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My Top Tools For Illustration

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

I thought it would be nice to pull together some of my top tools for illustration, wether you are just starting out or a seasoned artist.

The beauty of a career like illustration is that you can start out very easily without spending much at all.

So here are 7 things that will help you on your way:

  1. Cheap copy/printer paper - great for scribbles and quick thoughts. I sometimes file my loose sheets into folders according to the themes, that way I can refer back to them when I want.

  2. Technical pencil - my personal favourite is the Pentel Graphgear series. I have around 3. They are fantastic. Click here to shop

  3. Black drawing pens - I don’t have a particular favourite brand anymore for drawing with pens. However, Pigma Microns have been used by myself many times in the past.

  4. Sketchbook - I tend to buy cheap, square sketchbooks when I can in bulk. The paper has a good weight and a slight texture but not too much. You can buy smooth papers or even sketchbooks for watercolour. Spend a bit more money to get a sketchbook that opens flat for full spread drawings.

  5. A camera or phone - I use my iPhone to snap any reference photos I need now. I also have a decent digital SLR at home if I need it. Sometimes I also phtotograp drawings and send direct to my computer for redrawing using Airdrop. It’s a super convenient way to share images between my computers.

  6. A drawing tablet - my first tablet was a very early Wacom bamboo given to me as a freebie by someone I worked with. She’s been using them since they first came out for her digital art and she taught me how to use one too. It was so basic, but it served the purpose of teaching me to draw on a tablet whilst looking at the screen. Since then, I graduated to another Wacom bamboo, an Inruos Pro and am currently using a Cintiq 16. There are so many models out there and you don’t have to use Wacom. I can’t give opinions on others though, but will say Wacom have served me well for over 10 years. Read this blog post on my early career.

  7. iPad Pro - I use a 2015 iPad Pro model with the first generation pen. I’m due an upgrade as it’s quietly becoming my preferred choice to create artwork. Buying an iPad Pro is an investment as is any compute. Do your research before hand to make sure you are getting the right model for your needs.

If you’re also looking to improve your digital art skills, and don’t yet have a Skillshare membership, click this link for 1 months free Premium Membership and get learning.

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1 Comment

Kate Frances
Kate Frances
Jun 06, 2022

I love my Intuos pro - what are your thoughts on the Cintiq? Looks like it might take a bit of getting used to, like the wacom does at first

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