So hey, funkicarus
did a post on the art supplies they use
, and turned it into a little meme. So I'm going to ramble about what kind of art stuff I prefer to use.Paper
I will really use just about any paper. I'm really not picky. Most of my drawings are done on normal white printer paper, mainly because it's pretty cheap, I have easy access to it, and since it's 8.5x11 in., I can put a stack in my messenger bag easily and it won't weigh my bag down. It's also small enough that it can fit on a standard size scanner. However, it's not very good to use if you're working with watercolor, because the colors bleed and the paper warps. I still haven't found something that I like for watercolor - I've tried card stock and custom-made heavier papers, and while the paint will look good, inking tends to come out really bad.
I've used sketchbooks before, but tend to not be too comfortable with them. I prefer the spiral-bound books, but will look for the top-bound type instead of side-bound, because then I can turn the page sideways easier. My main problem with sketchbooks is that they don't always fit on my scanner, and when they do, that huge stack of paper plus the binding makes it so the top of the scanner can't lay flat, and it allows outside light in, and that can mess up your scanning. I hate book-style bound sketchbooks because if the drawing is near the side of the page, you'll get a shadow because you can't move the page before it out of the way.
For canvas for my acrylic, I've been using pre-stretched and treated canvas - I'm not sure about all art stores, but the one I went to in CO sold these in various sizes, which were really nice because I didn't have to do any work. I've never stretched my own canvas and am kind of worried that if I did, I'd mess it up.Pencils and Pens
For pencils, I use .07 mechanical pencils. Brand doesn't really matter, but I do tend to like ones that come with a soft grip, and nice erasers. I tend not to use the erasers on mechanical pencils too much, but use them every once in a while. However, I usually tend to use click erasers - y'know, the ones that are a stick, and that everyone always jokes reminds them of a penis - for working with penciling, because they're smallish, and I have plenty of control over them. I don't like using larger erasers for pencil work, because I almost always wind up erasing more then I wanted to. However, I do use larger erasers for erasing linework after inking - for that, I favor a latex-free Staedler eraser - it's very smooth and doesn't take much work to erase lines, even heavy ones, so there's less of a chance of rubbing through or ripping your page (I'm not sure if this is a problem for everyone, but it is for me).
As for pens, I mainly use Microns. I tend to use a range of sizes, all rather equally. I like changing up the sizes depending on what I'm working on - 005 and 01 are used for hair, facial features, and other small details; 02 and 03 are used for a lot of in-between lines, usually clothing and bodies; and 05 and 08 are used for borders, backgrounds, anything that needs a really large, thick line. Microns are nice to use - they're cheap, they tend to last a while, and they lay down ink pretty smoothly. However, my favorite pens to use are Staedler technical pens, sizes 0.25, 0.35, 0.5, and 0.7. These pens are incredibly nice. The ink is incredibly smooth, they handle nice, and they last FOREVER. However, they can be kind of pricey, so I tend to save them for when large projects.
I'll also use Micron Brush pen and a Micron graphic pen if I want to do brush-like work. These aren't really brush-pens, as they don't have actual bristles, but they work nice enough for what I want them to do. I don't like actual brush-pens or brushes for inking, as I tend to have shaky hands, so it usually doesn't come out right. Also, in the past I've tried using nib pens and dipping ink, but I'm terrible with them and tend to get ink all over the place, so I've stopped using them.Colored Pencils
I use Prismacolor Premier Pencils for most of my art. I've also tried using Eagle pencils, but other then that, I haven't really experimented too much. Prismas are good for what I need them to do, and I'm constantly changing around how I use them - early on, I was all about the blending, now I'm playing around with hatching. Prismas are nice, and can put down a really smooth color is you work with them right. I've been using them literally since grade-school, so I'm pretty attached to them, and haven't really spread out. There are a few problems with them, though. The first is that the lead is soft and breaks really easily (their website says that the leads are hard, but they're lying), especially if you're using a crappy sharpener. Make sure that you want to use these pencils that you buy a nice sharpener, because it'll make everything a lot easier. I'd suggest trying out a range of hand-sharpeners and using the one that works best. Electric sharpeners can work, but it can be a lot harder digging out broken lead from electric sharpeners then it is hand sharpeners. Prismas can also get kinda pricey if you use a large range of colors. I personally have a 72-count box of pencils, which cost about $70 (it's about a dollar per pencil in the US), and there are at least 10 pencils that I hardly ever use. You can buy prismas individually, so I'd suggest getting a few colors you know you'll use over buying a huge set that you might wind up only using half of.Paint
When it comes to paint, both watercolor and acrylic, I am really not picky at all. I've gotten really nice results with cheap crayola watercolors, as well as nice tube watercolors. I currently use a set of the little pigment-pallet that is slightly more up-scale from Crayola, but was still pretty cheap. (I can't remember the brand, and I'm not sure where the box is right now, unfortunately) It's got the primary colors, a few secondaries, two shades of brown, and black, as well as a small tube of white. I can pretty much blend anything I need with this, so I'm happy with it. It came with a sable-hair brush (a sable is a type of marten) which is really nice. Animal-hair brushes work better then plastic brushes, so I'd suggest investing in some (funkicarus knows more about this then I do, so check out the post linked about for more info).
For acrylics, I'll use just about anything. I haven't got a preferred brand, I just use what works. The main thing I look for in paint is that it isn't watery - as in, when I lay the colors down, it's solid, and the canvas (or whatever I'm painting on) doesn't show through. I've used Basic brand paints, which have really nice white, red, green, and purple, but terribly watery yellow and blue. So I have a huge mix of paints, and I'm not even sure what all they are. Another thing I'm picky about is that it has to be in a tube - I tend to mix paints right on my brush, so if I have to scrape paint out of a little jar so that I don't wind up mixing colors in the base paint, I get a big annoyed. It's sort of like how you can't stick the knife you used for jelly in the peanut butter jar before you clean it, because it isn't allowed to get mixed. Having tubes of paint instead of jars keeps this from happening. Same thing about the brushes - animal hair works better, check out funkicarus's post for info on that. I have a mix of brushes from different brands, in different sizes and shapes, so again, I'm not too picky as long as it's not plastic.
So, there ya go. My traditional art supplies. As for digital, I use Photoshop Elements 3 and a Graphire 10x8 tablet. I've used Elements for so long that the interface for normal Photoshop confuses and angers me, so I stick with what I have, even if there are less options in it. As for my tablet, I prefer the larger ones because it's closer to the size of a normal sheet of paper, and I don't have to fuss with the tablet-to-screen size ratio as much. The Graphire is nice, but I've used it pretty heavily, the stylus is dying, and some of the pressure points are messed up, so I might upgrade to the Intuos (or however it's spelled) soon.
Any other artists that watch me? What kind of supplies do you use?