Hello! I've been working on a 100 day project to draw something related to Japan every day, see my first blog post to read more about the project.
Last week I got to 49 drawings, and when I hit 50 I decided to pause the project for a while. I've enjoyed it so much so far, but I have a lot of other projects and commissions on the go so I didn't want to end up rushing my Japan drawing each day. I'm so pleased I got 50 drawings completed, and aim to return to this project later in the year if possible.
I'm working on a lot of other exciting things right now - sign up to my newsletter if you'd like to receive email updates about my illustration work.
Day 50 - Another Lucky Cat!
Thanks so much for reading these blog posts, I'm looking forward to returning to the other half of this project in future. In the meantime, there's 7 weeks of posts for you to catch up on!
Have a great day!
Hello! This is week 7 of my 100 days Drawing Japan project, halfway through! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
Last week I was feeling great about this project, I'd really got into the flow of drawing everyday and it had become a natural part of my routine. However, it went down the drain a bit this week to be honest, as I was super busy with other projects and ended up missing quite a few. I've caught up today though and it feels great to be back on top of it! Here's the drawings I did this week:
Day 43 - Capsule Machine
Japanese capsule-toy machines, also known as Gachapon, are like mini mystery vending machines. You don't see them often here in the UK, and they're just for kids toys, whereas in Japan they're more popular, containing higher quality collectable figures etc. I'd love to visit a Japanese arcade one day, to see all the different machines lined up and all the fun things you can win!
Day 44 - Tamagotchi
I still have all the Tamagotchis I had as a kid, they were my fave toys. This was my beloved version 4, I must have spent hours playing with my little virtual pet on this tiny screen. Probably one of the earliest things that got me interested in Japanese culture, although I didn't know it at the time.
Day 45 - Uchiwa fan
Uchiwa fans are traditional Japanese flat fans that don't fold up, and can be decorated with beautiful ornate designs. I experimented a little with this illustration, using just gouache and colour pencil - it was hard not to outline the edges of the fans! I like how the one on the left came out, just a simple painted bamboo design.
Day 46 - Wasabi
Wasabi is the spicy green paste that you often have with sushi, but apparently it's much different in Japan to the west. Real Japanese wasabi is made from a plant stem, which is ground into powder, whereas outside Japan it's just an alternative made from horseradish, with green food colouring. The random things I've ended up reading about online thanks to this project!
Day 47 & 48 - Babahera Ice Cream
I was watching a vlog on YouTube by Sharla in Japan, visiting Akita for the day. Apparently they're famous for little ice cream stands called 'Babahera Ice' - 'Baba' meaning 'Grandmother' as they're mainly run by elderly ladies. They make the ice creams into the shape of a rose on the cone, by using a flat utensil to layer the ice cream. This one I've illustrated is strawberry and banana flavour! I originally just painted the ice cream but I'm so glad I also did the little stall with the umbrella and signs - I think it's been the most fun drawing to do so far!
Day 49 - Geisha & Parasol
I just can't stop drawing Geisha! I use Pinterest for a lot of my reference photos and every time I look on there I spot more lovely Geisha photos. I've been meaning to draw a Japanese parasol for one of my 100 days so this was a nice combo.
Halfway through the 100 day project already, it's going pretty fast!
Thanks for reading & looking at this week's drawings - have a great week :)
Hello! I'm on week 6 of my 100 days Drawing Japan project, getting close to the halfway mark now! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
I think 100 days is just over 14 weeks in total, still a fair way to go but I've still got lots of ideas left on my list. Thanks to everyone that has messaged me with your ideas too, it's great to have extra prompts to work from. Here's the drawings I did this week...
Day 36 - Strawberry Sandwich (Ichigo Sando)
I've seen lots of photos of Japanese Fruit Sando (Sandwiches) and although they seem like a bizarre combination, I bet they're quite tasty. That really white, super soft bread seems more like cake to me! I just love the look of them, how the strawberries are perfectly cut and arranged.
Day 37 - Kyudo (Japanese Archery)
A friend gave me this prompt after she saw a demonstration of Japanese Archery (Kyudo) at a festival; I researched a bit more and it looks like a really interesting martial art! The bows used for Kyudo are so big, taller than the archer, so it was hard to fit it on a page! I decided to scan and edit this one so I could balance the composition, and fix a couple of mistakes. I also added a few Japanese words for the equipment used too (I can't seem to help adding text to my illustrations these days!)
Day 38 - Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat)
A classic symbol of Japanese culture, the lucky cat, also one of the most requested for this challenge when I asked for ideas over on Instagram. I decided to do a black lucky cat with gold highlights and green eyes - but I think I might also do a white or gold lucky cat on another day. I really like how this one came out; I used gouache and tried to make it look 3D but not too smooth and polished, I like the blocky paint texture.
Day 39 - Japanese Meal
I had a day out to York during the week, and one of the places I visited was Ippuku Tea House in the city centre. It's a Japanese cafe and Izakaya bar, serving food as well as sweets & desserts and of course a variety of green tea! My friend and I shared some vegetable gyoza (dumplings) and onigiri rice balls with umeboshi (pickled plum) filling. She also had miso soup whilst I polished off the pickled cucumber! It was so good I had to sketch it when I got home.
Day 40 - Vegan Sushi
After the delicious food the previous day, I got out my copy of 'Vegan Japaneasy', a brilliant recipe book by Tim Anderson, to see if I could re-create the lovely rice balls we had. They didn't turn out amazingly, but ok for a first try! I ended up painting some of the more fancy sushi ideas from the book, using nori seaweed and rice as well as other vegan ingredients like tofu, peppers, avocado, spring onions and grated carrot. One recipe used corn flakes around the dragon roll to add a crunchy texture! I challenged myself to do these illustrations fully using gouache, no pen, ink or pencil allowed.
Day 41 - Matcha Cheesecake
This ended up being a very food-filled week for my Japan drawings! I saw a photo of a delicious looking slice of matcha cheesecake and thought it might be interesting to illustrate as it's such a simple shape. Trying to push myself out of my usual comfort zone with drawing, no ink pen lines here! I created the dusting of tea powder on the top just using a paintbrush and flicking it onto the page, after I'd covered up the rest with paper towels.
Day 42 - Ukiyo-e
I also went to an amazing exhibition at York Art Gallery this week, called 'Pictures of the Floating World: Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints', showing Japanese woodblock prints from the 17th-19th centuries. It was so interesting to read about this period in Japan, influences on the artwork and see these incredibly detailed works. I was in complete awe of the linework and style of these prints; when I draw my favourite part is inking the lines - but imagine having to carve them all by hand! I couldn't resist buying a set of postcards from the gallery gift shop, and having a go at re-drawing one in my own style. Looking at something closely to interpret it into a drawing always makes me observe things in greater detail, so I really enjoyed doing this one.
As always thanks for reading and looking at my blog posts, and I'll be back next week with another set of Japan-themed drawings! Have a great week :)
Hello again! I've just finished Week 5 of my 100 Days Drawing Japan project, that's 35 drawings down and 65 to go! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
This week has been quite steady - I think the further into the 100 days I get the more I'm enjoying it, which I didn't anticipate, I thought I'd be running out of steam! Seeing daily drawing a good habit rather than a challenge makes it more relaxing for me.
I got a bit more adventurous with materials this week too, experimenting with gouache paints and creating more texture using colour pencils. Here's all the drawings I did this week...
Day 29 - Coolish
I can't decide if this Japanese brand of ice cream in a pouch looks delicious or awful! I always have warm hands so it'd just instantly melt if I ever tried any. It's thanks to the Abroad in Japan podcast that I even know this exists - definitely recommend a listen if you're interested in all things Japan!
Day 30 - Famicom
Every once in a while I decide to get my gouache paints out instead of watercolours, and remember how much harder I find gouache to use! Mixing the colours more meticulously, and having to add more and more white paint to lighten colours rather than just watering them down as I do with watercolour is time-consuming for me, but I actually like how this came out.
I asked my partner for an idea of something Japanese to draw and, of course, he went straight to retro Nintendo consoles. Maybe I'll draw / paint more as the 100 days continue!
Day 31 - Toro (Stone Lantern)
Another gouache experiment! It's a completely different process to watercolour, it's more traditional layered painting and I have to think harder about it - I'm a little out of practise with gouache.
Toro are Japanese stone lanterns, there's so many shapes and sizes. I liked seeing photos of ones overrun with moss and leaves - plants are always fun to paint.
Day 32 - Kitsune Statue
A very mixed media drawing for me - I used ink, gouache and colour pencils for this. I struggled with this one, kept really not liking it and adding more layers, but looking back it was a good experiment. I stumbled upon adding a nice worn texture by lightly shading pencil over the gouache, and the texture of the watercolour paper showed through like a bark rubbing. Still picking up new techniques to use in future!
The reference photo for this was a stone statue of a Fox (Kitsune) at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. One of many places in Japan I hope to visit someday!
Day 33 & 34 - Geisha
I think these were some of my favourite drawings to do so far, using really loose ink lines and lots of bright colours. I absolutely love drawing clothing and fabric, capturing all the folds and creases, how the fabric hangs and the way patterns warp and curve. Maybe I should be do more fashion illustration!
I missed a day so caught up by doing two - which I quite enjoy as it's nice to do a mini series of two illustrations on the same subject. I'll definitely be drawing more traditional Japanese clothing as the project goes on.
Day 35 - Koinobori (Carp Streamer)
These cute fish windsocks are decorations to celebrate Children's Day, a national holiday in Japan that takes place on on May 5th. There's so many colours and patterns, I couldn't resist a quick sketch of them.
Hope you have a great week ahead, and thanks so much for reading these weekly posts! :)
Hello again! Week 4 of my 100 Days Drawing Japan project is done - over a quarter of the way through already! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
This week was pretty busy for me with a lot of other things on, but I felt more inspired than the previous week and really enjoyed drawing all these. Also I had a little break at the weekend as I was away having some much needed chill time. I caught up on Tuesday, doing three in one day - think I was nice and refreshed after my little holiday!
Here's this week's illustrations...
Day 22 - Kadomatsu
Kadomatsu are bamboo decorations which are displayed outside Japanese homes during New Years celebrations. I'll admit I first found out what these were through playing Animal Crossing! I like how natural they are, made from pine branches, plants and flowers, and woven straw binding.
Day 23 & 24 - Harajuku Street Style
For these illustrations I used references from a photography book by Fruits, a Japanese street style magazine which documented the fashion culture in Tokyo, mainly focusing on Harajuku. I love flicking through to look at all the different styles, from lolita to goth and punk! Their Instagram page (@fruitsmag) is also great for drawing inspiration.
Day 25 - Taiyaki
A quick one - I used Payne's Grey colour pencil for the lines rather than my usual ink, and quite like the effect over the watercolour wash. Taiyaki are Japanese fish shaped cakes, often filled will red bean paste - a popular street food!
Day 26 - Hanafuda Cards
Hanafuda are beautiful Japanese playing cards, used to play games like Koi-Koi. One of my favourite games on the Nintendo DS as a kid included this game, it's really fun to play! There's 4 cards for each month, and each month has a different flower/plant theme. For example, in my illustration above the left card is from September, Chrysanthemum with a Sake cup, the middle card is March, Cherry blossom, and the right card is August, Pampas grass, with the Moon in the sky.
Day 27 - Kei Car Campervan
I watched a great video by Tokyo Lens on YouTube this week, giving a tour of a tiny Japanese campervan! Kei cars are mini cars in Japan, which look much more economical (and easy to park) than the huge cars everyone seems to have here in the UK. The Kei Campervan looked very compact but so many clever little storage spaces, and a pop up top and awning! I'd love to take a road trip and travel around Japan in one of these. Check out the video, they're really cool!
Day 28 - Gyoza
Couldn't end the week without another food illustration! I used to live in Edinburgh and there was a Japanese restaurant I loved - the best part was the Vegetable Gyoza dumplings with the spicy soy sauce dip. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it, maybe I'll try and find a recipe and make some at home.
Hope you've enjoyed seeing this week's drawings & thanks so much for reading!
Have a great week ahead :)
Hello again! Just finished week 3 of my 100 Days Drawing Japan project! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
It's been a hectic week (again) and the lovely June weather has meant I've not felt as motivated as the past couple of weeks. Nearly all of these were quite small, quick sketches but I quite like that. There's no pressure with the 100 days project to draw something huge and amazing each day, just to get into the habit of daily drawing. Anyway, here's this weeks illustrations...
Day 15 - Origami Cranes
I was going to leave these as simple line drawings, but they seemed like they were crying out for some bright patterned origami paper patterns! I had fun painting all the little details.
Day 16 - Veggie Sushi
I think sushi is the number one most obvious thing I could draw under the theme of Japan, but it's one of my fave things to draw! I'm a vegetarian and don't eat fish, so decided to adapt it with avocado, egg, grated carrot, bell pepper and cucumber filling in my maki roll - yum!
Day 17 - Tori Gate
I saw a stunning photo online of a tori gate in the sea, with mountains in the background and the reflection on the water, so tried to recreate it as a little watercolour postcard. I can't wait to visit Japan someday, and draw things like this from life!
Day 18 - Miso Udon Noodle Soup
If ever I'm stuck for an idea for my daily drawing, I usually end up going back to food. This noodle soup recipe with lots of spring onion and tofu looked so tasy!
Day 19 - Instant Ramen
This is the first drawing I've done for this project which was from life! I was eating some of these noodles whilst sketching the packet, just for a truly immersive experience, haha. I'm quite pleased with this one even though it's a bit wonky and messy, it feels full of life!
Day 20 - Japanese House
I'm always inspired by Japanese architecture, the tatami mats, sliding doors and intricate roof tiles were great to draw. I'm planning to drawing more buildings, like houses and shopfronts, for my future daily Japan sketches.
Day 21 - Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
This day was the closest I've got so far to missing a day of sketching, but I did a really quick scribble of a bullet train and added the ink washes the next day. Hope to ride on one of these super fast trains someday!
Looking back at these seven paintings together I think it was a nice selection this week! I hope in the coming week I have more time to draw some of the more detailed ideas I have in mind, but it's not looking likely, haha.
Have a great week ahead and thanks so much for reading!
Hello again! Here we are on week 2 of my 100 Days Drawing Japan project! If you want to read a bit more about the project, check out my first blog post all about it.
This week seemed to go really quickly, but I'm more used to the routine of doing one each day so it doesn't feel like a big task anymore. Also, you may notice the drawings being simpler and quicker, which I'm pleased about; looking back at Week 1's illustrations they were a lot of work! One of the main aims of this project for me is to loosen up and not overthink each sketch, and I definitely had a bit of a turning point this week...
Day 8 - Teruterubozu
I've been trying to research and find interesting things to draw, and I'm glad I stumbled across the folk tale about Teruterubozu. Apparently hanging one of these little ghost dolls in the window brings sunshine the next day; so they're commonly used in the rainy season in Japan. I decided to draw him against a raindrop covered window, with purple hydrangea bushes outside in the background.
Day 9 - Tea
I feel like I learnt a lot this week, by looking up the Japanese words and Kanji for the things I was drawing, to expand my vocab. The kanji character on the tin here means 'Tea' I believe, and it's pronounced 'cha' - as in mat-CHA, or sen-CHA. Discovering new links in language learning always fascinates me!
I also watched a great video about a Japanese tea ceremony and enjoyed looking at fancy tea sets, strainers and brushes. I love drawing tea pots and cups so really enjoyed this one!
Day 10 - Hanami Dango
Quite a simple sketch for this one! Dango is a sweet Japanese dumpling (similar to Mochi) usually served on a skewer. I'd seen pictures of these cute three-coloured dango, and discovered they are eaten in spring for the Hanami season. Hanami means flower viewing, when all the cherry blossoms are in bloom people have picnics under the trees. I'd love to see it myself someday!
Day 11 - Yakitori Stall
Yakitori is a popular street food in Japan, I think it consists of grilled meat on skewers sometimes with marinades. I found a really cool photo of a bustling food stall and just loved the atmosphere.
This sketch was a bit of a turning point into a more loose way of working for this project! I just felt like using some ink, but went full flow and didn't do any kind of pencil sketch first, just straight in with the ink. It's messy in places and the kanji characters on the lanterns almost certainly make no sense, but I like how loose and energetic this one turned out!
Day 12 - Mushrooms
This one was straight back to my comfort zone, as mushrooms are one of my favourite things to draw! After getting back into using ink I couldn't resist doodling some inky shrooms. I did research different types of edible Japanese mushrooms and they all look so tasty. As a veggie, when I do visit Japan one day I think I'll be eating a lot of these!
Day 13 - Mount Fuji
I have really tried to stay away from the really obvious drawings I could do for Japan, but couldn't resist sketching this sunrise - mountain - pagoda - cherry blossom scene. I worked on a watercolour postcard for this so it's the smallest drawing so far; I really liked the size limitation and think I'll definitely be doing more postcard ones.
Day 14 - Onigiri - Rice Balls
I really didn't feel like drawing at all on this day, but I still wanted to sketch something. It's become a good habit now, which is the intention of the project so I'm pleased I still picked up the brush! Just some simple onigiri rice balls, with umeboshi (pickled plum) and chopsticks. Monochrome inks with little pops of red watercolour seem to be the vibe of this week!
Hope you're enjoying seeing the drawings I've done each week, and as always any suggestions are always great to hear! Have a lovely week ahead :)
Hello! If you read last week’s post you’ll know I’ve just started a new project, 100 days of drawing Japan. So each day, I’m trying to draw something related to Japan, and attempt to learn more about Japanese language and culture along the way. I’m trying to depict little everyday moments and things that interest me, as a way of virtually travelling there and exploring.
This first week has been really fun! I think making time each day to sit and just draw something that interests me is great for my mood, and I’ve actually found I’ve been more productive with other work too. It’s like drawing is exercise for my brain, and once it’s been warmed up by doing my daily sketch, I’m able to get going on other things easier.
Here's the drawings I did this week...
Day 1 - Koi Carp
This is quite unlike my usual style as I don’t normally use watercolours as wet as this, letting the colours all bleed together, but I think it was honestly the most fun to do! I love how loose and sketchy the fish are - later in the week I got a bit too finicky with details, think I prefer the more relaxed inky style I did here.
Day 2 - Bonsai Trees
I used a calligraphy pen for these which I do enjoy, as you can get lovely variations in line weight. Bonsai trees are so great, I’ve been really into gardening & plants lately so think that inspired this choice.
Day 3 - Currency (Yen)
I’m always interested in what coins and bank notes look like in different countries, and when I researched I found Japan has beautiful designs on theirs, so I had to sketch them. This was the first of a lot of Japanese writing I attempted throughout the week, and some characters were so small to draw in this illustration that I resorted to squiggles!
Day 4 - Post Box
With 100 days to fill I'm sure I'll end up drawing more obvious things from Japanese culture, but I'm always intrigued by everyday moments in other cultures, like posting a letter in a little red box surrounded by hydrangea flowers! I normally start with my lineart and wash with watercolour over the top, but I mixed things up this time.
Day 5 - Bento
This was the quickest drawing of the week but possibly my favourite. I love drawing food, and I ended up labelling the different components of the bento box, which I enjoyed too. I think this one just felt more spontaneous, quickly sketching down the food and noting down the ingredients.
Day 6 - Vending Machine
This one became fiddly and laborious real fast! I think I got too perfectionistic with it, but I’m pleased with the end result, even though it took ages! A lot of Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji here which were fun to practise (I used reference photos, I don’t know very much myself yet!) so here’s hoping they all look correct - it’s meant to say ‘Vending Machine’ down the side.
Day 7 - Pocky
Again, pleased with the end result but lots more fiddly details and I ended up straining my eyes! I think the box looks a bit stiff because I used a ruler, I usually draw things freehand and like the wobbly-ness! I think my favourite part is the strawberries, really makes me feel summery.
I’m pleased with how the first few have come out, although my advice to myself for the rest of the 100 days is to loosen up more!
I was filming all the drawings at the start of the week, but that got to be a bit too much work so I’m taking a break from that. Also, it was starting to limit what time of the day I had to get them done by, due to the lighting on my desk, and I wasn’t able to relax much as I drew them. I am pleased I made a few videos though, as it’s taught me more about video editing. The videos are all over on my YouTube channel if you fancy checking them out!
If you’d like a print of any of the illustrations, just ask - I am aiming to get prints of some of them up in my Etsy shop each week rather than waiting and doing a big update at the end of the project, which would take forever. Keep an eye out in the shop for prints soon!
I’m looking forward to the upcoming week, got lots of ideas for more Japan themed drawings! Any suggestions of course I’d love to hear, and thanks so much for reading!
I'm going to be challenging myself to take part in the 100 day project! It's pretty simple, you just do a creative activity every day for 100 days, and it starts today, 1st June. I think this is the boost I need to get me feeling inspired again, as I've got out of the habit of daily drawing lately, something I very much love to do! Read more about the project at www.100daysscotland.co.uk.
My theme is just simply going to be Japan. Literally anything to do with Japan, which will keep it varied enough so I stay interested. I’m thinking of little shop fronts with signs in Japanese, pagodas and temples and shrines, and allllll the food. I’ve started a list of possible prompts but any ideas are welcome! I’m really interested in Japan and it’s culture, and hope to visit someday! I constantly listen to podcasts and watch videos about it, and dabbled with learning a bit of the language (although I haven’t got very far!) It'll be a good way to tide myself over until I can finally visit Japan, and learn more about the culture along the way.
I’ve decided to work on loose sheets for this project, so to make myself commit I bought a huge stack of paper! I got A3 and A4 pads so I can vary up the paper size, and cut them down to make A5 too. Even though I use watercolours a lot I rarely use actual watercolour paper (I really should!) so I've gone for these very reasonable Cass Art pads, recommended to me by a few people so I'm excited to try them out.
I’ll share some of the illustrations over on my Instagram page, but it probably won’t be every day, as I don't want to pressure myself. This project is mostly about getting myself back into the habit of daily drawing, without rushing to create things just to post on social media. I want to be able to really enjoy illustrating each piece and get as much out of the experience as possible. I am planning on writing blog posts weekly updating how the project is going and showing all the drawings from that week, and chatting about them, so keep your eyes peeled here on my blog for those!
I quite often get asked what materials I use in my drawings, so this blog post is an attempt to go over a few of the things I like to use, and some little tips for things that I've found work well. I do a lot of sketching on the go, in coffee shops or outside on location, so I like to have art materials that are portable, quick to use and not too messy!
(I'm not paid to mention any brands or anything, these are just all things I like to use in my work)
Here's a quick look at some new things I got in my last Jacksons Art order. I really like their site, it has everything I need in one place and it's good to support more independent businesses. I had just finished my sketchbook (I have a full flip through video here) and needed a replacement, and of course ended up getting a few other things I had my eye on. I think the only thing I haven't used much yet is the recycled A4 paper pad, as I found it didn't take wet media that well, so I'll keep it for pencil and marker drawings. I don't often do loose sheet work as I much prefer a sketchbook usually.
Pencils - I'm a recent convert, I never used to use pencils but lately I can't stop buying new colours! They're just so convenient, you get instant colour without any mixing or blending. I have a mix of a few different types, including Caran D'Ache Luminance and Holbein Artists which are both so great to use. I won't go into comparisons as I'm no pencil expert but I'm enjoying trying them out so far! I also love Derwent pencils, I have some Coloursoft and Lightfast, as well as the water soluble ones Graphitint and Inktense. These are so so great as you've got some amazing pigments without needing a full set of inks or watercolours!
I also like to 'swatch' all the colours of pencils I have in the back or front of my sketchbook, so that when I'm sketching I have a quick reference of the colours so I can easily pick out which I need. Also a pencil roll is way easier in my opinion than a case for pencils as I can see what I've got, and they don't tip out everywhere!
Sketchbooks - Right now I'm using a Seawhite travel journal, A5, hard covers with 130gsm paper. I just filled one of the same type so decided to get another, it's great for mixed media and the paper is just thick enough that things don't go through. If I had one criticism I'd say sometimes it goes a little bit grainy when using wet media like watercolours, and they don't looks as saturated as on other paper I've used. Overall though it's still one of the best sketchbooks I've tried, especially for outside as it's a portable size with nice rounded corners!
I also have another Seawhite on the go, but an A4 landscape watercolour paper book. I really like lanscape orientated sketchbooks for on location sketching, but they're a bit more cumbersome to hold especially if you're sketching stood up. The paper in this one takes the watercolour so much better, and my fave Pentel ink brush pen, which tends to bleed out on thinner paper. I guess watercolour paper is more absorbent so it can take the wetness of the ink.
Pens - I could go on about pens all day but for now I'll just give you my top 3! Firstly, the Pentel pocket ink brush pen, I love the inky effects you can get with this, it's refillable, and waterproof so you can add watercolour over the top! I've had it for years and it's always been a staple of my pencil case. Secondly, the Tombow Fudenosuke calligraphy pen with soft point, I think this is the one I use the most and it's perfect for detail but still has that lovely variable line you get from calligraphy pens. Perfect for writing as well as drawing, and once again waterproof. Thirdly, a chunky Artline calligraphy pen, really good for a variation of line and filling in darker areas quickly, almost doubles as a marker. There's a theme here, again it's waterproof - I have no time for inks that run! I often cheat a little and add colour to sketches onces I get home, so the lineart needs to be waterproof for me.
Paints - I'm a big fan of using watercolours; my old reliable set I use at home is a Windsor and Newton 24 pan set. Again I prefer quick sketches so usually go for pans over tubes. I also dabble with gouache once in a while, and found that Arteza gouache colour tubes are really good quality.
For outside painting, I made myself a messy little watercolour set using an empty tin and some pans from an old set. I also keep a tiny paintbrush in there, and a tube of white gouache for any mistakes. I also have this round set which is kinda cool and portable as you can separate the layers of colours, but the paint quality isn't quite as good - ok for quick washes though!
Water - I'm often using watercolour paints or water soluble pencils, so this (now rather battered) pop up water cup is one of my fave bits of kit! I got it years ago, I think it was by Faber Castell, and I've used it so much- as you can tell. I love the bumpy top edge to keep brushes from rolling off! If I'm painting outside I still use it and just fill it up from my drinking bottle I always have in my bag (stay hydrated kids!) However, a recent game changer is this Caran D'Ache water brush, with an extra reservoir tank that holds a decent amount of water- so useful for quick work.
Markers - so useful for quick sketching as you can fill a space up with really saturated colour so easily. I have a handful of Tombow ABT water based markers, which are a bit blendable if you add water, which can create some nice effects. I prefer water based to alchohol based markers as I like to draw on both sides of the pages in my sketchbook, and alchohol ones go through the page. Water based don't blend together as well as alchohol based but I quite like the loose, textural style of layered colours they can give. As a budget friendly alternative to the Tombow ones I have some WHSmith ones that are similar, great to start out with.
Finally, I always have a couple of bulldog clips for windy days so the pages don't blow about, and of course a pencil sharpener and eraser! Hopefully this was helpful, and any questions about specific materials or techniques please ask! :)