If there’s one thing Sketchbook Skool students love besides drawing, it’s art supplies! For first-time sketchers, the possibilities can seem endless and a bit overwhelming. Students often ask what to buy before even starting a course at Sketchbook Skool and we hesitate to assign a shopping list right away. Mainly because we want students to experiment and find what works best for them. While there’s no set list of supplies that will be the best for every student, we asked our students what tools they use the most and these were some of their favorites:

  1. Water Brush Pen. These are great for watercolor and ink on-the-go and you can cap and store them when you’re done! Pentel or Niji are common brands and are relatively inexpensive.
  2. Bic Ballpoint Pens. You read right! Those cheap plastic pens you can find in the junk drawer or at the drugstore are a favorite, especially among fans of Sketchbook Skool fakulty member Andrea Joseph. Take a look at some of her drawings here and you will see Bic pens in a whole new way!
  3. LAMY Safari Pen. This pen costs more than your box of standard ballpoint pens but is a favorite among students and well worth the money. You can experiment with different nibs and inks and it serves as a reliable and sturdy everyday pen.
  4. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. These pens come in a variety of colors and tip types and won’t break the bank so you can experiment with different kinds. They are also great for sketching on-the-go as they don’t require any water or extra brushes!
  5. Derwent Inktense Pencils (or blocks/sticks). According to a Sketchbook Skool student, these pencils produce colors that are quite “juicy!” They are easy to blend and can be used dry or with a wash making them versatile for an array of drawing styles.

Now that you know what our students are using, let this list simply serve as a jumping off point for your own exploration of materials and supplies. It is good to have a few references but as Koosje Koene says in her video about art supplies, “it’s not the brand that makes the art, but the artist, and that’s you!”

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