I usually have most of these stuffed in there. I was big on Staedtlers until I tried out a Micron. Now I’m replacing them as they dry up. The sepia and navy versions are also great. They make other colors but the ink seemed thin and washed out when I tried them in the store. Also: ballpoint pens, Sharpies (or MarkOns, because I got the cheapo ones for printmaking and general abuse).
1. Pencils. I got these at the dollar store. I usually carry an assortment that are in various stages of sharpness; if I start a drawing I use the same pencil all the way through. All pencils are not created equal: each one has a different feel, and I’ve royally screwed up linework by swapping pencils partway through.
2. Sometimes I carry sanguine and white pencils to encourage myself to use color. Usually it doesn’t work. I like graphite best. That being said…
3. GRAPHITE STICKS!! Every time I went in the school bookstore I’d somehow end up buying one. I just love them. I like the softer grades best (8B is good, the sight of a 9B is enough to send me into raptures).
4. Erasers. Dude, it’s an eraser pencil! You can sharpen it to a fine point! It’s pretty much the best invention ever. Also: kneaded eraser and Staedtler white plastic eraser. I took manual drafting in high school and have used those white erasers ever since.
5. Cutting tools. Little pencil sharpener, my beloved utility knife, swivel knife (if you cut a lot of curves or just want something that responds more like a pen/pencil, then you need one of these– perhaps the most useful thing I got out of senior painting. But be careful, if you’re cutting through illustration board or anything heavy, it’s easy to snap the point off the blade), adorable little tiny scissors.
6. Miscellany. The embroidery needles are for steel plate etching, the paperclip is a paperclip. I always keep a paperclip from New Zealand in there (they are triangular- flat on top instead of rounded), but it’s off doing useful paperclip duty right now. There are also scraps of paper with important notes/ideas or sketches stuffed into the flap on the case.
Okay, off to do some work. Today’s the last day I can work with resin; it needs to be set so I can store everything til I get back. Leaving in two days!