Now that I've packed away my studio desk and most of my supplies, I've honed in on the things that I've been using every day. It's been a relief to limit myself since I've been working in a different way over the last month. It gives me the chance to focus on what I'm actually making without thinking too hard about what I'm going to use to make it. The Caran d'Ache water soluble crayons, above, have been a favorite for awhile now. The colors are so vibrant, and they can be diluted with water or matte medium to make a wash. They're just opaque enough to add color on top of collage papers. I loved them when I got them, all neat in their tin with perfect points, but I like them even more now, worn in and broken in little pieces. I'm much more likely to experiment with that little piece by turning it on its side and making a rubbing, or dipping it directly into water for a watercolor-y effect.
Another little box of colors that I've kept close at hand are my oil pastels. I have a couple of large boxes of all the colors, but I like having just the ones I use often together. Again, I love the Caran d'Ache brand. They are the perfect texture of the oil pastels I've tried---not too smudgy, but soft enough to blur. And the colors are beautiful (and match the crayons of the same brand)!!
Here are the drawing tools that I'm currently using:
Magnum Diplomat with a broad nib. I fill it with water soluble ink and I can blur the edges with water,
Palomino Blackwing Pearl pencil. I thought these looked awfully trendy and was resistant to trying them, but now there's no going back! For me, they are the right blend of soft and hard, but they do need to be sharpened constantly if you like a sharp point. And, the eraser lasts longer than the pencil!
General's Sketch and Wash pencil. Water soluble graphite, great for adding shadows
Grease pencils (aka China markers). These write over anything!
Colored pencils. These colors get used the most. I use a mix of Derwent Lightfast, Faber-Castell, and Caran d'Ache Luminance.
Good metal pencil sharpener
Vine charcoal for sketching and shadows
Lastly, here's my set of Derwent Inktense watercolors. I have other small sets, but I'm liking these right now. They're extra bright, and I appreciate that there's a grainy black and I don't have to mix the orange.
So, that's a little peek into my supply kit. You can find any of the above at Blick Art Materials or at your friendly, local art supply store!