Tracy’s Tips – Favorite Pens for Art Journaling

I am asked all the time what are my basic supplies to get started in art journaling (or art in general) and I am going to answer those with Tracy’s Tips.  Here are my five basic supplies which I will break down (and remember: you do not need expensive materials to get started!)

Here are my five main ingredients:

  1. Art Journal
  2. Pens
  3. Painter’s Tape
  4. Watercolors
  5. Paint Brushes

If you wish to get my FREE Art Journaling for Beginners Guide please sign up HERE!

Let’s talk pens! I love to use detailing pens to add dimension and depth.  I will start with some inexpensive and readily available pens.


Sharpie Fine & Ultra Fine – Yep, these inexpensive pens work great, and with just two tips you have all you need.  You can even buy them in one marker to save time & money:

Molotow Blackliner

My personal favorites are Molotow Blackliner which I use all the time because they come in 11 great tips   :

  • Produce fine and exact lines; ideal for outlines, stencils, and precise sketches
  • Water-based, pigmented archival ink is resistant to water and chemicals
  • Quick-drying, fade-resistant ink is designed for indoor use
  • “Cap Off” without drying out 90-180 minutes; stroke width 1mm = 30 minutes; writing length is up to 2000 meters
  • Blackliner Set features slip-proof matte textured barrels & metal encased tips: .05mm, .1mm, .2mm., .3mm, .4mm, .5mm, .7mm, .9mm, 1mm, chisel tip and round tip


Other pens I recommend are Micron:

  • Assorted Point Sizes: Contains 1 of each Micron pen: 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08, Brush, & Graphic 1.0mm
  • Archival Quality: Sakura Micron Pen ink is waterproof, fade-resistant, bleed-free, quick drying, and pH neutral
  • Create Freely: Pigma Micron pens use color from single pigments for color consistency, every time

You will see in my art that the black detailing makes the painting come alive:

adding detail lines to watercolor flowers finished watercolor art journal page 
 adding more pen details to the flowers watercolor flowers in an art journal daisy watercolor art tutorial

Happy Painting!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links.  If you purchase, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

Want more inspiration and artwork?

  • My website with resources, free art tutorials, and more!
  • My creative membership Your Artful Journey, where you can explore the world of art journaling with interactive art sessions full of tips and tricks, conversations, Q&As, and most of all, FUN!
  • My Facebook page where I go LIVE every Wednesday night at 5:30 PM PST. You’ll learn a quick and easy art lesson and laugh a lot!
  • My YouTube channel which has tons of free art lessons right at your fingertips.
  • My Instagram for a peek into my daily art life!

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