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My favorite paint, brushes and other illustration essentials

Questions that I get asked a lot, are which pens, paint and brushes I use. So I thought it would be good to write a blog about it. I mainly work with watercolors since they go very well with my style of fashion illustration. This blog will be limited to the materials that I use regularly. If you're just starting out as an illustrator, I recommend trying out different kinds of materials to discover what you like to work with. But for now, I will show you my favorites!

Photo by Angela de Baat


I like to use mechanical pencils, because they work very precise. I mainly use the two below. The broad one is great, because to shape and grip make sure your hand is in a more relaxed position.


Which paper you use depends on the effect you're going for. If I want to digitalize my fashion illustrations, which is the case most of the time, I use the Bristol extra smooth hot pressed watercolor paper by Canson. It's perfect if you want to scan your artwork.


I always use waterproof black fineliners in my drawings. There are a lot of brands to choose from. Favorites include Staedler and Faber-Castell. I also like to use a brush pen, because it gives a playful effect and can be used for thick and thin lines.


Good quality brushes make all the difference. And they don't even have to be that expensive. Just make sure you buy them at a specialized art supplies store. Ask the staff for advice or even if you can try some of the brushes. The ones that I use the most are Rembrandt six and eight (on the left). The brushes you see on the right of the picture, are Japanese watercolor brushes.


My go-to watercolor brands are Winsor&Newton and Sennelier but there are a lot of good brands out there. These two have great pigmentation and a very large range of colors to choose from. The box below is by Winsor&Newton but also contains some Sennelier colors because you can buy the colors separately.

Here your see some watercolor tubes. These are great if you're looking for even more intense pigmentation.

Metal pigments

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen some illustrations with gold and silver pigments. Schminke has an amazing range of metal pigments. You can mix them with water, acrylic paint over watercolor medium for different effects.

So, that's it! These are my painting essentials! All of them are for sale online, and many are available at local artist material shops as well. If you have any questions, let me know!



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