Buying the right art supplies for rendering can be confusing and expensive if you don’t know what you’re buying. I have tried many types of paper, pencils, pens, tapes, markers, rulers, and more trying to find the ones I like, and just when I think I have found them, I end up not liking them. In this process, I have found the best 4 renderings supplies that I use in my drawings and decided to share them with you to help you save money and time.
Paper is the king of your renderings. Without the right paper, your work will never look professional unless you purchase a good quality paper. I look at the paper as an investment so everytime I go to an art store I buy a different kind and brand. I have tested many and finally found my favorite Canson Pro Marker Layout Paper. This paper is bleed-proof and allows the marker to be applied consistently and even. I am always on the search for new paper but for the time being, this one is my favorite by far.
With the right paper, you must have the right markers. Let me tell you, I have been through SO MANY MARKERS before switching to Copic Sketch Markers that I probably have every color in every brand! In college, I used Prismacolor chisel tip markers but since then I have swapped to Copic. Why the switch? Copic Sketch Markers produce a color like no other. They also have more than 300 colors in the collection meaning you can virtually find any color you need. Copic’s are refillable, and the nibs are interchangeable therefore making them the BEST investment you can buy. I have learned to blend my Copic markers to make different colors without buying all 300 + markers which are a HUGE saving for me. If you’re looking to start your collection of Copic’s I suggest you start with your gray colors such as cool gray, warm gray, neutral gray, and toner gray along with black and a colorless blender. I also don’t buy every marker in the blending color and skip a few, for example, Cool Gray 1, Cool Gray 3, Cool Gray 5, Cool Gray 7. To keep my collection growing, I buy 10-20 markers a month and I order them from Blick Arts for the low price of $5.24 each.
3. Inking Pens
I use inking pens to outline my drawings before I render them. I also use them to add details like wood grain on a table or additional lines that don’t need to be added before color. It’s good to have several different sizes so you can produce different line weights. I used ZIG pens and Micron pens in college and used them until they wore out. They are a cheap investment and will get you started but I prefer the Copic Multiliners SP (of course). Copic just came out with these multiliner pens not too long ago however they are kinda pricey for a pen so I held off buying them until just recently. They will set you back about $75 for a set of 10…Ouch!I can’t complain because they make my work look great so think of it as an investment.
4. Mechanical Pencil
This is the last on my list but a must! Every designer of any type should own one (or three like me) of these mechanical pencils. I purchased one and liked it so much I had to buy the other two sizes so I could achieve different line weights. Plus these pencils will be worth some money one day so you better get you some before they are sold out. They are a perfect weight and fit nicely in your hand allowing for smooth drawing and sketching. Lead types are interchangeable as well as the erasers. The pencils come in matte black, and silver.
I wrote this blog post because I’ve had a lot of people asking me what type of supplies I use so I decided to share with you my treasures and what works for me. I would love to hear your feedback on them or hear about other supplies that you like.
Also, I’ve had a lot of people asking for online private hand rendering classes. If you are interested please comment or contact me as I am planning on starting an online class with all of my rendering techniques included. I will post the updates on my Instagram page here.