My Favorite Illustration Tools

And Other Reasonably Priced Options


I may make it look easy, but I can promise you none of my art comes from thin air! The tools I use to create the paintings and illustrations that you love have helped me build confidence over the years. I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite illustration tools to give you a peak into my process!


The Best Paper

All of my original custom paintings are on either BFK Rives printmaking paper or Arches Hot Press watercolor paper. You can find similar budget options at your local craft store. Try Strathmore or Canson papers.


Highly Pigmented Medium

I love Doctor Ph Martin’s dyes and Winsor & Newton or Sennelier French watercolor cakes, but they can be expensive and may not be what you’re looking for if you’re just starting out. India Ink Academy paints and inks would be good pigments to try to begin with.


Epson Scanner 

Some paintings require a little editing or digital illustration to round them out and there’s no better way to get a true representation of the painting than with a high quality scan. This also allows me to make prints and have an additional record of my paintings. A scanner is a must for illustrators. 


To learn more about custom illustrations or to order one of your own, visit my illustration page.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this peak into my daily life as an illustrator! Have questions? Contact me directly at

Madison Starke

Design * Illustration * Branding * Animation