Choosing the right art supplies is important, but out of all the options out there, how do you know which are the best to use?
I’ve put together a collection of my favorite supplies for both lettering and watercolor below. These are things that I have used (and still use) for my own artwork and that I know work well. I’ve also included a brief description under each item to give you an idea of how it can be used.
I hope these recommendations help you find the right tools so you can start making art today!
(You can also find lists of my favorite supplies right on my Amazon storefront.)
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These are my favorite tools to use for modern brush calligraphy and hand lettering. Not included in this list is a pencil and school notebook – I use those frequently, too!
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens – Great for brush calligraphy beginners and my go-to small brush pen! I always have these on hand. Includes a firm hard-tip and a more flexible soft-tip.
Pentel Brush Sign Pens – Juicy, water soluble, small brush pens. Very similar to the Tombow Fudenosukes in terms of size and ease of use, just in vibrant colors!
Stabilo Pen 68 Brush – My all-time favorite medium brush pen. Beautiful colors, juicy water-based ink, brush tips have amazing bounce back. So easy to use!
Tombow Dual Brush Pens – Large-size brush pens that come in so many beautiful colors. They’re water-based and great for blending. Each pen has a brush tip and a fine tip.
Ecoline Watercolor Brush Pens – Vibrant watercolor markers that can be used on their own or blended with water to create watercolor effects. They’re large, soft, juicy, and the brush tips are actually reversible!
Karin Brush Marker Pro – These aren’t cheap, but come in a lot of great colors. They’re filled with watercolor ink for beautiful watercolor effects, plus the brush tips are great for calligraphy.
Tombow Mono Drawing Pens – Drawing pens are great for fine detail work, illustrations, and hand lettering. This pack includes multiple tip sizes for a variety of line widths.
Sakura White Gelly Roll pens – I use these often for white details on letters or to do lettering on black paper.
Sakura Moonlight Gelly Roll pens – Bright, neon gel pens that are great for colorful lettering or artwork on black paper.
Fine line painting pen – This is a fun tool to use for lettering. The well can be filled with ink or watercolor and cleans up easily with water. Also called a fluid writer.
Glass dip pen – Glass pens are so pretty and fun to use. Dip the pen in ink or liquid watercolors and start writing!
Canson Tracing Paper – I use tracing paper all the time for lettering compositions and sketches. The smooth surface is good for brush pens and the transparency is perfect for layering over guide sheets.
Canson Marker Paper – Nice and smooth for brush pens, and also slightly translucent. The paper is pretty thin, so it’s best for practicing.
Rhodia paper – Another thin but smooth paper that’s great for brush pens. Rhodia pads also come with lines, dots, or grids.
Canson XL Bristol Smooth paper – This is my favorite thick paper for brush pens. Slightly textured, but sturdy and holds up well to brush pen blending.
Strathmore Toned Tan drawing paper – A good tan paper that’s also fairly smooth. I like using Prismacolor Premier colored pencils to do lettering on this paper.
Other Lettering Supplies
Tombow MONO Sand Eraser – These erasers can be really handy for removing ink smudges. I’ve saved several pieces of artwork with them!
Colored Pencil Case – This large case holds a lot of my pens and colored pencils. It’s nice for keeping pens in one place, plus they’re all stored horizontally.
Kneaded eraser – Kneaded erasers are the best for lightly erasing sketches without any mess!
There are sooo many options for watercolor supplies out there, but these are ones that work well for me and that I love to use. I haven’t included all the expensive, professional-grade options because watercolor painting doesn’t have to be pricey!
Royal & Langnickel 9300 Series – A variety of brush tips and sizes in one value pack. Great option for getting started.
Princeton Heritage 4050 Series – Princeton Heritage brushes are springy and firm and some of my all-time favorites. This set includes several brush sizes for different uses.
Princeton Select Artiste brushes – I really like these brushes for fine details and watercolor lettering.
Princeton Neptune Series – Very soft, thirsty brushes that hold a lot of water. They’re synthetic but made like natural squirrel brushes. The 3/4 wash brush has an edge at the end of the handle that’s useful for scoring lines in a painting.
Sakura Koi water brush – Water brushes are great for watercolor lettering and they’re also handy for traveling, since the barrel is a water reservoir. This is one of my favorites.
Arches watercolor paper – 100% cotton, cold press watercolor paper that will give you great results. Good paper makes such a difference!
Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper – Another 100% cotton, cold press paper that works so well. It’s also one of the best papers for painting with watercolor markers.
Canson XL watercolor paper – This is a student-grade watercolor paper that’s good for practice. I also like using it for watercolor lettering since the surface is smoother.
Stonehenge Aqua black watercolor paper – I use this for metallic or glitter paints. It’s a high quality, 100% cotton watercolor paper but in black.
The nice thing about watercolor paint is that once you’ve gotten great paper and brushes, the brand of paint you buy doesn’t matter as much! Not shown here are Master’s Touch tube watercolors, which I really like using. You can find them in Hobby Lobby stores.
Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor tubes – High quality, student-grade paints at an affordable price. Tube watercolors can be squeezed into a palette and used from there.
Grumbacher Academy Watercolor tubes – Another high-quality, student grade paint tube set. I was impressed with the rich saturation of these watercolors. To me they feel more like professional-grade watercolor.
Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor pan set – A beautiful assortment of watercolor paints in pans, no prep required. I haven’t used these myself but have heard so many good things about them! The large pan size makes it easy on your brushes when picking up paint.
Ecoline liquid watercolors – Concentrated liquid watercolors in jars, ready to use. I like using them for lettering, and you can dip watercolor markers into them, too.
Coliro Pearl Watercolor Paint – A set of metallic watercolor paints in so many fun colors. I like using metallic watercolors for lettering or adding details. They work best on black paper.
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White – An opaque, white paint that’s useful for so many things. I use it to add stars or other details over watercolor, as white ink for a pointed pen, or brush lettering on dark paper. Mix with water to the desired consistency!
Other Watercolor Supplies
Plastic folding palette – A lightweight, portable palette that’s good for keeping dust out of your paints. I fill mine with tube watercolors.
Washi tape – I use washi tape to tape around the edges of paper when I want a crisp edge. It’s not as sticky as other tapes so it’s less likely to tear the paper when you peel it up.