I get asked a lot what tools and materials I use, so I decided to put together a list of my go-to favorites with links to where you can purchase them:
1. Mechanical Pencil ✏:
I’ve gone through several different kinds of pencils in my lifetime and I can say that I’ve finally found one that sticks. The Tombow Monograph Mechanical Pencil is a o.5mm pencil that runs smooth on paper and doesn’t leave any marks when I erase. I prefer to use mechanical pencils because it takes the stress out of sharpening a pencil all the time. This pencil also has a very comfortable grip and enough weight is distributed. I use to for for literally everything. From sketching to outlining and also for some light shading to give soft depth to parts of my work. It also has a great eraser that cleans off nicely.
Link to Purchase:
Tombow Monograph Mechanical Pencil: http://amzn.to/2Do8XuR
2. Micropens ✍🏾:
My microns are a direct extension of me. Unlike with painting where the brush tends to make it’s own mark, I lean towards tools that give me close to 100% control when rendering (I’m a Capricorn ♑ which make me a natural control freak 🤷🏾♀️). I started out using the Rotring Isograph pens with refillable cartridges and while these were great with dispensing a good amount of Ink, I found them to be high maintenance as I had to always clean and refill them which just slowed me down. I was super excited when I later found out that Rotring started making a new line of pens called the Rotring Tikki, which comes with a built in cartridge and needs no cleaning at all. Another favorite of mine is the Pigma Micron, it’s less pricey than the Rotrings and what I like about it them is that they come in a size 0.005mm which the Rotring Tikki doesn’t currently have. In all I have a collection of these pens that range between size 0.005mm – 0.8mm.
Links to Purchase:
(Note:These pens can be purchased either in sets or singles.)
3. Paint 🎨:
For areas of my work that need large coverage, I go to either Gouache or Acrylic depending on the texture I’m looking for. My go-to right now for paint is either Holbein’s Gouache or Handmade Made Modern Satin Acrylic. The difference between them is that Gouache has a matte non-reflective texture and Acrylic has a more shiny and somewhat glossy texture. I like both also because they dry super fast and you can keep layering over. Another acrylic paint recommendation is the Artscape Acrylic Paint Set which I started using for my sculpture experimentations and so far I don’t have anything against it.
4. Gold Leaf and Adhesive Size ✨:
I started experimenting with gold leaf after stumbling across ancient Tezhip illumination techniques by Turkish artists, where gold was used to ornate sacred texts and manuscripts. Gold leaf has also been used in iconography art to give a halo effect to religious subjects. Since my art resides within this space, it just felt natural to incorporate it into my work. The adhesive size works just like glue so you need to lay the glue down in areas where you want the gold to show. And then after 20 mins of letting the adhesive size dry out a bit (the glue will turn from white to clear), you can then apply the gold leaf over lightly and rub off the excess with a semi-hard brush.
Gold leaf comes in either real gold or imitation gold. If you’re just starting out and you’re trying to experiment with this media, I say start with imitation gold leaf until you fully understand how it works and then you can choose to work your way up to real gold once you have a hang of it.
5. Metallic Watercolor 🌟:
We have already established how much I adore using gold in my work. So when I found out that watercolors came in metallic shades my brain was like 💥💥💥. I absolutely love using these because they come in different shades and that helps me get different gradations of gold. Each pan is refillable so when I run out of one color, I just repurchase a replacement without having to buy the whole set again. You can obviously tell which ones I’ll be refilling soon. Using them is pretty straightforward. Just add some water and let the paint get soaked and you’re good to go. You can also play around with the ratio of water to color to get the desired effect you’re going for.
Links to Purchase:
Metallic Watercolor Set: http://amzn.to/2t6Nc2O
6. Paper 📜:
It took a long time for me to realize how important choice of paper is to the final outcome of the work. I started out using regular print paper and just thought things would be fine, but quickly realized how much paper played a huge role. I pay more attention now to how the paper I choose is a foundation to accommodate all other media. (For example, when I had used water based media like watercolor on print paper, it made the paper soggy, warp or tear.) It also matters that my work can stand the test of time when purchased and in a collector’s possession. Won’t be nice to hear that the ink faded out after some years. So finding paper that had archival qualities was a must for me.
I started testing out different types of archival paper and right now I work primarily with Stonehenge Hot Press Paper. Hot press just means that the paper is smooth as opposed to Cold Press which has some tooth (texture) on it. I usually purchase a different size of paper depending on the scale of work I’m going for. These papers also come in either a booklet or single sheets. The one pictured above is a booklet of 11″ x 14″ paper.
Link to Purchase:
Stonehenge Paper Booklet 11″ x 14″: http://amzn.to/2FSq3CV
Anyone who truly knows me can attest to the fact that I have an unhealthy addiction to buying random art supplies😩. I walk out of an art store today with a ruler and the next day I could walk into a different art store and leave with another ruler; same purpose, different colors . I act like a kid visiting Disney land for the first time every time I go to the art store….E-VE-RY-TIME! While I tend to get excited about trying something new, this list pretty much sums up my go-to favorites.