Epson Perfection V600 – I just got this scanner and I’m loving it! I’m able to scan my 9in x 12in paper without any issue. It’s larger than I thought that it would be but it’s able to scan up to 12,800 dpi. I scan in the “Professional Mode” so I can adjust all the scan settings. I don’t use all of the bells and whistles because I have Photoshop, but they are available if you need them.
Pens for Watercolor and Sketch
Sakura Micron Ink Pen Set, Black – This is my favorite set of Micron Pens that Sakura offers. I’m currently preferring the 05 for outlines, the 03 for inner lines, and the .005 for fine small details. The nice thing about these specific pens is that they can actually take a little water and not smear. I still wait to ink until the paper is completely dry, but it’s not always necessary. Best pens hands down.
Sakura Micron Graphic & Brush Pen Set, Black – If you are feeling a little sassy, you can check out this expanded Micron set too. This one is the same as the other one but it also includes the Brush and Graphic pens. The brush has a brush tip so you can get thick and thin lines and the graphic pen is basically just a large Micron pen with a line about twice that of a 08 pen. I’ve played around with the extra pens and they are lots of fun, but they give you a completely different feel from the Microns. I know artists who use them the majority of the time and just fill in or do detail work with the remaining Microns.
This series was recommended to me by another watercolor painter. This series is a synthetic brush, but it’s their highest quality synthetic. It’s above a student grade but below their highest price series.
Short Handled Brush Set – Good for smaller pieces and detailed work. Significantly cheaper if you buy it in a set than individually.
Brush Round-Short Handle 12 – Larger size for large swatches of background color. I personally like the short handles because it fits easier in my art desk, but others prefer long handles to get a more impressionistic look. Totally personal preference.
Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brushes – Perfect for travel sketching. The handles screw off so you can pour water inside. You just squeeze it slightly for the water to pour out. Great for painting with watercolor pencils or with watercolor paint if you don’t have the time/space to have a glass of water nearby. Amazingly, you can leave the water in there for weeks and it doesn’t mold or smell.
Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Color 12-Tube Set – Great starter kit for those new to watercolor.
Sanford Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil Set, 24-Pack – Gives you enough colors to be useful. I don’t use any of the pencils that are mixed with white (white, gray, light purple) because they seem to have a weird white film once wet that is distracting.
Miscellaneous Watercolor Supplies
Spray Bottle – For spraying down paper for fun effects. This particular spray bottle does a fine mist.
Niji Foldout Watercolor Palette – Good palette for traveling and smaller works. Make sure to wash with water, baking soda, and dish soap before you use it for the first time.
Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album – There is a reason that everyone recommends Moleskin. This has the most amazing flexible watercolor paper for a travel sketchbook. The Micron pen ink doesn’t bleed through to the other page so you can draw on both sides. The lack of a spiral in the middle means you can lay it down flat and draw the whole width of the spread. The paper warps a little if you use lots of water, but it flattens back out if you close the sketchbook for a while. Best watercolor travel sketchbook I’ve found.
Canson Watercolor Paper Pad – Not the best watercolor paper in the world, but good to start out on while you learn. Doesn’t hold up well to wet on wet techniques, but it’s good to learn on because it’s so cheap.
Canson Sketch Pad 5.5 x 8.5 – This paper is pretty versatile. It gets slightly wrinkled when you use watercolor pens on it, but if you place the paper under weight, the wrinkles can go away slightly. It’s ok for travel watercolor if you use pens although it’s obviously not as good as the Moleskins and you can only use one side if you use it for watercolor. It’s great for sketching because the tooth isn’t really deep. The pages are perforated so you can easily pull off the pages.
Canson Sketch Pad 9 x 12 – A larger version of the previous sketchbook.
Staedtler Mars Technical Lead Holder, 2mm – I can’t say enough how awesome this lead holder is! I got this pencil for a one-off interior decorator class that I took since this holder is used for drafting. This holder allows you to control how far out the lead is. It’s like a fancier version of a mechanical pencil. I use it for all my sketching because unlike straight art pencils, you can switch out the leads. I find the holder easier to hold than a straight pencil. I also use this for sketching out logo designs or website layouts for my professional work.
Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead, H – Individual leads for the pencil holder above. This is a good hard lead for light sketching that you then go over later with Micron pens. 2H is also good if you can’t find the H.
Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead, 2B – This is about as soft as I will go if I plan to go over the lines later. If you want to not go over the lines later, you can go for a softer lead and get a darker thicker line.
Other Drawing Supplies
Staedtler Mars Rotary Lead Sharpener – The pencil holder above has a small sharper on the top that works in a pinch, but you really need this sharper to get a good point on the lead. Super easy to clean and you can throw it in a pencil bag and not worry about the top coming off.
PRISMACOLOR Kneaded Eraser – This is the best eraser for working with pen and pencil. It lasts forever because you can just knead it over and over and the pencil marks on it will disappear. You can also pull it apart and mold it into whatever size and shape you need.