My Favorite Drawing Tools

These are my favorite drawing tools! What are yours?

favorite drawing tools

Pilot Precise V5 pens: I’m often asked what kind of pens I like to use, so now you know! I remember when I first laid eyes on a Pilot Precise pen. I was 11 years old sitting in my 6th grade math class. The girl next to me pulled one from her Hello Kitty pencil box, started writing, and I was smitten. I doodled and took notes with V5 pens from then on, but I didn’t try full blown pen and ink illustration until high school. When I did it came naturally to me, and my love of V5 pens grew. I’ve used other pens, but I always come back to the V5s.

favorite drawing tools

favorite drawing tools

Spiral Bound Sketchbook: Sketchbooks with fancy hand stitched bindings are lovely, but they’re just not practical for me. If a sketchbook doesn’t have a spiral binding I won’t use it. Spiral bound sketchbooks always lie flat and that makes scanning (and sketching while curled up on the couch with two dogs on your lap) so much easier. I also love that I can cleanly rip pages out of my sketchbook if I draw something so bad that it just has to be trashed. I don’t even have a favorite sketchbook brand, just give me that spiral binding!

favorite drawing tools

A Morale Boosting Pencil Pouch: A while back I splurged on a beautifully rugged leather pencil pouch from infusion, and I have no regrets. My pencil pouch is so awesome that it makes me feel awesome when I unzip it and begin sketching. But wait, there’s more! No longer do I waste time searching for lost pens and pencils in the couch cushions, and with my drawing instruments neatly zipped inside my pouch I can always keep them within arm’s reach. When everything I need to start sketching is easily accessible, I end up drawing more often and that’s always a good thing.


  1. Pam

    You’re a girl after my own heart! I too only use spiral bound sketchbooks, and I have a nice little pencil pouch that keeps everything nice and neat. However, mine is not beautiful leather like yours! I’ve never used these pens before either, I must admit I’m intrigued!!

  2. Julie K.

    I’ll have to check out those pens! Where do you get them from?

    Also, I’m right there with you on spiral bound sketchbooks! I cannot use anything else. They’re just so comfortable, and I love being able to completely wrap the previous pages around to the back. So easy and clean.

    And that pouch is a great idea! I have all my supplies in a little carry box (used to be for cassette tapes!) but I think a pouch for just my pens/pencils would be so much easier and much more accessible. Loved this post! Thanks for the insight.

  3. Bivi

    I AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT WHOLE SPIRAL BINDING THING! I think it’s romantic to think of drawing on hand-stitched sketchbooks but the reality and practicality reside with the spiral binding. So the book isn’t THAT pretty, but at least our works will be!

  4. Lully

    For my study I have to make many sketches and I also use spiral bound sketchbook. You said it, they are much more pratical!
    My favorite pencil is Vball, but my father use the same as you to write every day, maybe I should try it for drawing ^^

    And you konw, you don’t have to open that pretty pencil pouch to feel awsome. You are definitly awsome :]


  5. *karen

    Oooh, pen porn pen porn! Lol. Have you ever been to That place is…bad for pen and paper addicts on a budget. (I’m a longtime lurker here, but this is my first time commenting I think. I love your cards so neat and funny)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That site is awesome—so many pens! I want to try them all! Thanks for commenting Karen!

  6. Jen

    I just wanted to leave a note saying how much I love your blog. Your humor always makes me smile. It’s fun to see the creative process of other artists

  7. Sederiya

    I just began sketching again since my freshmen college days. I sketch fashion on those flip sketchbooks, but I’m going to definitely check out these spiral bound sketchbooks. I do get tired of my pages ripping out on their own, as if they are not good enough to stay bound. The nerve! Thanks for sharing!:)

  8. Alison

    Amanda, I totally agree with you about V5 pens! It was 1997 when I first picked one up and started writing in my journal with it … now I only hand letter and sketch with it, the flow of the ink really helps with my thought processes and overall artistry! :) Geeking out on this pen! Was nice to have stumbled onto your blog!

  9. Gigi

    Hi Amanda,

    I just came across your blog as I follow one of your Pinboards! It was really nice reading this post, and I’m going to go explore the rest of your blog now. I love that you sketch on the sofa with your dogs, that sounds gloriously relaxed and creative.

    I just bought a spiral sketch book today and 0.5 and 0.3 fine liners to try to start hand lettering. I don’t even know where to begin, I’m just looking for a creative outlet to release me from my scientific college subjects! Hopefully I’ll find some more help on your blog.

    Thanks for writing this, and have a nice day!

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