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It's so hard to choose art supplies sometimes! But what if I HAD to pick? Like what if I was stuck on a deserted island and only had five supplies to choose from? I think I've got that list covered. Plus a sketchbook, because to be honest, I'm never far from my sketchbook ever.
The Travelogue Hand Book:
This is definitely my comfort zone sketchbook. It’s perfect for so many reasons! The pages are square, but depending on how you hold your sketchbook that actually makes it very conducive to landscape or portrait spreads. The size is perfect for carrying around and not worrying about knocking into anyone or anything. Plus it has a POCKET. You could tuck found items in there for collage or even watercolor sheets for handy watercolors on the go.
Blackwing Pearl Pencils
First off, these are beautiful pencils, and the Pearl features a softer lead, which I love for the kinds of details I make in my art. The REALLY amazing feature of this pencil though is the eraser. It has this awesome paddle shape, so you have a lot of versatility on erasing fine details or broad strokes. Plus, after some use, you can remove the eraser clip and extend the eraser out again. Thus replenishing your eraser. It’s pretty cool. If I was stranded with just one pencil, this would be the one that got me through.
Pentel Fudenosuke Brush Pen:
There’s a couple different versions of these pens but I prefer the soft tip above all. You can use this pen for fine line details (for instance, drawing sloths and their fur on this deserted island theme we’ve got going). You can also tilt it for bolder strokes. Versatility! You can get some amazing calligraphy done with these pens. Hand lettering is super important for desert island survival after all.
Pentel Fude Pocket Brush:
Okay, this is my all time favorite brush pen. Are you ready? The Fude features a bristle brush and an actual flow of ink that’s controllable by squeezing the cartridge. It is luxurious. It is beautiful. I have been using it for something like 15 years at this point. The Fude takes advantage of your gestural wrist movement and allows you to make big broad strokes AND tiny detail strokes, all depending on how you’re holding your hand. Plus, if you have a palette handy (maybe you can make one out of a seashell. Is that nature’s palette?) you can add water to the ink in order to make some cool washes.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen
Ideally in this scenario I’d have every color but since we’re doing desert island I’ll narrow it down to just blue. The Tombow Dual brush pen has two different tips. The first one is a blunt felt tip that has a very consistent line weight, which is perfect for sketching on the go. I love that because I can have my hand pressed up against my sketchbook and quickly record something without having to think about the control of my hand and the weight of my thick and thin lines.
The second tip is a felt brush tip. It differs from the previously mentioned Fudenosuke by first being made up of felt instead of bristles, but also it is a little longer than the Fudenosuke. Once you start adding pressure with your hand you get lots of line weight options. These are FANTASTIC for producing thick and thin lines in color. Oh, and you can actually use the dual brush ink to build watercolor palettes. These are by far the most powerful and versatile markers and thus perfect for our stranded scenario.
Okay. And so in order to show you the way that the Dual Brush watercolor part works, I have to introduce you to my fifth and final awesome drawing utensil that I could not live without. The Tombow Water Brush. There’s lots of versions of these from different brands with a range of sizes and brush tips. The way they work is you can unscrew the main chamber, fill it with water, screw it back on, and bam, you have a portable watercolor brush, even if you don’t have a bowl of water sitting next to you. You can use a water brush with watercolors OR if you’ve used a Tombow Dual Brush pen, like I did above, you can scrub across that color and reconstitute it as watercolor! It’s the best.
So using all of these materials together, I feel like the combinations of textures, line weight, usability, and their ability to meld with each other, really gives me a well-rounded deserted island top five. What do you think? If you were stranded somewhere, what are your favorite supplies?