Art Studio Tour & My Favorite Drawing Tools!!!

Art Studio Tour & My Favorite Drawing Tools!!!

– Hey there. My name is Karen Campbell, and if this is your first time watching, I just wanted to welcome you. Today, I want to bring you
on a little studio tour because I just cleaned up everything, and it’s very rare that
things are actually all put in their place. (laughs) I also thought while I had
everything squared away I would show you some of my
favorite drawing supplies, because I have a new
drawing book coming up called How to Draw and Find Your Style and I wanna show you… Give you a sneak peak of the drawing tools that I’m using in that book as well as in my favorite drawing pieces here on YouTube and in
my own personal art book. Let’s go! So when you walk in, this is actually a spare bedroom but I took over the whole thing as you (laughs) can clearly see. And when you walk in, I have this big closet, and in it I have my horde of LUKAS
CRYL studio paints, as well as some Liquitex,
and my art library. I have a real obsession with art books, and I use them all the time
for inspiration and reference, and not sorry about that. Yeah, I’m not. I had this table custom
made by my husband’s father, and I love it because it is really big, and I have two chairs set
up so if I have someone over for a paint date or a draw date, we can each have ample
room on either side. About four foot for each of
us, and it’s really great. This is my video setup, so you can see I film
almost all my projects, and this way, I just leave it set up, and that way, I can always be rocking and rolling at the drop of a hat. In this little creative corner here… In this cabinet- Of course, on my foam head. I love me a foam head. I have all my Gessos, and these are my acrylic mediums, glues, adhesives. Noxious substances in here. This is a hilarious canvas I just had blown up. That is myself on the right, Jenny Manno in the middle, my assistant, Mandy, and my good friend, Lucy Brydon. This was on our Scottish castle art retreat in 2019. We were just messing around, and I thought this photo
was just hilarious, so I had it blown up. It makes me smile every time I look. It’s completely ridiculous. Yeah, so here are some projects I’ve done. This one was- I did this for my Mixed Media Magic book, and I just like it (laughs) so I just leave it out because I am a super hot mess. You can ask my husband. You got to love a llama clock. You know what I’m saying? That never goes out of style, and here’s just some recent projects that I’ve done. This is my last project
I just did last week! And I’ve recently
reorganized my entire stash, so I feel much better. I purged a lot of things
that I no longer use. These baskets can all get pushed in, but I labeled everything, and it’s sort of like a blessing and a curse because even
though it’s labeled, I like to have things kind of open and spilling out towards me, and it kind of drives me nuts that they’re in bins, but you have to have some sort of order. Do you know what I’m saying?
Or else life gets crazy. I have my spray paint collection. I love to spray paint. I love it, love it, love it. There’s nothing quite like spray painting through a stencil either. And of course, my boyfriend, Jamie, keeps me company at all
times because I’m obsessed, so my sister sent that
to me as a surprise, and it is so hilarious that- Again, this is my happy place, and I
only put things in here that make me happy and inspired. I have purple walls. I have all these funny
little froufrou things. I love Bob Roth. Love him! And my kids know that, so
they actually got me that. And this is my Jazzercise kitty because I love to Jazzercise. Yes, I’m a super dork. This is a retro, real mirror disco ball that I picked up at a vintage store. It’s actually made up of actual little, tiny mirrors. Isn’t that crazy? And my mixed media wall of inspiration. So I thought what I
could do today was talk you through some of my
favorite drawing supplies. Mixed media supplies will
be a whole other video, but I want to walk you through kind of my favorite things. I can show you my art
journal a little bit, and yeah. Show you what I’m into lately. So now you can see this is what it looks like when I have everything in place. My camera’s on my tripod ahead. “Hello!” And then I have my current work below, and I thought I would
give you a little demo on my favorite drawing supplies today. This is a journal I’m
currently working in. I usually start with one, and then I fill it up, and then I move to the next one. Not all the time. I do have a couple going on the side. A little bit of an art journal obsession. This is a Strathmore watercolor paper, and it’s hardcover, so I love it because I can travel with it, and it does not get beat up. It’s so safe and secure. This is premium watercolor paper, and I like it because
I can do full on mixed media projects like this one with paints and different drawing supplies and stencils and hardcore
acrylic painting. This watercolor paper can take everything. And then, on the opposite spectrum, I have things that are just- These are just plain
old graphite drawings. This is just graphite, but what I love about
using watercolor paper for drawing is that it has texture to it, so things blend out really, really easily, and you get this wonderful texture. Now,some people kind of hate that. This is just personal preference. I, however, love that. I think it adds a whole
other three dimension quality to it that you just don’t get if you are just working on smooth paper. These are actually, just so you know, I made these… This was the August, and this was the September lesson for my Fun Fab Drawing Club, which is my membership club over at We do monthly projects together, and that was for that. Alternatively, I have a mixed media membership as well, and this was our September lesson. This is all washi tape and watercolor, so… Yes, I use this journal for all sorts of different purposes, and all sorts of different mediums. As you can see, this is watercolor, and pen. And so is this, and so is (laughs) this. These were my lessons for
my Scotland art retreat. This is actually just
Stabilo all in water. That’s all that is, over a collage. This is watercolor as well, watercolor. Ooh, and this is Elegant Writer. And this is watercolor, watercolor. So this one is a full
blown mixed media project, kind of like the first one, and as you can see, the paper’s super hardy,
zero bleed-through, and this is Stabilo all pencil with water, and I’ll talk about that more in a second. So if I’m traveling, or I’m sitting in carpool, and I want to grab just
a couple things that I can sketch with, believe it or not, I grab this giant ridiculous
kindergarten pencil, which is a Dixon
Ticonderoga (laughs) jumbo, and it’s a two HB, and then I just grab this, and then I always, always also grab a blending stone, which is like this because yeah, blending is how you
get all your shading action. So I like this medium
pencil because it does dark lines, good shading,
also does light lines. So when you’re doing things that you want to make look three dimensional, it’s important to be able to do both. Now, if I was doing a real
quote unquote drawing, and I wanted to make
something have a lot of depth, I always make sure I
use a variety of pencils because it gives me the full values of my value scale so I’ll give you a quick, mini-lesson right now. So what is a value scale? Well, this is an HB, which is kind of right in the middle of a value scale. Although, I think it’s a
little bit darker than that. Okay, so here’s a spectrum, and we have black all the way at one side. Okay… and then we have white
all the way at the other, which I’ll just leave as
the white of the paper. And then in between– See what we have here. So this is black… And this is white. So this is our whole value scale here, and this is all in my notebook coming up, but we’re giving you a
cheat sheet right now. Okay, so this is– I’m holding an 8B, and way up here, we’ll have an 8H. So as you can guess in the middle is sort of zero. So we’re going up in numbers, and we’re going up in numbers. And as we go higher on the H side, the lead is getting harder and harder and harder and harder. All the way until it’s so light, you get white. Oh my gosh. This is literally a 10H. Just to prove it to
you… Come on, camera. 10H. Okay, so when I’m drawing, I’m pushing down as hard as I can, and it literally just
makes a dent in my paper, and it doesn’t even show up. That’s how hard that graphite is. This is 8H. Okay so you can kind of already begin to see what happens as you go down. This is 4H, so this is
right in the middle here. Right, so this is six and we have two, and then in the middle so you can see… This is 5H. It depends on what pencil set you have, which ones will be included, and I think I had a 2H. Oh, there’s a 4H. Well, you get the idea as you go down. So this one would be obviously
like a little bit darker. Okay, and we have going in this direction, we’re getting heavier and heavier and bolder and bolder, right? So your H… Look how nice and dark that is, so that’s really soft graphite in there. And this one’s a 6B, so it’s not quite as dark as the 8B. And then you have these all… This is a 4B. Okay, 4B, right? 2B, and then we have your
HB again in the center. So you can see you start
getting this value scale. This the quick and dirty
value scale (laughs) lesson. So if you blend these all out, it should go dark, dark, dark to light, and then it just goes light, light, light, lighter, lighter, lighter as you go up. And evidently you can sing in the gray scale as well. (laughs) And then that’s all the
way white at the end. White of the paper white. Okay? So there’s your value scale. So this is that. You can do 99% of drawings
with just these things. Now I do, as you saw, I do
always include the black pencil. If you’re looking at my new book or you’re drawing along with me, you’ll notice, if I’m making more realistic drawings or I want to pack the most punch, I’m going to use a variety of pencils, and I always use black. The reason these look so punchy is because there’s a lot of black in here. That’s the final touch. And then I have this cool new pencil that I have to show you because this is like a super cheap shortcut. Again, if you’re traveling, and you don’t want to
bring a lot of things, and you feel ridiculous
using a kindergarten pencil, you can get these sexy Blackwing pencils. These are my super cheat. They’re not cheap. They’re about two dollars a pencil. I buy them by the dozen, and they are like liquid gold. They have special editions, but these are always available. They’re black, silver, and white, and they have different
softnesses in their leads. My entire “How to Draw” drawing book, actually I did it almost
all with this one pencil, and this has lead that’s
very similar to this one in that it’s soft so you can get a big range of values. You can do really light, if you just push down very lightly. You can get light, light
ranges like our high Hs, not quite that high because you need to be able to see them
when you’re making a book. Then, if I press down harder, I can get up in the 6B range. So it’s kind of an all-in-one pencil, and it has this really
fine, funky flat shape, and I’m just showing this to you because I use these a lot in my videos. This way, you can get a good
explanation of what they are. The white has a little
bit of a firmer lead in it so it’s a little bit lighter. This one is kind of my sweet
spot, right in the middle, but these are really fun so if you hear me talking about Blackwing, that’s what those are. And then last but not least, when it comes to pencils, I like– Ooh, I should also say that these are also very lightweight. They’re lighter than your average pencil, so they’re like
featherweight in your hand. These, on the other
hand, are really heavy. These are weighted, mechanical pencils, and they have the opposite effect, and whereas these have
all really soft lead, which is great for shading, adding a ton of dimension in your work with very little pressure. I mean a very little pressure. These give you a very precise mark, which you need sometimes, especially if you’re doing detail work, so these come in different leads. Point three, point five, point seven. That is obviously the diameter, but these are a nice,
bold mechanical pencil, and the effects are
completely different than that of these soft Blackwings. So these are a must have for me, so I use these all the time. And of course you can always, always just use what you have, and that’s also one of the reasons I always show off this one because anybody can get their hands on this, and 99% of your drawings you can do with just a yellow pencil if you just press down lightly for your H values and dark for your Bs. You can do so much with a single pencil once you understand the whole line weight thingamajig and the value scale and making sure you have your black to light and what is going where, but
don’t worry about that. We handle that in our drawing classes. So my other favorite drawing utensils that I promised I would demo are my Stabilo All pencil because
look how cool this is. Again, you’ll see me talk
about this in the book. Not even pitching the book, I just wanted to show you
my favorite pencils today. So here’s your Elegant Writer, and here is your Stabilo All pencil. So this is so cool because you can do a whole drawing and have all of the value scale represented. Again, using one pencil. I think the moral of the story is that I’m super lazy, and (laughs) this makes
me have all my values with the least amount of work. Really. So here’s your black black. Look at this. I’m just adding water. And what happens is I drag this water… Up. Okay, what’s that? It’s the whole value scale again, but with one utensil. So I think, suffice it to say– [thud] – Oop. Knocked my light over. Suffice it to say, I like it when you get one– I think it’s a little bit magical that with one drawing instrument you can make the whole value scale. Look how cool that is! And then the Elegant Writer is cool for a totally different reason and that is when you… And Elegant Writer, by the way, it’s just like a clicker feed pencil. You can get them anywhere like Michael’s, A.C. Moore, Amazon. When you put water on it, it liquefies like a watercolor, but then when you lift it off… Let me show you. Right now it has these
greens and blues and grays. If you lift it, you start
seeing this pink and purple. So that’s really, really cool, and this one, after you add
water, will be permanent. You will no longer be able to move this, and the Stabilo stays
pretty water soluble. It’ll stay reactive. So you get to play around with it. So once you understand how to draw, you can start drawing with a Stabilo and then add water and have mega awesome shading in your projects with just water. It reminds me of, you
know when you were a kid? I might be dating myself, but I grew up in the 70s and 80s. And we had these watercolors. They were like a sheet with outlines, and you would just take a wet water brush, and you would run it over the sections, and it would turn a color. That’s what these drawing
utensils are to me. It’s like that same magic
when you add the water, and you’re like, “Ooh, this is turning into so much fun.” So I will link here. I will put a link up in the corner to a playlist of my fun water soluble. She’s on YouTube, and I do a quick one of
her on YouTube as well. Although, the real time one, again, is in my Fun Fab Drawing Club lesson for October of 2019, but you can see the quicker version here on YouTube. So the only
other thing I want to talk about is my favorite pen because I use pen all the time, too. I just love these Uniball Signos in black and in white. I use the white for highlights, and I use the black– The really thick nib. I think it’s a one point three nib. It’s great for accents, big, big juicy lines. So I use that in my other drawing projects if I just want to do a
little scribble scrabble, so I had to show you. That’s what all these black outlines are all done with this just gel pen. You guys, and that’s it! You can pretty much do everything in terms of depth and shading and shadow and dimension and drawing if you just have a couple of pencils. I love drawing because it doesn’t need to break the bank. You don’t have to use
watercolor paper at all. You can use regular computer paper. It’s so cool, but I just wanted to show you my favorite, favorite top drawing instruments because they’re super cool. Oh, and before you go, I have to show you these cool new erasers that I got, too. I will talk about erasers
since we’re talking about drawing materials. My favorite erasers are… This is called a Vanish eraser. You can get it on Amazon, but I think it’s carried exclusively by Jerry’s Artarama, outside of Amazon. It’s the best. Super soft. Look at this, and it erases everything. It erases really, really,
really, really cleanly, and then my other favorite one is these Mono erasers by Tombow. I have to show you these because they’re really, really hard, so if you need an itty-bitty eyeshine… I just erased my eye. But if you needed a little, tiny dot that you needed erased, these
are very firm erasers. You can get little tiny sparkles in your graphite drawing. Look at how little that is, and it comes with serious refills, and then I have the shaped too. So these are really fun. Those are by Tombow. Tombow makes really awesome water soluble markers, too. Don’t even get me started
on my marker obsession. That’s like a whole other thing. Today, Elegant Writer’s
as far as I’m going to go. Yes, the mixed media supplies will be a different video, but today I just wanted
to talk about drawing, give you my new studio tour. My clean studio tour, if you will. If you have any questions, just pop them down in the comment section. You know I love to chat. I get all my comments,
and I respond to everyone. Positive or negative here on YouTube, but yeah if you have any questions, please let me know. I hope you enjoyed my little studio tour, and I will put a playlist right now so you can see some more drawing projects that I have for you here on YouTube, and otherwise, I will see you next
Friday for a new video. Bye bye!

20 thoughts on “Art Studio Tour & My Favorite Drawing Tools!!!”

  1. Hi Karen, I'm so jealous of your studio :):)!!! I have a question (sorry if it has been asked before and you're like so sick of answering it): I'm wondering if you protect your final watercolor or Stabilo All art with any kind of sealer? I know you love mod podge for mixed media, but I'm not sure about what you use for watercolors and the Stabilo. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.

  2. Thx K for sharing, perfect place to work and the tips ,so your art is all over your walls ,just like my son ,wow that's a beautiful touch to your decor ,,you are an inspiration as a teacher nd artist ,make it easy to understand ,love that bout ya K,blessed day beautiful,,sending hellos for your family stay safe always,oh and my fav tool is a nice micro pen but I have to get a hold of a good stabilo pencil๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Iโ€™m a huge fan of the lightweightness, is that even a word?, of the โ€˜wing pencils. Perhaps you could do a video on refilling drafting mechanical pencil sometime. Iโ€™ve been on a hunt for a mirror ball for decades. I was the first female mobile DJ with Music On The Move in Milwaukee in the 80โ€™s. He wasnโ€™t going to hire me because I was a female, probably couldnโ€™t lift the equipment, and little experience. I turned to walk out then walked back and got feisty saying that it shouldnโ€™t matter how I was born, itโ€™s what I did in the years since that matter and all I ask is for a chance to prove I can lift your equipment and I can learn anything if itโ€™s taught in a respectful manner. I had heels on and was 6โ€™4โ€ towering over him and said, โ€œAnd really, itโ€™s the 80โ€™s not the 50โ€™s!โ€ He leans back in his executive chair an smirks and said he liked my spunk to stand up to him. No doubt can hold her own with the guys but none the less, a trial. I had good long run of it. ๐Ÿ˜Šwho knew the two turntables were in a wooden case that was the size of a coffin and heavy as one too. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. If you ever come across another mirror ball let me know.where it is. I was surprised at the heft of those too.

  4. Beautiful Studio! i Love that mechanical pencil – GraphGear 1000 by Pentel (Iโ€™ve got 4 of them HB, B, B2, H2) – they have such an awesome feel to them. I love the drawings – Wow! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŽจ

  5. When is your new book coming out? Canโ€™t wait. Thanks for sharing your studio tour. I dream of the day that I can set up a dedicated room for my art. Iโ€™m only a artist who does art for relaxation and to strive to better my skills. But an important part of my life. Some day………..

  6. Your studio is really fun ~ a very happy, inspiring place! My "can't do without" is so obvious; that would be the humble rubber (or in USA, eraser). Not feeling AS guilty leaving a comment on account of sending a message yesterday. Like you said, blips and blops๐Ÿ˜‰. It was also really useful to remember that my absence, Actually?…. Doesn't make a jott of difference. Brilliant for reducing guilt. Can redirect it to other stuff๐Ÿ˜‚. I think it's more to do with missing the group, seeing everyone's art. Soon….
    Phew, so good to see all the yummy stash. Mine is growing, slowly but surely & my favourite (for today) are the Pitt pens!
    Tyfs with us. C๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿพ

  7. YES, thank you for reminding me about those fun books that had the color that would activate with water! I did so many of those growing up!

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