My Favorite Art Supplies

Often I’m asked what art supplies I use when I illustrate. I won’t lie, I do have quite an arsenal of supplies, as I love to try new products and learn new mediums, but inherently I do fall back on certain brands and tools. Below is a list of some of my favorite, tried and true art supplies.

My Tried and True Art Supplies by Betsy Beier

Water Color Sets

I love Sakura’s Koi Water Color sets. I love it so much I own several of them! I own the 12 color set, the 24 color set and the 72 color set! The 24 color set is really my go-to kit. It has a wide range of colors that I can easily mix to get exactly what I want. The 12 color set is a great on-the-go pack as it is small, and can easily fit in a purse. The 72 color set, well that’s just indulgent, yet super fun to play with as the colors are endless!

Koi Water Color Sets by Sakura

Black Pens

My go to black (waterproof) markers are called Microns, by Sakura. I have been using them for years. They come in a range of sizes, for light to thick lines. They truly are all I need when I want to take my art on the go. I actually wrote a whole post devoted to the mighty black pen! Check it out!

Micron Pens by Sakura


I am a huge fan of water brushes which combine a brush with a water well, allowing you to easily take your watercolors on the go without the mess! No need for a glass of water to clean off your brush, the water and the brush are together. Discovering them really was a game-changer for me in regards to taking my art on the go with me (without excuses!)

I have tried many different brands of waterbrushes, and my favorites are Pentel Japan Aquash Waterbrush (fine) and Sakura’s waterbrush that comes with their watercolor sets. I have taken these waterbrushes across the world with me and and love them. I prefer the thin/fine brush as I typically paint relatively small, especially when I’m taking my art on the go. The only thing I want to note is to make sure you put them in a plastic baggie when you are on an airplane, as they may leak a little extra water with the pressure changes when flying.

Waterbrushes by Sakura and Pentel

Travel Water Color Set

I have traveled with my Koi 12 color set before, but my favorite travel water colors are actually by Winsor & Newton. It’s not necessarily because of the actual watercolors themselves, but more about the size. The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Set (with 12 half pans) is so small, it’s about the size of an iPhone! This makes them ultra portable. The can of course slip into a backpack or purse, but can also fit in my back pocket. The range of color is also quite sufficient to again, mix anything I desire, as you can see from the picture below. I highly recommend them!

Other Supplies

There are many other different supplies and mediums that I use that I will have to write up in a separate post, but that last supply I want to recommend to add to your water color kit is masking fluid. Masking fluid is basically like a removable glue. You can paint it on your water color paper, let it dry, then paint with colors on top of it. Once finished, you rub off the masking fluid to see the white of the paper. It may sound complicated, but it is actually quite simple. It’s like painting without paint and the various outcomes are stunning.

Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid

Note: For simplicity sake, all links are to art supplies on Amazon is just one place online where these supplies can be found. Feel free to search for these supplies at any of your favorite online or IRL art stores!

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