What’s in my pencil case?

To go with a similar post by my girlfriend I decided to do a post on what is in my pencil case. I am a 95% digital designer in my day job but a lot of my work starts with a sketch and I like to get ideas down on paper whenever they occur.

So what’s in my pencil case and the pencil case itself are important for me. That’s why I thought I’d show off the tools of my trade:


Clockwise, from top left. Field Notes notebooks, mechanical pencils, various pens, outlining pens of various width, rubbers, pencil case.

It wasn’t until I took this photo that I realised that I have no colours in my pencil case. It is very rare that I colour my sketches however. My usual workflow is pencil sketch, pen outline, scan to digital, trace and colour in Illustrator.


Pens from left to right. Pentel Sign Pen, an excellent brush nib pen for doing varying line width. Pilot Drawing Pen, the workhorse of pens reliable for everything from sketches to note taking. Staedtler Pigment Liner, another workhorse for general usage. Derwent Graphik Line Markers from 0.05 to 0.8, these are the nicest most consistent fine liners I’ve found, the nibs feel strong and they produce a perfect line.


Pencils from left to right. Staedtler Mars Micro, a good general purpose mechanical pencil. Rotring 500, a beautiful pencil with a really comfortable grip and a nice even weight. Koh-I-Noor Clutch Pencil, great for rough sketches and shading.


My favourite thing however is the pencil case itself. It’s a Lihit Lab Book-Type Pen Case that has loads of pockets and sleeves that will take everything I need including my Field Notes. It is great to just be able to throw one thing into a bag and know that you have everything you need to be able to work.


I’ve linked as many of the products as I can to cultpens.com. Not because I get anything if buy from them but because they are the best stationery retailer I’ve found. Great service, quick delivery and regular freebies thrown in with orders as a bonus.

My project for 2016

I’ve decided this year to have a project that last the year. Rather than commit to a photo a day or something similar I’m hoping to do something a little more achievable.

After doing a little illustration over Christmas of Rey from The Force Awakens I’ve decided that I will do an illustration for every film I see in 2016. I’ve signed up to a Cineworld Unilimited card again recently after a couple of years of not having one so as I aim to get my monies worth from that I’ll also be trying to improve my illustration skills.

Here are my slightly arbitrary and subject to change rules:

  1. One piece of illustration must be produced for every new film seen in 2016. This is must be done for every film seen at a cinema, any film seen outside a cinema is optional.
  2. Only one illustration needs to be done per film, multiple viewings don’t need multiple illustrations but they can of course be produced if wanted.
  3. Illustrations can take any form, digital, pencil, watercolour etc
  4. Illustrations must be revised and finished to a decent standard. No sketches as finished pieces.
  5. Illustrations do not have to be completed before the next film is seen but must be completed by the end of the year.

If anyone wants to join me in this quest feel free (adapt the rules if you like).

If I make work that is good enough I will hopefully make a zine or postcard book of the illustrations at the end of the year.