! Please only use it on ultra smooth paper, like that from Rhodia. If you use this pen on sketch paper, drawing paper or any other paper with more texture, the fibers of the paper will eat away at the tip of the marker pen causing it to fray. It took me a lot of pens to learn that lesson. Luckily, they only cost $2.50.
Brush markers are so fun, satisfying and frustrating to use. Frustrating, because they take a lot of practice and each marker takes time to adjust to. Satisfying because when you get in the groove it's amazing and fun because, markers (!!!!!!) They come in all nib sizes and I like to keep a variety with me. With all of these markers, use ultra smooth paper, like bristol or anything that Rhodia makes, this is because more textured papers ruin the tip of the markers over time. These markers can last a long time if you use the right paper.
Pigma Sakura Bold and Medium brush markers are really great. I got them as part of a set, pretty inexpensively too. The bold is even larger than the Tombow, which I didn't know was possible. The medium is about the same size as the Tombow but the stance of pen is smaller so I think it's easier to use.
The Faber-Castell brush is a nice smaller size and still is veeeeery flexible.
The Pentel brush sign pen is excellent for small work. I tend to draw and letter on the small side so this has been very useful. It writes very well, but it also requires a light hand, which has been an adjustment from pressing more forcefully with other markers on my down stroke. Also, the packaging is sparkly, which I loooove.
Everything fits very well in my case, with room to spare. I like it because it's a little bit of everything and having this collection with me makes me feel prepared for whatever I want to work on.
Do you have any go-to pencil case essentials? I keep thinking about getting a drafting pencil, but I don't know if I really need one…
Do you have a favorite pencil case? Mine is a very un-sexy case I got as part of an 'artist starter set' when I was in college just before my intro art classes. I suppose it has good memories attached to it, but yeah, if you have any suggestions for a formidable replacement, let me know! I'm casually looking :)
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a rockin' day!