The Tools Artists Use

Mattias Adolfsson

Posted on March 20, 2009 | Comments

Mattias Adolfsson is an artist living in Sweden.

What are some of your favorite drawing tools (pens, pencils, markers, drawing tablet, all of the above)?


My main tools are fountain pens and watercolors. The fountain pen I use now is a Namiki Falcon with a fine nib. I also have a Mont Blanc Meisterstück 149 but tend to use this less and less, the nib is rather wide (I've dropped it too many times).

If you prefer pens, is there any particular brand, color, or type of ink you like best?

I use American Eel from Noodler's Ink, this ink is permanent yet works in fountain pens without clogging. The only drawback with this ink is that it takes some time to dry, when I first started using it I smudged a lot. Now I tend to wait a day until coloring my drawings.

How do you like your color? Watercolor? Acrylics? Oil? Colored pencils? Markers?

I like the randomness of watercolors, it gives my drawings life, a drawback is that I found it hard to scan.

If you do use paints, inks, pencils, or markers for coloring, are there any in particular that are your favorites? Do you prefer travel sets of paints to a full set?

I have a whole set, but with a rather limited palette.


Is there any particular type of notebook or drawing pad you prefer? Or does any scrap of decent-sized paper work in a pinch?

I've been using Moleskine sketchbooks, I love the paper but it's hard to scan. I'm trying to use the sketchbooks in my work but I haven't yet worked out a perfect way of reproducing the materials in the sketchbooks.

If you paint, is there any particular type of canvas you prefer? Do you like to paint on wood or any other materials?

I use Saunders Waterford and Arches Satin 300 gr, I prefer the Saunders Waterford but again it's a bit to yellow to work great in reproductions.

Do you ever do any kind of post-processing (like adding color in Photoshop or similar tool) to your drawings?

No very seldomly, I have an A4 scanner so I often have to do some work in the computer. I use Linux as an operating system so I have to use a program called GIMP.

Have you ever tried a new pen (or paper, etc) from reading about it, or seeing the results in another artist's work?

No, I'm rather conservative.


Do you have anything you use out of the ordinary for making your art?

The most out of the ordinary is probably that I prefer not to use pencil but likes to go with the fountain pen directly. When I do commission works this is not always possible though.

Thanks Mattias!

Mattias Adolfsson can be found posting regularly at his weblog and on Twitter (@MattiasInk). His portfolio site/home page is at, and he has many prints and original art pieces for sale at his Etsy shop.

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