A regular post for a regular day for some regular people and their regular eyeballs.


At the risk of repeating myself- (it’s not really a risk, as I’ve done it for years) a commenter in last week’s effort asked me a question about my personal preference in pens, pencils and sketchbooks, so give a more detailed answer again is what I’m gonna do.

Because this is a particularly engaging topic to me, I figured I would take the opportunity to elaborate a bit, and if there is a person in your life who likes to draw, you can get these items for them as a gift, and when they don’t like them, you can cry out, “but a bike blog douchebag (same diff) told me they were good!” and then from that point forward, you’ll never be expected to give your crap gifts to that person again.

Because I tend to be a creature of habit with a real strong aversion to change, when I settle in with a thing I like, I don’t budge, and those of you who’ve haunted this site for a spell might recall me elaborating on this point way back in 2010 in this post.

Clearly I’ve not evolved.

Anyhoo, so as I was saying- Pens, pencils, and sketchbooks are also a thing that once I’ve found a groove, hate the idea of veering from.

As for sketchbooks, I like just the standard hardback Canson hardcover book that you can get from any art supply store for next to nothing;

I want to love the prohibitively expensive moleskine books that all the fancy-pants art kooks use, but I do not.

I don’t think I do, anyway. I’ve never had enough money to buy one.

Since I was in high school I’ve used the Uni-ball EF, and it’s slightly huskier sibling;

The ink is light fast, and waterproof, the pens feel good in my hand, and they have a cool metal clip so you can clip it on the collar of your shirt, which is important when you have big ears like me that will hold nothing behind them.

For the super fine line work, I rely on this Sakura Pigma Micron .005 number;

Again, they are both inexpensive and plentiful, the ink in which seems to be compatible with the Uni-ball in both its resistance to fading, as well as resisting a bleed when used with water-based mediums such as watercolor.

Moving on through my little bag of tricks, I like to carry one of them little click erasers;

If the adage ‘to err is human’, then I am more human than most, so relying on the little eraser that most mechanical pencils come with is out of the question.

And that brings to me to the crown jewell of my arsenal;

This is the Rotring, .05 steel bodied mechanical pencil.

When I was in college, I was in an anatomical illustration class with this Asian kid. He had long hair he always kept in a pony tail, wore black cargo pants, a long sleeved turtle neck, and combat boots. I never spoke with him, and though he was probably one of the laziest people I’d ever been in class with in terms of commitment to the given curriculum, his rare completion of assignments was utterly precise.

It was with one of these pencils he would do his drawings, and I was immediately taken with the idea that if I had such an instrument, perhaps I too could draw with such precision.

Obviously that wasn’t ever the case, but in over twenty years of using them, destroying them, warrantying them, and scouring the globe in search of a cache after they were at one time temporarily discontinued;

It is hands down, one of the favorite things in my life.

Naturally, such a specific and specialized selection of tools can’t just cavalerely be tossed into the recesses of a backpack, so it was with great fortune that Katy ‘The Quiet Storm’ Steudel made me a custom tool roll for my stash;



It’s more me than I am.

Finally, and though they’re not items I carry in my roll, they’re two I’ve very much enjoyed using over the course of not only the last (now) seven months, but have long been a staple in my studio. These of course are the Princeton round number 2 and 4 brushes;

Assuming I will eventually be without a studio, it’ll force my work to become much smaller, and require even tinier brushes, so in as far as mobility, and format goes, I should be making work that can’t be seen with the naked eye in no time.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the tour of more of my favorite (mobile) mark-makers, that if by chance are one day discontinued, will result in me never making marks again.

As far as tiny work goes, I would like to introduce you to two artists, whose works most definitely does not suck. The first is a fellow I came across on the IG who goes by the name Alvaro Naddero.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted some information about him here before, but it’s so good, it deserves a repeat;




I just love it so much.

Another artist was one who a woman named Bepy I met while I was in San Diego clued me in on (whose own work is truly beautiful as well). This new discovery is named Lorraine Loots, and her pieces are next-level bananas;




Besides taking a peek around her site, I encourage any who feel compelled to do so, to follow her on the IGs.

I’m dazzled by all of these aforementioned creators, and feel humbled, as well as motivated as I embark on whatever body of work is next.

Even if the entire thing can fit into a small pocket.

Unrelated to anything that’s just been said, but folks of, or from the front range assuredly are familiar with the region’s famed UFO house;

Having grown up nearby, it was certainly always a mystery what the interior must have looked like.

I remember my sister telling me about how the architect wanted no straight lines anywhere in its interior, and it was generally rumored to be occupied by an eccentric millionaire.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, we can finally satisfy our curiosity;

This might be old news by now, and I do feel as though I’ve seen a similar snippet regarding the house before, but my memory isn’t what it once was, and to that end, it’s at the very least a good refresher for my regular eyeballs.

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Leave a Reply

12 Responses to “A regular post for a regular day for some regular people and their regular eyeballs.”

  1. cdub January 14, 2020 at 6:22 am #

    That house was used in the Woodie Allen Movie Sleeper. My buddy used to grow weed on their property, like 15 acres or something because they had barbed wire fence all around it.

  2. Pedro ‘Roy January 14, 2020 at 7:22 am #

    I went to my local office supply store to procure some uni-balls, but turns out some A-hole hoarder bought ALL of them…
    :p
    Keep on keepin’ Esteban!

    • Stevil January 14, 2020 at 7:46 am #

      They do that sometimes.

  3. DoubleDeed January 14, 2020 at 8:03 am #

    That house was the stuff of dreams growing up, especially after I saw Star Wars (ahem, in the theater).

  4. Momsue January 14, 2020 at 8:40 am #

    A veritable Christmas or birthday list! Thanks. 😅

  5. Craig January 14, 2020 at 1:38 pm #

    I appreciate the tool roll inventory as I’m constantly curious about artists pen preference. I have a rotring metal mechanical pencil that I love for the road, but I also love the thick leaded drafting pencil I’ve had forever. I’ve used the Canson comic art boards and if the paper in the sketchbooks is anything like that then a Moleskine is worth the investment. I spent a good chunk of art school avoiding moleskines, partly out of the cost and partly because the few classmates who had one would only refer to his/her sketchbook as a “moleskine.” After finally throwing down for a moleskine sketchbook, I found it takes ink better than the canson sheets and a number of sketchbooks I tried. Microns, dip pens, and Kuretake and Pentel brush pens are my go tos for inks. But here I am name dropping moleskine, so I just may be an art kook anyway.

  6. tsp January 14, 2020 at 5:27 pm #

    Stevil, at a time when many of us feel like we could not hope to know you any better, you come along and prove to us, yet again, that hope springs eternal. But, even more than that, i am overwhelmed with gratitude that your arsenal of tools does not include a Sharpie! And by that, i mean many, many things (if you get my drift). Well done, Amigo!

  7. Ghostship Matt January 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm #

    I recently picked up a Blick hardbound sketchbook, after using the Canson ones for years, and I have to say, the paper quality in the Blick ones are lacking compared with the Cansons. I feel like the Blick ones are a bit lighter-weight, and allow pens to bleed through way more easily than the Cansons.

    Also, if anyone has a line on Yasutomo “Grip500” mechanical pencils that don’t cost $60 on eBay listed by some hoarder, I’d be forever grateful. Those are my personal favorite drawing pencils, and I’ve only two left. My oft-used black one is on its way out, which only leaves me with one. I’d also settle for a Niji Grip 500, which is what I wore out first, and lead me to the Yasutomo’s.

  8. doubt January 15, 2020 at 6:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing. I think someone could publish a book of sketchbook covers, something like Peter Beste’s heavey metal vest book.

    In my experience the Molskines are not worth the cost. For me the paper is too thin for ink and I get a lot of bleed through and I can see the ink on the back side of the sheet so it isn’t great for using both sides of a sheet. I also find graphite smudges pretty easily.

    I really like 2mm graphite in a drafters lead holder with 2B graphite because my hand is light I guess. I also have a fancy aluminum Lamy 0.5mm mechanical pencil and for more expressive or quick stuff I use a regular old carpenter’s pencil.

    I get free Pilot Razor Point IIs from work that are good finer lines, and 2mm Pentel Signs for fatter stuff. I also like to use cheap-ass Bic-type ball points that you can actually sort of get variable ink flow for some cool fading and rendering.

  9. JoeDirt January 17, 2020 at 8:47 am #

    Yeah but what lead in that Rotring? I like how the softer leads draw but not how they smudge

    • Stevil January 19, 2020 at 9:18 am #

      Hell if I know. I’m no nerd.

  10. Sam January 25, 2020 at 8:39 am #

    My pencil of choice has always been the Pentel P205, but I just use it for writing.

    Ok, good talk.

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