More fancy art supplies for a 12-year-old
July 31, 2020 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I posted an ask about good gifts for a manga-obsessed 11-year-old last year and you guys recommended some art supplies she loved. I'm looking for more suggestions.

She already has Tombow brush pens, Sakura microns, Signo gel pens, knock-off Copic markers (Ohuhu brand), drawing books, a Wacom drawing tablet, and some art software (her dad is a professional graphic designer, so she has access to different options). She has a regular supply of paper.

I ordered her a set of Copic Multiliners, but I'm looking for other cool stuff to round it out. (I'm going to throw in some anime merch too.)

I'm looking for specific suggestions, not just links to JetPens. We adore JetPens, but I'm not involved in drawing the way she's involved, and she loved being surprised with the cool supplies you guys recommended last year.

My budget is under $100 (so no Copics). Hit me.
posted by marfa, texas to Shopping (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Caran D'ache Supracolor II watercolor pencils. These are generally rainbow/jeweltones, so they're good for abstract work or costume/character design.

James Gurney's color choices are better for fleshtones/portraiture, animals, landscapes, or the built environment. But it's more fun to start with the jeweltones.

Watercolor pencils work well when you activate them with a water brush or traditional brush on low grade, medium grade, or high grade watercolor paper. On sketchbook paper, she can layer some colors but only hit it with water a bit. (If the paper starts turning to snot, then upgrade to a better paper.)

The Supracolor II pencils erase really well, which is rare for color pencils, so the light blue or sanguine colors work well for beginning underdrawings before graphite drawing or inking.

she loved being surprised

Beyond that, sit down with her and see if she's interested in the New Masters Academy online lessons. Manga-style faces are beyond the scope of the lessons, so she may not be interested, but there's really good explanations of how to do, say, hands. Or clothing.

Which are hard to draw.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:15 AM on July 31

If you think she might be interested in a different sort of medium, Rembrandt soft pastels are really nice. (Also can be rather messy!) Maybe add a pad of Pastel Paper in different colors.

As Amazon suggests, you may also want a spray fixative for pastels, though this should be used with adult supervision as it is toxic and pages should be sprayed lightly, away from the face, and outdoors.
posted by Glinn at 8:42 AM on July 31

I really enjoy using my set of Winsor & Newton Promarkers—they are really useful for experimenting with light and shadow. I got them after seeing people use them for comic-y sketches during conferences.
posted by pie_seven at 8:58 AM on July 31

If she might enjoy additions to her digital drawing arsenal, True Grit Texture Supply and Retro Supply Co. offer really neat brushes, textures, etc. that can be imported to Photoshop, Procreate, Illustrator, and Affinity to recreate different analog effects. For example, any of Retro's halftone products could be used to add shading to manga-style art.

Or if analog is really the way to go for her, some screen tone sheets might be fun. There are “Deleter” tone sheets, which you cut with an X-acto knife and stick on... and also vintage dry-transfer / rub-on sheets (Zip-a-tone, Letraset, et. al.) on Etsy and eBay .
posted by D.Billy at 9:12 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]

Jetpens has pens and pen nibs for drawing lines ("G" nibs are the commonest), inks (waterproof inks will be good if she wants to paint over them) and also some supplies for sticking background patterns the analog way.
posted by sukeban at 9:13 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]

If she loves surprises, have you considered a subscription box? I get this one monthly and it's nice!
posted by ersatzkat at 9:46 AM on July 31

A light pad/light box for tracing final art over sketches. There are some larger and more expensive options out there, but this one works quite well for me and my son.
posted by Kabanos at 10:55 AM on July 31

For real old-school anime colours, Nicker Poster Colour paint is the one and only. Not overly expensive for that quality of gouache, either.
posted by scruss at 11:15 AM on July 31

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