Must-Have Materials + GIVEAWAY!

For the past few years that I've been posting my drawings to Instagram, I have been asked countless times what materials I use to draw with. I thought I'd compile a must-have list for everyone to enjoy! Many of the things you see here can be purchased inexpensively from your local art store, but I'll also post links to online retailers as well. I'll do an entirely separate post on my painting favourites another time!

1. Strathmore Vellum Bristol Paper (shop here) - It is so hard to find a GREAT drawing paper. I was so lucky to stumble on this paper one day by accident- no other brand or finish holds up. I love the thickness of this paper, and the finish allows the pencil to carry so many different tones. I love it!

2. Maped Epure Triangle Eraser (shop here) - a handy little eraser. So great for large surface areas and the triangular points are great for picking out little details. It also sits very comfortably in your hands. 

3. Pentel Sharp 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil (shop here) - I honestly don't know what I would do without this genius pencil. I am often asked how many different pencils it takes me to create drawings with rich tones of dark blacks and soft lights. People are shocked when I tell them I use only this one- and it's not even meant as a drawing pencil! I was really against the idea of using a mechanical pencil at first, but after I got used to it, I would never use anything else! 

4. + 5. Mechanical Erasers (shop here and here) - smaller, round erasers are absolutely essential for picking up tiny highlights and details. The mini TomBow (#5) is what I always use after blending. I "draw" with the eraser by sweeping it over hair strands, in facial creases, and to create freckles. It's like drawing in highlights- so effective for enhancing realism in your drawings! 

 Blending and shading with a pastel sponge

Blending and shading with a pastel sponge

 Picking up highlights with my TomBow eraser

Picking up highlights with my TomBow eraser

6. Sofft Pan Pastel Applicators (shop here) - this bad boy is my secret weapon. Originally meant for blending Pan Pastels, this soft sponge tip is absolutely the best blending tool I have ever (ever) used. 

7. Faber-Castell Polychromo Coloured Pencils (shop here) - I often buy these pencils individually, so I can pick and choose my colours. They are a soft pencil crayon- perfect for layering in light shades of peach and blush to the cheekbones. Soft touches of colour can really pop on a black and white illustration. 

8. White Gel Pen (shop here) - remember gel pens? Well, I finally found a good use for them! Or, at least, the white one that was always left forgotten. A white gel pen is perfect for adding that tiny sparkle into the eyes, or picking up highlights on lips and teeth. 

9. Large, Soft Makeup Brush or Paintbrush - you can use any brand for this, as long as it is big and fluffy! This is just used for sweeping eraser shavings from your drawing so you don't smudge it further. 

Want to win everything you see above?

There are TWO ways to enter:

1. Like and leave a comment on this blog post telling me how would you use these materials. What do you love to draw? How would this package inspire you to create?

2. You can also follow me on Instagram! Find this picture and tag 2 friends in the comments section!

I'll pick a winner by this time next week. Contest is open to Canada and US only. Some items may vary slightly from what you see in this photo. Bristol paper size in prize package will be 9x12". 

I hope this post has helped answer some of your questions! You can always leave me a comment to let me know what you would like me to write more about.

Happy weekend to all!



* please note that this post is not sponsored in any way. I really, really do like these things!