New Supply Fun (blog-a-day challenge, day 4)

Although I’ve used most of the basic types of art materials in the past, since I’ve started with digital fabric design, I’ve been focused mainly on Crayola markers.* I mostly have used the SuperTips and Fine Line Markers. There is a lot to love about these markers, and I have been able to work around what I don’t love so much. (At the end of this post, there is a summary of the pros and cons for these markers as well as for the new purchases I will discuss next.)

Recently, though, I’ve had the itch to work more with the linear aspects of drawing, especially varying line weight. And besides, it’s FUN to try new art supplies on occasion. So I decided to check out a nearby shop with a fair selection of drawing supplies. After consulting with a knowledgeable employee, I decided to purchase some Staedtler Pigment Liner pens (black, 0.3 and 1.0 mm tips; and a set of 6 colors, 0.5 mm tips) as well as a 6H Prismacolor Turquoise** pencil for an erasable sketched underlayer.

staedtler pens and prismacolor pencil

I have since determined that I like the black Staedtler Pigment Liners enough that I decided to supplement them with a 0.7 mm tip, which I was able to purchase online through https://www.dickblick.com/.  I also wanted to purchase a 0.3 mm version of the 6-color set, but that wasn’t available through Blick.

I draw intuitively, so I previously thought putting down a rough pencil layer might detract from the flow of my work. However, I was intrigued to see that in some of Jake Parker’s YouTube videos, he starts with a rough sketch using a light yellow pencil. But, the store employee suggested a more standard Prismacolor Turquoise pencil with a hard core. He suggested the 4H, but the 6H seemed slightly more appealing to me. It does the job pretty well, but still leaves a bit of a residue upon erasing.

Below is a drawing I did with the 6H pencil as well as the 0.3 mm and 1.0 mm Staedtler pens. I have been working up a digital design with this one, which may or may not be submitted to an upcoming Spoonflower design challenge.

staedtler pen drawing

All in all, I am pleased with my purchases, but did want to try some other options, which I also ordered through Blick. More on that in a future post (hopefully tomorrow).

Finally, as promised, here is my take on the pros and cons of the drawing supplies mentioned above:

Crayola SuperTip and Fine Line Markers

Pros:

  • inexpensive
  • lots of colors

Cons:

  • not waterproof and will run even with small amounts of water
  • very broad tips for the SuperTip, still somewhat broad tips for the Fine Point
  • if drawing with a light color next to a dark color, the dark color will run substantially into the light.
  • probably not colorfast with respect to light exposure

Staedtler Pigment Liner Pens in black and various colors (Please note: I’ve only been using these a few days, so I may change my opinion.)

Pros:

  • moderate in price
  • permanent
  • won’t dry out if caps are left off for long periods of time (at least advertised as such)
  • dry quickly on drawing paper
  • work well on Bristol board (have to experiment more to see how quickly they dry on this surface)
  • come in many line widths from 0.05 mm on up, the 0.3 mm being wonderful for my current needs

Cons:

  • limited colors available (to my knowledge)
  • if drawing too quickly, the line becomes rougher and less saturated, which makes me a little concerned that they might dry out quickly, although I can’t say for sure yet.
  • still a little “marker-y” for me (I was hoping for more of a smoother, ink pen feel.)

Prismacolor Turquoise 6H pencil:

Pros:

  • initial drawing can be very sketchy (in the positive sense)
  • lines mostly can be erased
  • increases confidence when inking
  • leads to greater detail in drawings

Con:

  • a few ghost lines remain after erasing

Hope some of you found this helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

*My process is to scan and vector trace these drawings before creating my final design/pattern – more on that, perhaps, in a future blog post.

**The name is a bit misleading – the color of the lead is the typical graphite grey- it’s the barrel that’s turquoise.

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