Tools of the Trade


  • Pro

    Oh Whitney you remind me! I'm looking for a good printer to make quality art prints, something that can take heavy papers like cardstocks and has good colors. I know nothing about printers though and terrified to drop several hundred dollars on something that won't print quality art prints. Any recommendations?



  • @Whitney-Simms I second the kneaded eraser! Life changer. I'm also looking to get the Copic Gasenfude. I'm glad to hear it plays will with watercolours 🙂

    My little-known tool that I didn't realise I needed until I bought some is large bull clips. I think I use these to hold anything and everything when I'm drawing or painting. :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_closed_eyes:



  • I love microns pens, autodesk sketchbook to use with my Surfacebook2 laptop (that I love), I also love to use Sculpey firm when I'm sculpting.



  • @Jake-Parker Love this show. Boss hearing about the tools you all use to make stuff. I love using Molotow Inks/paints with their pump action pens. My favorite paint overall is Krink for the most glossiest opaque paint I've ever come across. Takes a while to dry but it hardens like an egg shell. And finally, Liquid Chrome for that mirror-like T-1000 metal finish.

    Tech wise I use a PC I built myself (with intuos 5) because my MacBook Pro exploded. I'm not using Apple macbooks again as they don't make them easy to upgrade. Defo overpriced now. Although I do love drawing on the iPad Pro. I don't think i'll get another laptop.


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration I think I’ve heard lee, Jake or will mention an epson p600 (or 6000?). I wanted to get one for Christmas, but I went for the all in one. The fancier epson prints on the watercolor paper and makes professional artist’s prints. From what I have gathered from other people. I think julia denos uses that one too.

    As for me, I needed a work horse to print stationary. Lots of copies for the amount of ink used. I don’t sell fancy prints yet. And i needed the scanner.

    @Nathan the Copic Gus... is awesome. Just don’t let your niece paint rocks with it. My kids know better, but stupid me left it on the counter and it was fair game to the rock painter. Amazon sells the pen. Just order it from there. It writes like the Pental pocket pen, but I like the ink better.


  • Pro

    @Whitney-Simms Wasn't the Epson the scanner? :o



  • Another wonderful podcast episode! As a newbie, it was so helpful to hear which materials you consider necessary. The traditional materials used were especially helpful as I've been also trying to dabble in watercolor. The story of Lee's mom and coming home with a slew of watercolors could have definitely been me, so thanks for the advice.


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration the scanner they mentioned was an epson. I have an epson t something which is a printer and scanner. I got it for $400. And it was at Costco. Who doesn’t love Costco! The epson p600 is $800. And that is only a printer. And i think the printer lee uses for fine art prints. Jake may use that too. Hope that made sense. 😜


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration Hi! If you’re experiencing back/neck problems when using a cintiq, an ergotron arm will certainly help. That way you can tilt the tablet just like a desktop. It is not an essential though but it will improve the whole experience.


  • Pro

    @nyrrylcadiz I did not know that! Thanks for the tip, although it seems an extravagant expense when the Intuos works perfectly for me. Intuos is my jam hahaha 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @Whitney-Simms how does the ink flow compare to the Pentel? That’s one that I use but it’s too wet sometimes, although I am getting better with my control.


  • Moderator

    I have to say I’m in love with my iPad. I have only been using it for about 6 months, and now I can’t imagine being without it. I work in Procreate, which is awesome, but I find like Will Terry said, it has it downsides for finishing illustrations (I get frustrated by the colour discrepancies). For larger more refined illustrations, I bought Astropad for my iPad so that I can work in Photoshop. I feel very lucky to have a big beautiful iMac to work on. I set my iPad up in front of my Mac and use them together.

    Great podcast!


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration hehe 😅 yeah, it is an added expense. Wacom offers their Flex Arm at a whopping 375 USD! 😟 That’s more than a cintiq alternative. There are the Ergotron arms that costs abot 100 USD. Still expensive though.



  • Fantastic podcast episode, as always! so interesting when it come to WHAT great artist uses! Can I ask if you can suggest a printer of your taste? THANKS!



  • I love learning about the tools artists choose to use! I agree a lot with Lee and Will about the quality of materials and how that can affect results. Once I started using better materials, such as cotton/heavier watercolor paper, it became easier to get the results that I wanted. I'm a bit of a supply enthusiast, especially when it comes to watercolor.

    As far as limiting your palette, my main watercolor palette has 28 colors, and sometimes I feel like it's too few! I never use them all at once, but the pigments have such a range of different properties, and as Lee said, they can also mix totally differently. There are just some colors you can't mix. I love Permanent Brown (PBr25) and have never been able to mix it or replicate how it mixes with other colors. I had to add a magenta and turquoise because I couldn't mix the hue or vibrancy I wanted. Viewing other people's palettes has been really interesting to me as well. It's interesting to see what they view as essential when compared to the standard/basic palette that is recommended to students.



  • Love your all's podcast. I think I've listened to every single one of Will Terry's YouTube videos while drawing, and that's how I found Jake & SVS. So thankful for you guys, it's so nice to have some folks out there who do this for a living and are happy to share what they go through - makes the illustration life a lot less lonely!



  • Hi @Jake-Parker I think someone (Lee or Will) isn't wearing headphones, and so as they listen to you talk with their computer speakers, your voice echoes back through their mic. Iv'e noticed this on the last few podcasts, hope the feedback (no pun intended) helps!


  • Moderator

    I just ordered the incredible art board. I used to stretch my paper when I was in colllege then I started using watercolor board and that was great. But I’m using paper blocks now and getting tired of them buckling when I load the water on. @Lee-White sounded so confident about this board that he sold me. 😬 That whole thing about hating to wait, I am so in agreement with that.


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @burvantill you won't regret it! I'm still using the original art boards I ordered. They are 6 years old now!


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @daviesdesignated thanks for the feedback. That has been such a tricky issue. It's not that we aren't wearing headphones, it's that jake and will are in the same room recording with different mics. So when 1 person is talking, the other mic picks up the sound. We think we have solved it, but it was making us crazy!!!


Log in to reply