art supplies

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hi there. How are you? 

I was recently invited to become an Amazon Influencer.  As an influencer, I have my own page on Amazon.com where I can recommend my favorite products and earn money on qualifying purchases made through the page.  I don't expect to make millions, but it is nice to have a place to share all my faves while making a little pocket change. 

As I'm often asked about the supplies I use to make my ballpoint drawings,  I thought I'd start by curating a list of favorite drawing supplies, all of which can be found on Amazon. 

 These are my go-to supplies for ballpoint drawing. Click through for the details and more of my faves. 

These are my go-to supplies for ballpoint drawing. Click through for the details and more of my faves. 

1. BIC CRISTAL X-TRA BOLD BALLPOINTS:

If you're just going to buy just one set of pens, go for these! They're inexpensive, smooth and have great color.

2. PENTEL RSVP RT BALLPOINTS:

(RT stands for retractible.) I like the Pentel retractibles better than the capped Pentels as the ink tends to flow better in the retractibles. Overall, Pentel pens have a finer ballpoint, which can make it more difficult to achieve smooth values, but are good for making sharp edges. 

3. PAPERMATE PROFILE BALLPOINTS:

Papermate Profiles come in a huge range of colors, but are more difficult to find and are more expensive than the Bics. The ink doesn't flow quite as well as the Bics, but they're my runner ups. 

4. SMOOTH BRISTOL BOARD:

There are many different brands of Bristol board out there and there are also different finishes available. Look for smooth Bristol board when purchasing. Don't want to spring for Bristol board? Any smooth paper will work (including copy paper!)

5. MOLESKINE SKETCHBOOK AND TOOL BELT

Moleskine sketchbooks have been my go-to for years. Right now I'm partial to the 5" x 8.25" size. The paper is thick but smooth and the pages lay flat. The only downfall with Moleskines is that the paper has a slight yellow hue to it.  Add a Moleskine tool belt to it and you've got a fabulously portable drawing kit.

All of these are supplies I actually like and use. 

I only add items to my Amazon Influencer list that I can vouch for! 

 I've finally found a yellow ballpoint pen! Meet the 8 color Yoobi. Click through to purchase. 

I've finally found a yellow ballpoint pen! Meet the 8 color Yoobi. Click through to purchase. 

And my newest fave.....

I've been on a hunt for yellow ballpoints for over a year now. Up until recently, I couldn't find them for purchase anywhere in the States. Until now.

Meet the 8-color Yoobi pen, with yellow! Isn't it cute? All of the colors are nice and bright and the ink goes on smoothly.  With a whole range of colors in one, this is going to be a great pen for my trip abroad this summer. 

What are your Amazon faves?

Do tell. I'll try them out and if I like, I'll add to my list. 

Well, that's all for now. Thank you for supporting my artistic endeavors by shopping my Amazon list. I'll be back soon with some of my favorite motivational books for creatives. 

Ciao, Jen

Meet my New Friends the Pentels

Hi there. How are you?

I'm a sucker for a good pen and when I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. For years I've had a serious relationship with Bic ballpoints and black Pilot pens.

When I made the decision to draw in color,  I stuck with what I knew and bought Bics. (Read more about that HERE.) I like those Bics, but I knew there was more out there for me.  I was feeling stifled by the limited color range that Bic had to offer.

So, I went looking for new friends.

 I experimented with Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy ballpoints, but was disappointed with both.

I experimented with Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy ballpoints, but was disappointed with both.

First I Met Staedtler and InkJoy.

I met Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy at the big box office supply store.  I was charmed by Staedtler's ten color set and reputation as a quality art supply brand. InkJoy's branding and their claim to be ultra smooth got me interested.  Both had a chance to be my new bestie, but the spark faded quickly.

I didn't like the way the Staedtler pens felt going on the paper. It took a lot of muscle to get a dark, saturated color. Next, I hung out with the InkJoys. The colors were vibrant and for a time the the ink flowed just as smoothly as advertised.  After just one drawing (seen above) the orange seemed to seize up and I had to apply a lot more pressure to get it to flow. Could I really have used up a whole pen with one drawing?

Maybe I was wrong to stray from Bics?

 Meet my new friends, the Pentel RSVP ballpoints.  Their smooth, vibrant ink is fab for drawing.

Meet my new friends, the Pentel RSVP ballpoints.  Their smooth, vibrant ink is fab for drawing.

Then, I had a chance encounter with Pentel.

While checking out the stationery section at Big Lots one day, I came across a set of 4 Pentel R.S.V.P pens. I don't think I've ever bought a Pentel pen before. They seemed lowbrow to me. (I'm an art supply snob.) But, at less than $1.00 a pen, they were a cheap date, so I decided to give them a shot. So glad I did!

 Pentel RSVP and Bic Cristal pens were used in this abstract sketchbook spread.

Pentel RSVP and Bic Cristal pens were used in this abstract sketchbook spread.

The Pentels have a nice, vibrant color, go on smooth, and are less apt to "throw up" as the Bics will sometimes do. (You know those little mini explosions of ink that ballpoints have a tendency to make? That's what I'm talking about.)

I also appreciate that they're retractable.......I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to cap a pen and gotten ink all over the place.

 I used Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens in this 3-color sketchbook spread.

I used Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens in this 3-color sketchbook spread.

I've got a wider circle of friends.

I'm pleased with this new friendship and I'm excited to pursue it further. (I'm going to order more Pentels in additional colors today.)

Just because I've got a new friend, doesn't mean I'm giving up on my Bic besties. They produce the darkest darks and are more opaque than Pentels. I like to think that I've just expanded my circle of friends, which will hopefully result in more colorful, more successful drawings!

Wanna stay in touch? Join my email list.