Tools of the Trade

Recently I did a post which showed how I ink a sketch.   I was asked by a couple of people after that what kind of pens etc. I use so I thought I would give you a quick tour of my desk


I use a range of paper and card, usually ranging in size from A6 to A3.  I like to use standard sizes so that when people buy them they can easily buy frames.   But whatever paper I use, it always starts with a box.


I used to use lots of different types of pencils, but now I stick with mechanical pencils.  You don’t have to sharpen them constantly, and they are always sharp.  They are also super cheap, and always easy to get hold of.

In some of my drawings you will notice I have experimented with highlighting.  For this I use a Derwent pencil in China White.  This one I picked up from the pencil museum in Keswick, but you can buy them from almost any art shop.


I have used a range of fine liners over the last couple of months of various different qualities.  I haven’t yet become brand loyal, but I like to use something with a nip size of 0.3 – 0.5  At the moment I am using Sharpie fine liners because you can use them on a range of different paper and they are unlikely to bleed.  Another preferred pen is is the hi-tech V5’s and V3’s.  They are more enjoyable to use, but you need a good quality paper.

I also like the Stabilo fine liners, as they draw so smoothly, and have recently picked up a lovely grey.  The only problem with these ones is that the coverage isn’t very even, so you have to be very controlled to get consistent line work.

And finally, for anything that required blocks of black I use a Lamy fountain pen, so that no matter how much ink I need, I know I can get the same coverage every time.  Lamy do a range of different pens, some of which can be quite expensive.  My white one was less than £20 however and is really enjoyable to hold.  I have also noticed my hand is much less likely to cramp thanks to the design.

So that’s pretty much it, I hope that answers some of your questions.  Most of what you see on this blog is created with just those things.  it doesn’t take a lot of money to get started, and really what I have found over the years is that while it’s nice to have a really good pen, even a cheap biro can produce amazing results.  What I would say is that if you want to focus on quality then make sure you start with good paper.  the best inks and pencils in the world will only really look good if you are using the right paper.