Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Chris Paulsen is the mastermind behind the webcomic Precocious, and a pretty good friend of mine.  Chris was generous enough to provide us with a look not only in his pen bag, but his pen box and brush case as well.  

I'm a little worried about showing off all my fancy supplies because, well, they're not nearly as fancy at the rest of these awesome artists around me.  I need to gain some art levels here!  Still, I shall share!  After all, we can't all be Becca-level awesome. For one, I don't have a super-duper pen bag to hold all my nifty stuff.  I have to space it out among many cases, or let it roam free around my apartment.  (I toss it all into a cheap plastic bag when I have to move around.  Classy.)

Let us begin with my actual pen case. It contains pens!  Classy pens!  Haha, just kidding - those are Microns in there.  BUT THEY ARE CLASSY MICRONS!  Even I am not such a fool that I use Microns - but I made an exception for the 1mm bullet-tip Micron markers.  They are so darn handy, I have a pile in that case!  So, of course, they are also the hardest Microns to find.  (

When I give up on life and decide to tech pen it, my choice is Copic Multiliners.  ( I started with the disposables to test them out and prove that, yes, they beat Microns hands down - then I upgraded to the fancy refillable kind.

Another star of my pen case is the handy dandy Uni-ball Signo white gel pen. ( Buy them. Buy many of them. Use them. Love them.  Near as I can tell, there is no other gel pen that comes close to the Signo's effectiveness.  These work beautifully for small corrections while inking. (If there is a better pen, someone tell me!)

I finally bought myself a brush pen out of pure envy of the skill others have shown with them. I am… not so great at them.  I use the relatively-cheap Pentel Pocket Brush Pen as my training pen. (

To round out my pen case, I have Sharpies in both black and silver, because they are always handy.  Finally, I have… a regular ball-point pen.  Because all artists have been in that spot when they need to take notes and they can't because "my pen isn't for writing! I can't waste it like that!"

There was a time in my life when I focused on painting over comics. (I've only been comicking for a few years.) So ignore the regular paint brushes on the left.  That part of my life is mostly over now.  On the right, we have the comic stuff.  Yummy.  First up is a Cintiq pen I got to use maybe three times before it was rendered obsolete.  Great investment there.  Next is a bunch of Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes in various sizes, for brush inking and watercolor.  ( I'm not great at either, but I enjoy the practice.

The last piece in this case is my favorite of all my art supplies:  My trusty nib holder.  After my father died, I found his old art box in my grandparent's house.  It was from when he was young, but the nibs and holders were still wonderful.  Because of this, I have been a dip-pen user ever since I started cartooning. I never learned how to use the thing properly, but I love working with it all the same.

And here's the famous pen box of my father's, now filled with more modern acquisitions. This is my comic-making stuff, in all its glory.  The gold nibs are old lettering nibs from the original box, and the tiny holders are from the olden days as well.  The nibs in the case on the left box are new G-nibs (, which are darn handy things.  The holder is a new one I had to buy because my old holder didn't work with the G-nibs. (  The white gouache I've never used because I always cop out and use the Signos mentioned above.

On the right side, you have the supplies I use for penciling my comics.  I use cheap Pentel mechanical pencils because I've used them for years and I'm accustomed to the feel. ( I should upgrade to classy mechanical pencils, but why break tradition? Also included are eraser refills, as I chew through those things. (  I have pencil for regular lead, red lead and no-copy blue lead.  The first two leads you can get anywhere, but the blue, which is the MOST IMPORTANT I must get from the amazing JetPens. (  Below all that are boxes of various nibs I've brought on over time, most of which are my favorites: Speedball #513EF Globe tips! ( They may not be the best, but I'm so used to the feel of them they're a part of me.  After all, this was the nib that was on the pen when I found the box. If it's good enough for dad, it's good enough for me.

So that concludes the tour through my art supplies. I hope you were enlightened by it, and I pray you're not judging me too harshly.