Favorite Supplies for Coloring and Lettering

What are your favorite supplies for coloring?

It’s a question I get all the time, especially once people know I designed my own snarky coloring book.  While the range of art products available can have you wandering the craft store for hours, I do have some go-to favorites that I reach for most often when I want to color pages or stamped images.

A Case of the Mondays coloring book. Coloring pages for real life from Carla Schauer. Funny!
A Case of the Mondays and Gel Pens

I’ve also added a list of basic supplies for hand lettering.  I’m enjoying learning a new skill, and If you’d like to learn as well, here’s a good list of beginning supplies.  My lettering artist friends have pointed me to some fantastic resources, and I’m passing my favorites on to you.

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My Favorite Supplies for Coloring:

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Watercolor Pencils— Watercolor pencils are a beautiful way to add soft, blended color to coloring books and hand lettering, and maintain a bit more control than regular watercolor paints give.  Color with pencils, then add water using a water brush or regular paintbrush to achieve fun effects.  I prefer Prismacolor watercolor pencils for their bold color, but there is a wide variety of brands to choose from.

Water Brush— Pentel Aquash is a well made water brush that doesn’t crack or leak like other brands I’ve tried.  I have all 3 sizes and use with watercolor pencils.  The combo is a great way to bring watercolor supplies on the go.

Colored Pencils–Available in a multitude of colors, colored pencils are one of the easiest coloring supplies to transport.  They are a little more difficult to blend together, but a great way to have many colors to use.  I use a set of Prismacolor Scholar pencils (or snag my son’s Sargent Art megapack) for a good color range at a decent price point.

Gel Pens–For bold, smooth color, Sakura Gelly Roll pens are my favorite. They’re also portable, low mess, and available in regular, glitter, and puffy versions to bring out your inner kid.

oval container filled with colorful sharpened colored pencils, top view

Basic Supplies for Beginning Hand Lettering

Books–I started with 2 great books that came highly recommended by friends far more proficient in lettering than I am.  Creative Lettering and Beyond is my pick for the better beginner book.  The authors give a good overview of how to create different lettering styles, including brush calligraphy, illustrated lettering, and even chalk lettering.  The Hand-Lettering Ledger focuses mainly on a drawn lettering style, and does it very well, going into more detail on the art.

Brush Markers–For hand lettering, brush markers are an easy place to start.  There are plenty of options to choose from, and are mostly personal preference.  My all-around favorites are those from Prismacolor and Tombow for their flexibility in the brush tips.  They’re also fun for blending, allowing for multicolor and ombre lettering.  I’m slowly building up my stash of colors in both.

Artist Pens— A harder bullet nib marker filled with India Ink, the Pitt Artist Pen is an especially good choice for white lettering on colored paper and metallic ink.  Since India Ink is waterproof, it’s also a great option for any project that may get wet, like a watercolor background or spritz product overlay. These are also available in brush tip.

Fine Line Pen–My favorite is hands down the Pigma Micron from Sakura.  It’s also waterproof (pigment ink) and available in a variety of sizes.  I’ve been using these pens for journaling since my early scrapbooking days, and they also work well for fine accents on a bigger lettering project.

You’ll probably want to have a good metal ruler, a fine tip pencil, and a white eraser handy. All three are handy for making straight guide lines, and a white eraser won’t make a smudged disaster of your paper when erasing the lines (or the mistakes!).

My favorite beginner lettering book.

I hope you enjoy exploring some of my favorite supplies for coloring and lettering.  Whether it’s enjoying a new medium or revisiting a previous one, it sure is fun to play with color!

Have a colorful, creative week!

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