Here is a basic list of staples to bring to most SACG workshops. Most of these items can be purchased online through our recommended suppliers or at local hobby stores. Check the newsletter for additional supplies required for specific major and mini workshops.

Do not worry if you do not have every item when you start out. Other members often have extras and are willing to lend them for the class use.

Because we often have identical tools and supplies, be sure and label all your things so they don’t get mixed up.

If you need help understanding something on the list, ask an established member. They’ll be glad to help! You can also ask questions using the FAQ feature on our website.


Basic Items: 

  • Paper and pen/pencil for taking notes
  • Double ended nib holder (it’s a pen handle with a round barrel in which you insert nibs at both ends)
  • Six-well rectangular plastic mixing tray
  • Nibs:
    • 1 pointed nib (e.g., Nikko G or Brause EF66)
    • 2 broad edged nibs (e.g., small Mitchell # 5 or # 6 and a large nib like a Mitchell #2)

Note: Mitchell nibs are the most flexible brand, Leonardt TAPE nibs are medium flexibility and Brause nibs are the stiffest. You’ll eventually learn which type works best for you.)

  • Mechanical or regular pencils: a soft (2B) and a hard (4-6H)
  • Eraser – white vinyl is good or a kneaded eraser
  • Ruler – 18” or longer. Metal cork-backed is best
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife with a few #10 and #11 blades
  • An empty Tic-Tac container (or other small container) for disposing used blades – this is a safety thing
  • Slant board
  • Gouaches: one Ivory Black color (Windsor Newton or Schmincke are good brands) and any other colors of your choice
  • Gum Arabic (Windsor Newton is a good brand)
  • Six-well rectangular plastic mixing tray
  • Mixing brush
  • Small dropper bottle filled with distilled water
  • Small spritz bottle filled with distilled water
  • Small container(s) with lid(s) to take home leftover mixed gouaches
  • Water container (like a yogurt/margarine container) for cleaning brushes, etc.
  • Old toothbrush for cleaning nibs
  • Paper towels – the blue shop towels are the best
  • Removable masking tape like blue artists’ tape or drafting tape
  • Sharpie marker for labeling your tools

Optional Items:

  • 11 X 17 Calligraphy grid pad
  • Crocus cloth sheet for smoothing nibs
  • Magnifier – 8X – 12X
  • Mag-eyes / Optivisor
  • Ott-Lite (or any tabletop task light)
  • Extension cord(s), or power strip cord(s)
  • Seat cushion
  • Footrest
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Pliers for opening tubes of gouache and/or paints
  • Snacks and drinks


Recommended Suppliers: