#8: Tools of the Trade

Today I thought it would be fun to share with you all the tools that I use. Specifically those for hand drawn letters. 

As you know, this is a new endeavor for me, so I’m still collecting, but these are the ones I’ve discovered and come to love thus far.

I did quite a bit of research and shopping to find not only the best tools, but the best deals. Amazon is my friend… let me tell you. I mean, it always has been, but it’s truly amazing for buying great art supplies. There are other sites out there that are also excellent, so I’ll link everything for you at the bottom of this post for quick reference.

Now before I dive into my tools, I do want to say that the old adage “tools do not a craftsman make” is very applicable here. You can use ANYTHING you can get your hands on, and with the right amount of skill, you can make just about anything work. (Check out @penmanships on Instragram. Great example that sharpies and highlighters can look just as pro as anything else.)

With that said, I shall now dive in.

When first beginning a new project, it is essential to have a trusty pencil on hand. You can most certainly use one of those yellow number 2’s you always had in your pencil box in elementary school. Or, you can use the awesomeness known as a lead holder. Not mechanical pencil, lead holder. I’ve found this to be the best tool for sketching new ideas because there is little mess and you can get an extremely sharp point with it. It also does not break like mechanical pencils tend to do (especially if you’ve got a strong grip) and they purportedly last for years. 

You’re next question is probably - “Well how do you sharpen this thing?” You could use the built in sharpener found in the “eraser” end of the lead holder, but I’ve found something waaay better. This, my friends, is a lead pointer. And it does just that, puts points on lead. 

If it looks confusing, don’t worry I was confused at first too. (Or am I alone in that…?) You just drop the lead pointer lead first into that hole, hold the base with one hand, and spin the lead pointer with the other. Works fabulously!

Every good pencil needs a good eraser. I’ve heard the Boxy erasers are really nice, I just haven’t bought one myself. Personally, I use a kneaded eraser or any of those typical white erasers you can find at Staples or Walmart, etc. My kneaded eraser is Prismacolor brand, and the white eraser is Staedtler. I’m not terribly picky when it comes to the brand of the eraser, but these seem to work really well for me.

My other favorite tools are the one and only Sakura Micron pens. These are by far and away the best micro liner pens you can find on the market. I’ve tried several different brands and seriously, none compare. They keep a fine tip from any angle, last a long time, the ink is very rich and black, and the tip creates consistent lines every time. LOVE these THINGS!!

Another super fun discovery is the brush pen. Now I can’t say I’ve landed on an unequivocal favorite yet, but so far I really do like the Copic brush pens and also the Pilot Pocket Brush pens, each for different reasons.

The Copic has a larger brush tip and is pretty versatile. You can get broad strokes or super thin lines, you just need to perfect your control. The ink isn’t as dark, but that’s okay for a more watercolory effect. It also has a chisel tip on the opposite side for different lettering styles.

The Pilot Pocket brush pens are super cool. They come in two kinds: “hard” and “soft”, really to me they are just “smaller” and “bigger”. With both, the ink is very rich and black, which is nice. I actually find I like the “hard” pen the best, because it’s so small. I can get small, tight letterforms which seem to come out really good for me. 

That’s all for now. If you found this post helpful, let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to share with your friends!

Links related to today’s post:

{All items mentioned in post are linked to a product page to see the actual item I’m talking about.}

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