An animation of different pencils alternating turns in my hand over a drawing in a sketchbook

I use a range of tools to create my menswear illustrations, edit them and to share them with the world. There are about 5 distinct categories I want to delve into and share with you here on the blog.

The first set of tools are my Drawing Tools.

This is one of the basic building blocks of what I do as an illustrator. My drawing tools are an extension of me. My hands become one with the pencil and with the pen to interpret the images in my mind.

Drawing on the streets of Venice.

Drawing on the streets of Venice.

I draw everywhere. On planes, trains, cars. At the Colosseum, Pantheon, Parthenon, Adriatic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Grand Canyon. I draw for pleasure and sanity and work. Mostly I draw with whatever I have on hand, it doesn’t matter much. Though there are a few tools which have wriggled their way into my affection.


  1. Pentel GraphGear 500 mechanical pencil. It has one of the sleekest designs, proper weight balance and textural grips that make it a joy to use. It’s the one pencil I have purchased upwards of 5 times and have used for more than 5 years.

  2. Staedtler Mars 780 mechanical Pencil. I picked this up from a friend some 3 years back and it's been a loyal companion on my many adventures.

  3. Koh-I-Noor graphite pencil. Great for quick sketches and capturing moments on the street.


  1. Sharpie Pen has a fine point, no bleed and is waterproof. Sharpie has a range of products that are great for almost any situation.

  2. Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker is great for sketching and dropping a fatter line but with more of a bleed than the Sharpie Pen.

  3. Sharpie Fine Point (The Original) is always nearby. I use for a variety of purposes but it is more of a rare occasion to incorporate it into sketching these days.

  4. Bic ballpoints allow for a range of pressure which provides for a nice variety in line weight and value. It’s much more like drawing with a pencil than with a Sharpie but with the permanence and contrast of ink.

A flatlay of the tools used to create my menswear illustrations including pencils, pens, ruler, eraser, journal and coffee


  1. Moleskine is my number 1 choice for sketching. I am not a fanboy, it simply serves me as well as any sketchbook could. The black, hardback, blank page journal is my preference. The paper holds up to graphite, sharpie, ink and watercolors so that I can play around with images and ideas all day. The main advantage of Moleskine is consistency of product and availability.

  2. Scripta Notes journals are nearly identical to Moleskine, just slightly wider and taller, usually contain more pages and are significantly cheaper. At times it is difficult to find blank page Scripta Note journals so grab them while you can.

  3. Fabriano Artist Journal's are absolutely amazing if you want your sketches to look utterly beautiful. This is a sketchbook I do actually cherish and only use when I want to document a special place or time.

A sketchbook, a journal, neither is a sacred object. Beat it, dirty it, scribble on it’s pages. In this way the page of a sketchbook is less daunting. The act of putting pencil to paper is less terrifying when I do not wonder if what I am creating is beautiful. All I have to worry about is trying. The only objective is exploration and creativity.

A compass, ruler and eraser used in the creation of the painting laying on the table

Other considerations are erasers and rulers. Of course there are erasers that smudge your page and there are rulers that don’t hold true but it’s become difficult to find these poor options. As I begin my journey into more editorial style images I’m finding myself utilizing the ruler and compass and eraser more and more.

Get The Sunflowerman Drawing Tools

Pencil. Pentel GraphGear 500
Pencil. Staedtler Mars 780
Pencil. Koh-I-Noor

Pen. Sharpie Pen
Ballpoint Pen. Bic ballpoints 

Sketchbook. Moleskine
Sketchbook. Scripta Notes 
Sketchbook. Fabriano Artist Journal

Ruler. Stainless Steel

Eraser. Staedtler Mars

Compass. Maped Compass Set
Compass. Staedtler Masterbow Compass

Drawing Set. Brunello Cucinelli Wood Drawing Set with pencils, ruler, eraser and journals

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