Years of playing with supplies has made me feel quite the expert about what works best, and what isn't worth the penny for your thoughts. But let me start off with a statement of fact - I am in no way being paid or product given or in any way associated with these manufacturers for my opinion. These are my opinions alone. When I make a review I want you to know that with your heart that this comes from mine. No links are provided. No share-a-sale is going on. This is just my review.
Pencil - General Pencil is my graphite of choice. If I have to have just two, it would be a 2B and a 6B. I like soft, smudgy pencil that doesn't break. Doesn't hurt that it's a family business and made in the USA.
Crayon - Lyra Graphite Crayons. Talk about soft, but a big, watercolor crayon-type size. They are watersoluable. If you want to work big, or outline thickly with less work and less pencil marks to smudge out - these are the 'gesso' of graphite. Indispensible. I live for my 9B. Smudgalicious.
Albrecht Durer from Faber-Castell are the highest quality WC pencils your money can buy. If you are a watercolor pencil artist - they are well worth the money. However, if you struggle with this medium as I do, pass them by. But don't be fooled by the same category in Design Memory Craft line. They are not in the same league AT ALL and will simply frustrate you more. Instead choose,
Neocolor II Aquarelle Artists’ Crayons are smudgy, water-soluable and highly pigmented. Dark colors can be covered by lighter colors, so they have a wonderful 'oopsie' factor about them. You can use them directly, or with a brush.
Inktense Colored Pencils by Derwent. Control has always been my issue. And I don't like soft, muddy work. These are BOLD. They are controllable. And best of all, You can work up to a point, let it dry, or use your heat tool and it 'freezes' that layer in place for working on top to layer colors. You can work wet on wet of course, but the wet on dried is killer. And for detail, who says you need to add water at all?
Hands-down, I have been an adament fan of Prismacolor Premier Pencils for 15 years. From the first moment I saw Becky Higgins using them to create lettering (so dating myself!); I was in love with the wonderful blendability, waterproof coloring these allowed. For mixed media lettering work - these are my go to.
That's a limited grouping of supplies - but start here and get what you can afford and you will never be disappointed.
If you haven't seen it on Facebook, I've started a group called The Technique Hump.
The idea is that if you've been nervous to give something a try, you can take a peek into my crazy brain and see some ways to use things that you may not have seen before. My wild and crazy imaginings turned into FREE creative playtime for you. Every Wednesday, a new technique or product to explore. If you've been holding yourself back on trying something new it's time to GET OVER IT. I look forward to seeing you in our community there!