Monday, February 16, 2015

favorite lettering supplies with Megan Wells



It's Megan here and I'm back with some more tips and lettering tricks! Today is all about supplies. In my last post, an introduction to lettering, I emphasized that no special tools are really necessary to get started lettering. Just a few basics, like pencils, paper and a straightedge. 
But, of course, as you get more practice drawing letters, you'll want to explore different tools to work with. So today I'm going to share my personal favorites. 

I have a TON of pens, pencils, markers and other writing utensils. A TON. Even as a kid, my collection was huge. I just had to have every type of marker Crayola made, and I took my carrying case wherever I went! 

Today, my case isn't as big, but it still goes with me pretty much everywhere I go. I almost have to laugh when someone asks me, "Do you have a pen?". Um, yeah, I do...
But out of this huge collection, there are definitely some go-to supplies that I use the most and have become my favorites.








The first is probably every lettering artist's favorite: a Sakura Pigma Micron




For me, the micron pen is the cream of the crop when it comes to drawing lines. It comes in many sizes, from a point size of .20 mm (very tiny for super fine lines) up to a point size of .50 mm (for a thicker line). The micron is also available in a variety of colors, although I usually stick with black. 




Another reason why the micron pen is on the top of my list, is because it's waterproof. (I know Alisa is a huge fan of using these in her sketchbooks, because she can use watercolor on top of her doodles). 

For outside the studio, my go to pen for lines is a Sharpie pen.



A sharpie pen is very versatile, and I don't feel like I need to be as "gentle" with it - which is why I carry it with me more than I use it in the studio. I'm not afraid to let someone borrow my Sharpie, however, I'm not letting anyone get their hands on my micron pens. 
It also comes in a few sizes and colors. 

For thicker lines and filling in larger spaces, I love the Classic Copic marker


This is a high quality marker. It's a little more expensive than your everyday writing utensil, but I think it's worth it. If you take good care of it, it will last a really long time. The ink is refillable, and the nibs are interchangeable, and it's also waterproof. 
I use this marker a ton when I need to broaden a stroke or cover more area. 



For brush lettering, which I don't do very often, I prefer a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen.



I like this brush tip because it's not too flimsy, yet it does have some give. I also use it for filling in broad strokes on sketches - it covers a lot of ground quickly, however, it's not as easy to control as the Copic marker (which I use for more "finished" pieces). 



For colorful lettering, I just love Sakura Gelly Roll pens.



They are cheap, and come in a large variety of colors, including metallics, glitter, and more. These pens are not waterproof, so unless you want them to blend and bleed, they aren't the best for multi-media. 
When it comes to a nice opaque white ink, I skip the Gelly Roll (although it does come in white) and spend a little extra on Uniball Signo Gel pens. 

Oh, how I love this pen! It is the best white ink pen I have found - and trust me, I've tried them all. (if you do have another you like, please let me know!) It writes smooth and the white ink is super opaque. The downside of this pen is that it goes through ink super fast. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I go through about 50-60 of these a year. (I write with white ink a lot...)

I usually purchase a pack of 10 from Jet Pens and then, I add one additional pen in order to get free shipping (all orders over $25 ship free). This is my excuse for buying a new pen I haven't tried before, which is always fun. 

For simple sketching, I use a good ole cheap mechanical pencil. Nothing fancy about that.



I typically have about 20 of these on my desk, however I can never seem to find one when I need it.

And lastly, a few people asked about my ruler last time, so I wanted to include what straight edge I prefer. I actually use an Omnigrid Quilting ruler



I stumbled on this for lettering by accident (I tried make a quilt, bought tons of sewing supplies, and promptly gave up.) But here I was with a fantastic ruler, and I've been using it ever since. 

So there you have it, my very supplies for drawing letters! 

And thank you for the warm welcome last time - I'm so happy to be sharing on Alisa's blog and excited to keep sharing some lettering tips and tricks with you all!

And please share your own favorite supplies with us. Keep using the hashtag #redefinecreativelettering and let me know what you love to use!

xoxo - Megan 
Instagram: @makewells
website: makewells.com

26 comments:

Ulrike Schulz said...

Super useful! About to explore this area :) x

FOUND SOME PAPER

Nancy said...

Good info- thanks! I also like the FudeBall 1.5 pens which have a nice ink flow. And Bic makes a disposable fountain pen which is nice.

Gulley Gang said...

Great info, thank you for sharing. I'm new at this and have been buying different pens and makers to create pieces myself. I haven't been able to find a white pen I like though so I ordered those you mentioned above. I can't wait to try them out! Thank you so much!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Thanks for the tips, esp about the white ink pens! I am always trying to find the best one. I just ordered....!

Megan said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Karis Atkinson said...

This looks so great! I really want to learn how to do this well :)

Karis Xx
karisatkinson.blogspot.co.uk

Katie said...

Do you have any tips or tricks for using the gel pens? In my experience they're finnicky and don't have a steady and consistent flow of ink. Would love to use them, though! :-)

Marianne Mineo said...

Thanks for the list. Super useful for a newbie at hand lettering. I love the look of the white pens and am wondering would work on chalkboard?

Marianne
www.preciselyhousewifely.com

Megan said...

Marianne - no this pen is not good for chalkboard, but they do make chalk pens. Google it - you should see a couple options :)

Megan said...

Hi Katie - for the Signo gel pens the ink flows very consistently. I do have some hiccups here and there with the gelly rolls sometimes, but it's usually do to a long pause where the ink on the end dries up. Try the Signo though - they come in quite a few colors besides white!

Loyal RUN said...

I love my Sharpie Pen. Can't wait to try out the others you have listed.

Brig said...

Thank you for sharing. It's always good to know favourites of people who've been doing it for a while. It doesn't mean to say you can't try others but a good starting point as it can be quite overwhelming buying art equipment for certain tasks if you're new to it.

Chelsey Lee said...

I keep seeing these adult coloring books and plan on buying one soon. What pens or makers do you suggest using on something like that? I want to use lots of color. On Amazon some are packaged with some fiskar gel pens but they are pricey but if they are good im willing to pay for them but I wanted to hear your suggestions first.

Chelsey Lee said...

I keep seeing these adult coloring books and plan on buying one soon. What pens or makers do you suggest using on something like that? I want to use lots of color. On Amazon some are packaged with some fiskar gel pens but they are pricey but if they are good im willing to pay for them but I wanted to hear your suggestions first.

studioGypsy said...

gorgeous delight!! thankyou megan and alisa!! xoxo

Katie Poland said...

Awesome, thanks!

Nadia said...

Posca makes a chalkboard pen. I haven't used that one specifically yet, but I love posca paint pens and would be willing to be the chalkboard one is good quality.

Nadia said...

Ha! I feel the same way about my micron pens. Whenever someone asks to borrow them I say, "Wait, here's a different pen you'll like better." 😏

Iove to use Posca paint pens in certain projects, and over the summer I found some that are have a 0.7 nib. They come in several colors, and they flow really well. Downside is like the signo, they run out quickly.

Jen Letts said...

I love my sharpie pens too! They're a good price & locally available. I always throw a few in my bag as I rush out of the house. I'm more likely to use it if I'm not afraid to lose it.

Jen Letts said...

I love my sharpie pens too! They're a good price & locally available. I always throw a few in my bag as I rush out of the house. I'm more likely to use it if I'm not afraid to lose it.

Carmen said...

Very excited to come across this series and I actually just added a Signo uni ball to my order when I had a bit left over on some Amazon vouchers. I've tried a lot of white pens but not those so am looking forward even more to trying that out now!

Andria said...

Ah, your comments about the Uniball Signo white pen are helpful. They always run out of ink so quickly for me that I thought I was doing something wrong! I see that is just the way it is, and I need to invest in several. I haven't seen the Sharpie pen that you show here, and will look for it! (I just read through the comments above, and see that white pens seem to confound us all...ha!)

Bekka Joy said...

Love love love this post!! :) Thanks so much for sharing - I'mjust delving into lettering and this is super helpful! :)

Miranda Garcia said...

I love love love the Uniball Signo Gel pens! I recently discovered them in a local scrapbooking shop and used them for lettering some envelopes for a bridal shower. They give off such a luxe feel and makes my lettering look even better. I wish there was a never-ending refill for these though because they do run out WAY to quick. I only did about 25 envelopes and I went through 4 pens! Love your insight though! I use almost all of these tools too!

Alessia said...

Hi Megan, thanks for the great tips! Is there a kind of paper you suggest? With the one I use I can't get a smooth line.

Megan said...

For practicing I use any type of smooth paper..but for final pieces I use strathmore Bristol board - vellum

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