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My tools

As a working Designer and a dabbling drawer and painter of things, I occasionally get asked about the tools I use. Here is a list of digital and analog tools I have used and some I still use. (Most of links are affiliate links that help to support me.)

Digital tools

Figma and FigJam


Affinity Apps (Designer, Publisher, and Photo)

Paper by WeTransfer


Lucid Chart

Apple’s Freeform



Analog tools

Pens and ink

Sharpie Gel Pen (Matte Black, of course!)

Rotring 600 Ballpoint pen (I tossed the original ink and used this refill from Kaweco instead.)

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen

Kaweco Ink cartridges (Fountain Pen refill)

Uni Pin Fine Liner 0.8

Uni Pin Fine Liner 0.3

Kuretake No. 7 Brush Pen

Tachikawa Comic Pen Nib Holder

Comic Pen Nib Black Black Cat India Ink


I mostly use mechanical pencils, but there’s a time and place for a 2mm lead or some good ol’ wood and graphite or colored pencil.

Uni Shift Pipe Drafting Pencil 0.5

Staedtler 0.5 2H Pencil Lead (It is a bit lighter than your normal HB lead.)

Staedtler Mars Techno 2mm Lead Holder

Kitaboshi 2mm Lead Holder (You’ll need to do a bit o’ lite sanding where the wood and metal meet) Staedtler 2H 2mm lead

Uni 2H 2mm lead

Staedtler 502 Lead Pointer

General’s Layout Pencil 555 (Extra Black) (You get such a rich black from these pencils! It makes for a lovely drawing or writing experience.)

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil (Poppy Red)

Uni Boxy Eraser (Best little eraser ever!)

M+R Brass pencil sharpener (Toss it in your bag and go!)

Sketchbooks and paper

I’ve been experimenting lately with sketchbooks. It’s really hard to find a good one that I like. Here are some that I’ve used recently that were pretty good.

Denik Layflat (Newest one I’m trying. I’ll report back with my thoughts.)

Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal (The paper is really nice! But I found that I treated it too nicely. A sketchbook needs to be used and worn.)

Handbook Journal Co. Large Portrait (Not bad. Bleed-thru was a bit of an issue for me.)

Sketchnote Ideabook (Very nice sketchbook! Bright white paper. Overall size was maybe a bit too wide for me. But I love this sketchbook.)

Moleskine Art Sketchbook (Large, Blank) (I’ve used this one for many years. A solid sketchbook.)

Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media 6×8 pad (I have used this for my Inktober drawings the past couple of years.)


Daniel Smith Watercolors (Rich, pigmented colors. They’re a joy to use.)

Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils (Lovely watercolor pencils that are smooth and work great with other media.)

Watercolor travel brushes (this is a relatively affordable set of brushes to take on the go)

Watercolor brushes (a generic brush, but I’ve been happy with them so far)

Kuretake water brushes (good for quick sketches)

Meeden Watercolor palette (I like having a kit for traveling. The 12 half pans work great for me.)

Blick Studio Acrylic Paint

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint

Floetrol (for fluid painting)

Posca Paint markers (amazing markers!)


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