I ordered some after Christmas art supplies this week. I usually do in the days after Christmas. It’s a good time for sales and to stock up for the coming year. I ordered from the Dick Blick website. They’re my usual place to get supplies but I also use two other websites on occasion. Jerry’s Artorama and Mr. Art. I also buy the odd art supply off of Amazon.

Amazon is a good place for me to endlessly look art markers and brush pens. There are so many cheap marker sets on Amazon that I find it fascinating. They’re for students, crafters, or casual artists so none of the sets are particularly good or well reviewed for professional artists. I pay around $6 a marker for the top of the line Copic markers. The best of these sets go for about $1 a marker and the worst are even lower priced. Still I find it cool that there are so many sets. There didn’t used to be.

Brush pens are the other art supply I look at a lot online. I love using a brush and ink and will always chose that over a brush pen but I am still always looking for new brush pens. Once again they are something that was once rare and are now common. There are so many different models from rubber tipped ones that try to imitate brushes to pens that have actual brush bristles to draw with. I wish I could try every one of them. But I can’t. So instead I look at them online.

Here is a list of the art supplies I bought (copied and pasted from my digital receipt) so you can see what I got and the prices.

Look! I bought some brush pens! These are a brand that I used to use back in the 1990s but then they stopped making brush pens. They started again some years ago but I don’t think I’ve ever tried these ones. They are a set of three different size brush pens.

STRATHMORE BRISTOL 14X17 SMOOTH – $10.69×3=$32.07
This is my main paper. I cut it down to 11×17 (which is comic book original art size) and then cut the remaining 3×17 inch strip into three 2.5×3.5 inch pieces (which is art card size). I but three pads of twenty sheets a piece. I still have two pads of it here so that give me 100 sheets of paper. That’s plenty for a while.

A Copic marker refill that I need. Copic just redesigned their refill bottles and now they only contain 12ml of ink. They used to contain 25ml of ink. They’re still the same price though. That annoys me so much that I may stop using Copics and switch to another brand. But I’m afraid that the Blick and Shin Han brands might do the same thing and then my switching will be for nothing.

W/N SERIES 7 KOLNSKY/SZ 3 – $24.00
The Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes are THE brushes for inking. They’re not as well made as they once were but there is still nothing better. The Raphael brand of sable watercolor brushes is just about as good but for some reason was more expensive this time around. They’re usually a couple of bucks cheaper. I went with a Windsor Newton one his time. I almost bought two but at $24 a brush decided against it.

BLICK MS R/SBL RND/SH SZ 4 – $11.55×2=$23.10
These are two Blick brand sable watercolor brushes. They’re not quite as good as the Windsor Newton ones but they’re half the price. I’m going to use these with the color inks further down the list.

BLICK WTRCLR PAPER/!3 22X30 140LB EA – $1.39×10=$13.90
This is ten sheets of Blick 22×30 inch 140lb watercolor paper. At $1.39 a sheet that’s a really cheap price. I’ve never used it before and it’s probably not great paper but it’s probably good for the big ink drawings that I do. I was buying a Blick/Fabriano branded type of this paper but that dropped the Blick branding and got more expensive. I bet this is that paper.

I’ve got about a third of a bottle left of my last pint of Blick India ink. I like this ink but find it’s good to have some air in the bottle to thicken up the ink. When I get this new bottle I’ll pour some of it into the old one. By the time I’ve used up the old one the new one should be ready to go. Did I mention that I sometimes find this ink a little thin and weak right out of the bottle? That’s why I like to let it sit around. It thickens over time.

ULTRADRAW INK/BLK .75OZ – $5.36×3=16.08
I bought three bottles of this tech pen ink. I use this ink to refill random black markers. Just pull off the end of a cheap marker and rewet the sponge inside with this ink. It extends the life of the marker and this ink is probably better than whatever was in there. I use it all the time.

Now we come to the section of color inks that I bought. I want to develop a new style of color ink drawings. I already have big bottles of Process Cyan, Process Yellow, and Flame Red. I decided I wanted more colors so I bough these to try out. At $5 a bottle they are cheaper than markers.

Yellow ochre. A brownish yellow that is a basic staple of any color set.

Olive green. I prefer bright greens but any color set should also have some browner greens too. Olive green fills that slot.

Flame Orange. A nice bright orange. I always need one of those.

Velvet Violet. Purples and violets are tricky. They are often too blue, too red, too dark, or too light. I find them the hardest color to get right. I’ll have to see how this one is. I know I’ll end up buying more violets and purples.

Turquoise. I like blues and the many variations of blue. They’re usually the most reliable of colors for me. This is a greenish blue. I’ll probably like it.

Light Green. This is one of the bright greens that I mentioned. It’ll come in handy.

So there you go. The end of the year art supplies I ordered. I wanted to buy more markers but in truth I have plenty of them and to buy even more would just be collecting. I think the inks will serve me much better. I look forward to working out a style with them.