My Current Art Kit

Two pens resting on a notebook, books about drawing in the background

‘Art’ Kit

I thought I’d write briefly about my current art kit – the things I’m using for my drawings. I feel a little bit like a fraud talking about my ‘art’ kit because I don’t really class myself as an artist but it seems like as good a term as any.

I’ve started to get back into drawing a bit more recently. My past attempts have been short-lived. This time I’m doing better and have done a little bit of drawing every day or so for about 6 or 7 weeks.

Sometimes the drawings are rubbish and other times I’m quite pleased with them. None of them have been perfect but that’s not really the point for me. I share some, I hide others but I’m drawing.

Keeping it Simple

Anyway, one thing I was conscious of when starting to draw again was the risk of me going out and buying lots of new art materials. The problem with this is that I love stationery in general and I know I could spend so long trying to find the perfect book, a set of pencils, maybe a pen and some paints that I’d never get on with actually making any drawings.

This time around I decided to NOT go out and buy loads of things. I did buy a few books about drawing (and made a point of reading them) and I’ve joined a few online groups, all for inspiration, guidance and encouragement (it’s nice to have other people doing the same thing as you to cheer you along the way). However, I haven’t bought any pens, pencils or sketchbooks.

2 pens resting on a brown notebook


Instead, my current art kit is a plain paged A5 notebook that I already owned. I used a craft knife to cut out the first few pages that I’d written things on and it was ready to use.

Two black pen nibs, edge of notebook


At the moment I’m drawing in black ink, with no colour or shading (other than what I might add digitally). I’d never really drawn with pens in the past so I was interested to see what I could produce when the lines can’t be erased.

The pen I use is a Zebra Jimnie Gel rollerball pen. It’s definitely not my favourite pen to write or draw with but we have a lot of them lying around at home so it was the first black ink pen I found when I started to draw.

I tried a black Sharpie (again, one I already owned) but I found the nib too fat. And once or twice I’ve used a Pilot V5 Hi Tecpoint liquid ink fine liner with a 0.5 nib (another pen lying around at home) for more detailed bits of drawings.

Apart from avoiding the over-excitement of buying new stationery and using that as a distraction from the actual drawing, I was also conscious of the possibility that I may lose interest in drawing (and have wasted lots of money in the process).

Testing my commitment

So by just using the materials I already own I’m kind of testing my commitment to drawing. If I fill this book I’m using, I’ve got a tiny sketch book to use and if I fill both books then I think I can be pretty certain that I’m reasonably committed to doing regular drawing.

Once I reach that point I may go out in search of a nicer pen or a new book as a reward but until that time comes I’m keeping things simple and keeping the focus on the drawing bit of drawing rather than buying new things!

What are the most basic tools that you need/ use for the creative things that you do?

5 thoughts on “My Current Art Kit

  1. Alison Clayton-Smith Reply

    I’m sure anyone can call themselves an artist, though I empathise with not feeling able to. In fact, I’m starting to think I might stop using these kinds of labels (trainer, writer…) for myself and simply say I am someone who… because each label is not the whole story.

    Anyway, re art kit, sounds like a good plan. I now have my portable Drawing Your Life studio, which I did buy a new sketch pad, pencils and pilot pen for. I also have created my art area at home, and have placed here all the stuff I have accumulated over the years, paper, crayons, felt tips, glue, old magazines, bits of ribbon, my watercolour set, etc. I can see from this lot that I don’t really need to buy anything unless I suddenly feel the need for some specific tool I or media. I did buy a pink plastic tablecloth as I am using the end of the nice dining table. It demarcates my ‘studio’ area 🙂

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Hi Alison. I like your idea of maybe not using labels for ourselves and the reasoning behind it, it makes a lot of sense to me.

      I do like buying new materials and stationery and I think that sometimes it’s nice to have something brand new to start off a new project or whatever. The problem for me is that, as I’ve already said, sometimes I lose focus and end up getting more excited about the ‘stuff’ than the actual drawing itself. So, buying new ‘kit’ is like the carrot on a stick for me – motivation to keep going so I can treat myself later on (unless my pens run out in the meantime of course!) :).

  2. marigold Reply

    At the moment my minimalist “portable studio” consists of a pile of the out-of-date business cards that Alison kindly sent me a few month ago, plus a cheapo plastic propelling pencil (HB) and a black Staedtler triplus fineliner pen. I’ve got several sets of these dotted about the house and one in my handbag, so I never have to go looking for my drawing kit 🙂

    I always have my camera to hand too – not only is it useful for taking pictures, but during a long wait at the doctor’s recently I drew one of the stored images to pass the time (after I’d got tired of drawing the chairs!).

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      I think I remember you mentioning somewhere else that you draw on business cards. I quite like that idea because it must be really easy to carry around with you and it also means that you can’t get too carried away and waste energy on doing a much bigger drawing than you’d intended to. I suppose that drawing on something so small also means you must really focus on what it is you want to draw.

      Like you, I usually have a camera with me, even if it’s just the one on my phone. I’ll often photograph whatever it is that I’m drawing so that I can carry on with it later on if I get disturbed or distracted. It’s also handy for picking the colours for the images I scan and colour in on the computer.

      Thanks for the comment – I’ll have to remember to take a pen and paper with me next time I go to the doctor’s (I also had a very long wait recently)!

  3. […] the drawings in that book were done using the pens I mentioned back when I’d just started this...

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