The Tools Artists Use

Stephanie Levy

Posted on June 08, 2009 | Comments

Stephanie Levy in an artist living in Munich, Germany.


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

I most enjoy working with pencils and permanent ink pens.

If you have a wide collection, how do you decide on which to use on a particular drawing, project, or day?

Often I start making sketches in pencil, but I use pens with lightfast ink on all my final drawings to make my artwork more archival.

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

My favorite pens are from the Faber-Castell PITT artist pens series, especially the pens with black waterproof India ink.

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

I use a combination of water-based painting techniques - watercolor, gouache, and acrylics.

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 like Lascaux acrylics and Winsor & Newton watercolors. I use top quality paints to make sure my artwork will last for a lifetime.

Travel sets are fun, and I do usually take some art materials with me when I travel.

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

My favorite papers to work on are thick handmade papers that are made in France. I love the deckled edge and the textured quality of the paper. It makes the completed works seem almost like "objects."


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

I do sometimes work on canvas or panel, and I like working on wood very much. Sometimes I carve bits out of the wooden panels to give my images a more dimensional quality.

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


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

I think I am usually more inspired by the imagery in the work, than the actual materials. However, I especially like looking at artwork from other mixed media artists.

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

In my collage work, I use papers that I collect from all around the world. I love Japanese, Indian, Asian, and Italian papers; there are many multi-cultural, handmade papers that I find beautiful.

If you work both digitally and non-digitally, which do you find yourself doing more? Is there a reason you would prefer one of the other? Is it because of the tools available in either space?

I prefer to work non-digitally as much as possible. I just like getting my hands dirty, I suppose!


I asked about post-processing on a computer, but do you think the computer is a helpful tool for making art? Whether it's looking for inspiration online, or using it to build a weblog to promote yourself and your art, do you think a computer is necessary, helpful, or a distraction (or all of the above)?

Although I don't use the computer to make my actual artwork, I have found the Internet to be an incredible tool to use in promoting my artwork and making contacts. Through the Internet, I have found an online network of artist and designer friends who are wonderfully helpful, friendly, and like-minded. I don't know what I did before I met them.

Last year, I bought an iMac and a new digital camera, and I am really happy with both. The quality of the photographs I can make of my work has improved dramatically, and I am now able to print and sell high quality digital reproductions of my artwork in my online shop.

Thanks Stephanie!

You can find Stephanie Levy online on her weblog, on Flickr (stephanielevy), Twitter (@stephanielevy), and her work can be purchase online in her Etsy shop. Stephanie also runs the wonderful Artists Who Blog.

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