I get asked a lot what pens and pencils I use. So I thought I’d post a list of my favorites. I’m a big fan of trying new things, I’m always buying lots of different pens to try out and in my search for the best tools to use for creating comics Ive found these to work the best for my needs.

My number one question that others ask me is “What do you ink with?”

I use Kuretake brush pens. Here’s a link to a sable hair brush pen that I love, it’s the closest thing to a real brush I’ve used. It is pricey though. http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-No.-40-Fountain-Hair-Brush-Pen-Sable-Hair-Refill/pd/3958
The less expensive version is the synthetic hair, http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-No.-13-Fountain-Hair-Brush-Pen-Red-Body/pd/2661 this brush pen is similar to a Pentel brush pen. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Pocket-Brush-Pen-for-Calligraphy/pd/1793
The cool thing about these Kuretake brush pens is the refill cartridges have nice ink in them that I use, but if you find you don’t like the ink you can get a converter which allows you to put in your own ink. Now I’ve done this before and I think I used too thick of ink because it gummed up after a few days. So I’m fine to stick with the refills.

The other Kuretake brush pens I use are so great and guaranteed you’ll fall in love instantly. They have such a great line to them, and are a great price. This was recommended to me by Cory Walker. The only sizes I use are the fine and extra fine. http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-Disposable-Pocket-Brush-Pen-Extra-Fine/pd/3073

The pens I use for finer detail and with rulers are Staedtler pens. I’ve messed with Microns and every other type of pen and I think Staedtler’s are the best. Darker ink that does not fade that much when hard erasing over them. The only sizes I use are 0.05, 0.1, 0.3. http://www.jetpens.com/Staedtler-Pigment-Liners-Marker-Pen-0.1-mm-Black/pd/7937

Pencils. I use a mechanical pencil for all my pencilling. I just don’t like sharpening, I’m lazy. I do feel I should try a classic pencil and draw how the old school artists did, they’d use the side of their pencils for thicker lines and it’s obviously a LOT faster than building up a line with mechanical. Which automatically makes me less lazy since I’m doing it the hard way right now. Heh. So until then, I use a 0.5 for my finished pencils with 2b lead. Which is a softer lead. Most people go with a harder lead. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Smash-Drafting-Pencil-0.5-mm/pd/2412

I use a blue pencil lead for the layouts, I have a cheap pencil Ive had for years I put this lead in. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Stein-Enhanced-Silica-Pencil-Lead-0.5-mm-Blue/pd/5938

Sometimes I use a 0.3 pencil with HB lead for shaping up some of the blue pencil before I use my 0.5 finishes.

And those are my favorites. Also this Jetpens.com site ships SO fast. Definitely my favorite online art supply store.


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10 Responses to My favorite art supplies.

  1. Parker says:

    Thanks for this. I have been looking for some upgrades to my prismacolors and microns for a while now.

  2. Ian Miller says:

    Is that blue lead non-photo blue, or is it just regular blue? Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places, but I’ve been looking for .5 or .7 non-photo blue lead for years and was never able to find any (I just stick to leadholders with N.P.B. lead).

  3. Steve says:

    Thanks for this list. Interesting to hear about your tools and I love jetpens.com.

    I have a question though: I bought the Kuretake brush pen (synthetic) awhile back and every time I use it, my drawings still suck compared to yours. Maybe I should get the sable…

    Brush pens are my favorite kind of media (next to new ideas, of course.)

  4. Matt Tyree says:

    Hey, Ryan…great article, thanks for posting.
    So, what makes the mechanical pencils worth $16.50?
    I’ve used these for years:
    I had used cheaper mech pencils before that, but the pain with the cheap one was the fact that the lead would spin to the blunt side as soon as it was pushed onto the paper. So, I upgraded to the Alvin DraftMatics at $11.75 a piece. Just curious if the model you use is worth the extra dough. :-) The rubber grip sounds like it’d be nicer than the rough metal on mine.

  5. I love the Pentel Marker brush, I recommend it to anyone who will listen. And thanks for the tip on the Staedtler Pens, I’ve been looking for a good alternative to the microns for a while. I like them, but it seems they always end up dead sooner than I’d like.

  6. Jay W. says:

    Hey Ryan – thanks for putting together this list! I think I asked you some of these questions at a convention last year as well. We appreciate you taking the time to do this!

  7. CWALK says:

    I did not even know there were .05 Staedtler pens! I have only ever seen them in the 1,3,5 and 7 four pack. Ordered a handful of those sweet little babies. Thanks for bringing them to my attention, R.Ottley.


  8. Nick Roche says:

    Love it. Now that we can no longer blame our tools, we shall have to accept our lot as poor craftspeople. Yer a peach, Ryan!

  9. Allen says:

    Thanks ryan. I will put this information to good use and update my drawing tools.

  10. So grateful that you shared this. And thank you so much for Invincible … and Grizzly Shark. In Norway, almost everyone uses the Faber Castell Pitt artist pen. Have you tried those?

    And how is this one compared to the Kuretake disposable? http://www.cultpens.com/i/q/KR15006/kuretake-zig-clean-color-real-brush-pen-rb-6000a

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