Friday, February 6, 2015

My Favorites For Sketching

It takes years to figure out what works best and why. Everyone's different which makes everyone's preferences different and over time as you change so does what works best in some cases. Here is a list of my go to favorites that I've been using for years and why I love them.

Sketchbook. I've been using the same Cachet Select Spiral Bound Sketch Books for many years. I was in the market for a new sketchbook the other day and I sifted through the options at the art store and still landed on the same brand for the same reasons. I've always gotten rectangle shaped sketchbooks, but my next one is going to be an 8"x8" square and I'm excited for the change.
Requirements: hard cover, plain solid cover, lays flat when opened, has some sort of closure.
Reasons: I like sketching in graphite  but hate smudges. A hard cover keeps the sketchbook from flexing which reduces pencil smudges. Also a closure reduces smugging by keeping the pages from sliding side to side. I like a plain cover so I can embellish a bit and laying flat is a must so I can easily draw on the whole page.

Pocket Sketchbook. I've found one sketchbook is not enough for me. Sometimes I need room to stretch out and sometimes I need the convenience of something I can cram into my pocket and go. I've gone through a few Moleskine Classic Sketchbooks (Pocket) now and I'm hooked. I love the little pocket in the back, how flat they lay and how thick the pages are too help things from bleeding (although Sharpies still very much bleed).
Requirements: fits in pocket, lays flat, hard cover, has some sort of closure. Bonus has a pocket.
Reasons: Fitting in the pocket is a must because I don't carry around a purse. I love the flatness of this sketchbook because I can draw from one page to the next which allows for larger sketches. The hard cover and closure helps to reduce pencil smudging just like with my larger sketchbooks. I love the little pocket in the back which allows me to stuff little treasures away.

Pens. The past few years I've been sketching almost solely in pen to avoid smudges. For sketching I use simple black inked BIC ballpoint pens. Ballpoint pens give me better control when shading than other pen styles. I like simple, no frill pens with caps although I'm not sure why I like caps. I usually pick up a large pack of pens when I'm running low and they last me for a year or so depending on how fast I lose them. My one gripe with the simple BIC ballpoint pens is that they eek ink sometimes, but I haven't found a simple pen that doesn't yet. When lettering I use black Micron Pens because they are a solid pen and readily available. For a range of thicknesses I have a .005, .05 and recently I picked up a .08 and a brush style.

Pencils. When pencil sketching I'm all about the mechanical pencils. I love the precision of always having a sharp point that doesn't need sharpening. I always have a 0.5 and 0.7 and sometimes a 0.9 on hand. I tend to use a 0.7 for sketching and a 0.5 for lettering before inking. Trying out lead holders for both sketching and lettering is on my list of things to do, but who knows when that will happen.
Erasers. I have a skinny Paper Mate Eraser Stick for precision and a Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser cut in half for bigger jobs. I try to avoid using the erasers on the mechanical pencils because they are a pain to change.
Pencil Case. I've had a Caran d'Ache Metal Tin case for years and I love it. I plan to order two more so I can have one for pencils, pens, and lettering.

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