Concept art supplies


Hey guys,

I recently bought some “art of” books and Its really got me wanting to do some concept art work. I have looking around some art shops for some supplies but Im not too sure what to get, or what i should have. But i do know I want a brush pen and the blue pencils I have seen comic artists use (Any one know the name?).

So I was wondering what are some materials that people use when coming up with concept work?? The books do say what they use, but I dont know of brands, or how much is enough, or the best place to buy them in melbourne. So if anyone could let me know of a place they like buying their material from would be helpful.

Any help you’d like to offer would be very much appriciated.

Cheers :slight_smile:


Ink markers are probably the standard (traditional) art tool of most concept artists, outside of digital programs. Prismacolor or Letraset are common brands. I’d recommend a set of three greys light-medium-dark (30%-50%-70% is a good range.)



cheers mate, ill be picking some up soon


3dSnail – I’m not sure what brands you have Down Under, but hopefully this advice is universal. The blue pencils you mentioned are a specific shade of blue – Non Photo blue. They became popular for doing rough sketches because illustrators could do final inks over them and not worry about erasing the sketch lines – the color doesn’t scan (well, now scanners are better, so they do show).

Definitely sketch out your ideas in a hardcover sketch book. It’s durable so you can carry it anywhere. Get a smooth paper if you intend on using ink – too much texture and the ink will bleed and make a mess of your picture. I agree with dbclemons about the Prismacolor and Letraset (also called Pantone Tria) markers being good – both have an amazing range of colors. When using markers, keep a sheet of copier paper under the page you’re coloring or the ink might bleed through.

Before you buy a brush pen (I assume you mean an expensive pen with a brush tip where the nib would be) try buying an inexpensive watercolor brush and a bottle of India ink just to see if you like the feel. Also try a few ballpoints, rollerballs and felt tip pens to see what you’re most comfortable with. It’s really easy to load up on cool looking supplies that you’ll use once then chuck in a corner. I’ve been working for an art supply company for the last 9 years and used to load up on stuff because I got an employee discount. It got to be addictive and I’ve given a lot of that stuff away, especially since I’m now doing most of my art on computer.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions, though.


Hey, I’ll post up a list of the traditional materials I use. It’s listed on my website but to save you looking for it, I’ll post it here:

this is not a comprehensive list & often i’ll use whatever is lying around. papers range from bond to Canson Marker.

Staedtler Mars Micro mechanical pencils :: 0.4, 0.7
Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils :: B, 2B, 4B
Rotring 300 0.2mm clutch pencil :: 2B leds
Sanford Prismacolor pencils :: Slate Blue & White
Rotring Xonox Graphic Pens :: 0.2, 0.4, 0.8 (any brand will do, I’ve just settled on these)
Pentel Hybrid Technica Ball Pens : Black :: 0.4, 0.6

Copic Markers : Cool Greys :: C1, C2, C4, C6, C8, C10
Copic Markers : Warm Greys :: W2, W4, W6, W8
Copic Wide Markers : Cool Greys :: C2, C5, C9
Copic Markers : Colours :: B00, BG02, Y38, R08, BV31
Letraset Pantone Tria Markers : Cool Greys :: 2-T. 4-T, 8-T
Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pens ::233, 272

Windsor & Newton designer gouache - permanent white

Staedtler Set Square :: 60deg 260mm
Staedtler Metric Elispe template
Staedtler Mars Masterbow compass
Helix French Curves

I should also add that I use a rotring Rollerpoint F, ideal for doodles and roughs (good to carry with a small hard-packed sketchbook) and also a Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth Progresso 8750 ‘blue’ pencil. Ultimately try different things and see what works for you.



WOW and WOW!

Thank you so much unitstudio and Ilikesoup. You guys gave me alot more information than the 5 or so art shops i’ve been to so far. Thank you!!!
Ive tried looking for col-erase pencils (as i have read that Steven Silver (i think thats hes first name), uses. But no one has 'em and most people have never heard of 'em. I assumed thats what the blue pencils were.
Also I bought a prismacolor pencil. A guy at a shop said it should be the same thing…doesnt seem that way.
I already bought a brush tip pen. A copic multiliner brush-s to be exact. I like it. It has a nice feel to it, but the lines i make arn’t the nearest. But i probably just need practice.
I have a hard back sketch book, both textured, for graphite and smooth for my copic makers.
I think I’ll take up your advice Ilikesoup and get me a bunch of different markers, and see which i like. I’ve looked up some of the some equipment that unitstudio uses (thatnks for the i really appriciate it) and its a great place to start. The Rollerpoint F sounds great, from what ive read.

Thank You guys I really appriciate the time you’s have taken to answer my questions. But one last thing. I really would like a pencil thats great for sketching. So I was wondering whats a good sketching pencil? Maybe you just like a 2b over a HB or something. Anything you can suggest would be great.

Thanks again guys!!!


No, Prismacolor are not Col-Erase pencils although they are a Sanford brand (once Berol) but they’re not really erasable. There’s a non-photo blue Col-Erase (and other brands) that is designed to not be seen when photgraphed, but that’s not so much an issue these days with scanners. Most artists use them since they’re light in value, then finish the drawing with a darker black lead. Personally, I just start rather lightly, or use a hard 2H lead.

I have tons of different pencils, but my favorite is the Staedtler Mars 780 Mechanical pencil. It’s basically a fancy pencil holder. I use a soft HB lead in it. You get a special sharpener (that looks like a baby’s drinking cup) for the lead and you’re good to go. I also like the flat sketching pencils, and solid woodless graphite sticks for making thick marks. You can slip them into a pencil holder and use until they get tiny. I keep a pocket knife and sandpaper to keep them sharp.

I use just regular printer paper to sketch on since I go through so much. If there’s anything to save I’ll slip it into a binder.


he he, it’s a trick question, no? For concept art all you need is a brain.


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