Tools and Resources
Every item on this page is a part of my creative toolbox. Every one of these is a product I’ve purchased or have experience with and would recommend, so I hope you find them helpful too. This page contains some affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase somthing using the links below, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Links to help navigate around the page. Click “Back to Top” in any section to return here to the Contents.
A Basic Toolkit
The essential tools are simply pen, ink, and paper. Here are the bare minimum tools I recommend to get started.
- Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set – My favorite calligraphy pens. Individual pen links below (for the complete beginner, I recommend the 2.4mm or 3.0mm sizes):
- Strathmore Calligraphy Paper
- Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set – My favorite calligraphy pens. Individual pen links below:
- Automatic Pens
- 15mm Paint Pens
- Pilot Parallel Pen Assorted Ink Refill Packs (3 Pack)– this pack includes some colors that you can’t get individually.
Individual Colors Packs:
- Ecoline Watercolor Inks – I use these to create color gradients by dipping pens filled with another color.
- Rapidograph Waterproof White Ink
- Golden High Flow Acrylics
- Dr. PH Martin’s Acrylic Ink
- Liquitex Acrylic Ink
Fountain Pen Ink
My love of broad nib calligraphy begin with a love of fountain pens. If you have never tried fountain pen inks, I highly, highly recommend that you look into these. There are so many options, many with unique, beautiful, and seemingly magical properties. Here are some of my favorites:
White / Colored Paper
- Canson XL Marker Paper
- Strathmore Tracing Paper
- Strathmore Calligraphy Paper
- Strathmore Bristol Board – There are 2 versions: vellum, and smooth. I like the smooth surface when writing with Pilot Parallel pens.
- Strathmore Mixed Media Paper
- Watercolor Paper:
- Strathmore Black Artagain Paper Pad
- Strathmore Black Mixed Media Pad
- Strathmore Black Canvas Paper
- Fabriano Black Pad – my current favorite black paper, sturdy and has the deepest black color that I’ve found
Other Writing Tools
- Pigma Micron Pens – I use these frequently to draw outlies
- Pentel Slicci Extra Fine Metallic Gel Pens
- Rotring Isograph Technical Drawing Pen – For highly detailed designs, these write incredibly fine lines.
- Mechanical Pencils – Useful for drawing guidelines and other details. You can use any pencil that you prefer but here are a couple of cool ones:
- Uni Posca Paint Pens – I use these quite often to add outlines and other effects (especially on black paper).
- Fons & Porter White Mechanical Pencil – great for drawing guidelines on black paper
- Molotow Liquid Chrome Pen (Set) – these create the most amazing chrome effects! I usually use the 1mm size.
- Copic Sketch Markers
- Prismacolor Artgum Eraser
- Pentel Click Eraser
Tablets & Accessories
I’m in the Mac ecosystem and these are the computers that I would currently recommend:
- MacBook Air – surprisingly powerful and amazing form factor
- Macbook Pro (14″) – powerful new laptop device
- Macbook Pro (16″) – currently my main computer
- Elgato Stream Deck – this is one of my absolute favorite tools and I honestly don’t know how I lived without one before I got my first one. I use this to trigger shortcuts in my favorite programs so that I don’t have to remember them, but it can do much more as it integrates with several platforms.
- Stream Deck Mini – 6 customizable buttons
- Stream Deck – 16 customizable buttons
- Stream Deck XL – 32 customizable buttons
Video & Photo
- Canon M50 Mirrorless Camera MKII – I love this camera. The quick review: it’s small, light, convenient and great for capturing video of yourself of your work
- Canon M6 MKII – if you can afford an increase in price this camera has a few additional features (uncropped 4k video, 120fps 1080p video). It’s just as portable as the M50 but unfortunately does lose the articulating viewfinder.
- Manfrotto Tripod – Select the “4-Section Aluminum Body” option on the product page for an excellent and MUCH cheaper option than the default carbon fiber version
- Blue Yeti Microphones – These are hugely popular microphones and include everything you need to start recording. They connect via USB then are ready to go.
- Audio Technica AT2035 Microphone – The is the microphone that I have. Based on my research, it offers great audio quality for the price but it will require additional accessories to work (an XLR cable, and an audio interface)
- Sure SM7B Microphone – This is a professional level microphone that you will see regularly used by renowned podcast and YouTube personalities. You will need also need an XLR cable and audio interface device to use this microphone.
- Audio Interface – an audio interface is required if you use a non-USB microphone (like the AT2035 above)
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 – this is the one that I own
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo
- Microphone Desk Stand
Other Helpful Tools & Supplies
- Clear Bags to Protect and Store Art
- Magnetic Stirrer and 10mm Magnetic Stir Bars
- Helix Circle Ruler – my favorite tool for drawing circles
- Ruler – if you’re not using grid or line paper then a ruler is a simple way to create guidelines for yourself. Any ruler will do, but I personally like these parallel line rulers because they make drawing parallel lines much easier.
- Pen Trays
- Magnifying Glass (Clip) – incredibly helpful tool for writing or drawing small details
- Small Jars
- Dusting Brush – wipe away eraser dust (a lot easier than blowing or wiping with your hand!)
- Bamboo Toothpicks
- Acrylic Spray
- Dremel Rotary Tool – this is the tool that I used to modify Parallel pens.
- Cutting Disc – this cutting disc is thin enough to create scroll nibs from Pilot Parallel pen tips.