• The Adventuring Artist

O Pencil, Pencil, Where art thou Pencil?

I don't know about you but I am constantly misplacing my pens and pencils. I have a large number of pens and pencils for exactly this reason. I buy in bulk because otherwise I would never have any. I am a bit more careful about my art supplies (they are expensive) but I am an easily distracted person.


But this post is not about my woes, it's all about keeping your art supplies where you need them when you need them.


Not knowing where the art supply you need is makes getting work done a bit difficult. I usually carry a least a ball point with me but that is not always helpful if I want to do something a bit more detailed.


How can you make art if the tools of your trade are no where to be found when you are feeling creative?



I have taken to carrying the tools I use the most with me in a dedicated bag.


I have my sketch book (I actually carry two on a regular basis. One is just for sketches and another is if I do marker work. I have a third one that I only take with me if I have the desire to do water color.) Pick the sketch book that works best for you. Consider the size you need, the real estate you have (will you regularly have a table to set up on? or does it need to be quick fast sketches that can be done without a flat surface?), the medium you will be using (pencil? pen? watercolor? marker?) and the style you work best with. (I like spiral bound because I can easily change pages and have a flat page).


I also carry pencils and lead refills. I use mechanical pencils unless I am doing a lot of shading. I use Pentel Mechanical pencils in size 0.7 mm. If you also use mechanical pencils makes sure you always have spare lead. I like these because they have a squishy grip and it is easy to change out the lead. They are also very sturdy.


And if you use regular wooden pencils then always have a sharpener. (I would highly suggest using one that has a little catch bucket (or whatever its called) to catch the shavings in case there is no trash can near by.


Next is my pens in case I want to do inking. I use microns and usually take the sizes 01, 02, 05, and 08 as well as the Pigma Graphic 1 and brush pens, with me. And I also take my Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen. I learned about this one from the inktober website. It was suggested by Jake Parker and I can see why. This brush pen is versatile and comfortable to use. And its refillable which is always a plus.


I also keep a Sakura gelly roll 08 in white for highlights.


From left to right - Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Microns, Sakura Gelly Roll and Pentel Mechanical Pencil

And a ruler because straight lines are difficult, especially if you are out and about. And an eraser. These are all dependent on your medium, and your preferences.


Depending on where I am going I will take my markers with me. The Ohuhu markers I got from Amazon came with a carrying case. It is not fantastic but it does the job.


So yeah, all of my main tools go into a little pouch that goes into my bag. This way I know I always have it with me whenever the creative mood sticks.


These are my hints for when you are working out and about. But what if you are working at home or in a studio? Well the same hints apply.


Keep your tools readily accessible, especially your favorites and the ones you use most often. You should not need to get up and go hunting for that specific shade of green, or the T-ruler.


I highly suggest having specific drawers or bags (or whatever you use.) designated to different tools. Markers in one, acrylics in another. And keep them organized. Keep like colors together so you can easily find the one you are looking for. And keep the things that you use the most at the top or closest to you.


Rebecca Adams

The Adventuring Artist


Do you have the same issues as me? How do you organize your art tools? Any hints?

If you keep your art supplies with you how do you do so? Let me know or send in a picture!

Come back next Monday for some more hints and tricks. Don't forget to subscribe so you get notified when the next post comes out!


** Please note that I have no affiliation to any brands or companies mentioned in this blog post**

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