One of my favorite things is to walk up and down the art supplies store's isles, picking up something I've never used before and taking it home to add to my "library" of supplies I'm building up.
Usually, I try and only get one or two colors of an item (if applicable) to test the material before investing in more. And this has worked really well for me over the past year. I've slowly found which brands I prefer for which type of supplies I like and I'm finding which colors, textures, etc. I reach for the most. So at any given time, I have a small but effective collection of art goodies to play with.
Right now, I'm really obsessed with these pencils and ink + brush.
In order from left to right:
Winsor & Newton Cotman 222 Designers brush in size 0
Derwent Graphic pencil in 4B (new favorite pencil!)
Faber-Castel, Warm Grey V 9201-274
Faber-Castel, Warm Grey III 9201-272
Small Delfonics mechanical pencil with...
Pentel Super Lead in 0.5 mm B
Generic pencil sharpener
General's Tri-Tip eraser
Winsor & Newton ink in 951 Black Indian ink
TIP: take your sketchbook you're currently using with you to test out supplies in the stores. That way you can see how the colors, textures, etc. work with YOUR sketchbook, and not the test papers they leave out. This is particularly helpful when picking pencils, pens and markers. Pencils, to see if the texture flows in a way you like, and pens and markers to see if they bleed horribly onto the next page. Hope that helps!
Do you have any favorite traditional supplies you reach for over and over?
Next time, I'll show you which digital drawing tools I currently love. :)
Have a lovely day!