October: Question 3What is your tool/medium of choice and why do you personally prefer it over other options what advantages does it give you both in terms of personal preference and job requirements? (e.g. digital over traditional, marker over inks...) And closer up, what is your brand of predilection for that tool and why would you recommend it over other brands?
Steven Sanchez aka says:
Ah the infamous artist tools of the trade! Well, comfort is always the first thing an artist needs to keep locked on since it is what they'll use for their piece(s) but tools are very much so like taste, as one progresses ones' taste for new tools change as well. So keep that in mind for all you future artist out there
My tools are pretty simple, I use a regular .5 mechanical pencil with an HB lead 'cause the lines are dark enough when they go down but not too soft either. I vary within mech pencil usage from a .5, .7 and my .9 which I use to do my layouts with.
The .9 is thick enough so I can get my gestures out on paper quicker, the thinner leads take a bit more time to do that. I use the .5 to tighten up the image and finalize it as well. No particular brand in mind, just a regular mech pencil.
For Markers I use Prisma Color, I love the the way they go down on paper with their smooth colors and building darker tones is amazing. Never used Copic markers but I hear their great and expensive though.
I rock a kneaded eraser, not many of the noobs know about it but it is an essential tool to own, so look it up on youtube
Next a good desk and a sweet comfy chair, that's pretty much it!
Tim Townsend aka says:
In terms of inking, my current tool of choice is the Windsor Newton #2 Series 7 brush with the Hunt 102 Crow Quill as my trusty back-up. Brushes can be very hard to pin down since its all about subtlety and personal preference. The 3 main-stays seem to be the Windsor Newton that I mentioned, the Raphael, and the Scharff. Each has its own characteristics and Ive used them all at one time or another.
The Scharff has a tighter ferule which gives it more of a snap, a crisper, sharper line quality. I find that it's not as forgiving for people who like to ink with slower, more organic energy to their strokes.
The Windsor Newtons have slightly longer, more slender tips and work great for slower, more methodical approaches. They take a steadier hand for long, snappy lines though.
The Raphaels seem to be the elite, the ones that most inkers swear by but, personally, I find them to be more cumbersome. The tips are thicker and make it harder, for me at least, to throw small, highly finessed lines. They are high in quality (and price) and, as I said, seem to be a pro' favorite so, by all means, give them a try.
I prefer brush over nib due to their versatility and stamina. You can fake nib work with a brush but it's very difficult to do the opposite. In the hands of a seasoned pro', there's almost nothing you cant do with a brush. Nibs, while fantastic, tend to lend themselves to a particular look and style. Theyre more limiting in terms of versatility. They also tend to lay the ink on the page a bit thicker thus making it take longer to dry and slowing you down. HOWEVER, you simply can not beat the nib for certain styles of inking. Inkers like Danny Miki and Joe Weems have mastered the nib and defined the style for this generation. If you're going to use a nib the Hunt 102 Crow Quill is the most commonly used along with the 103.
Francesca Da Sacco aka says:
I usually work with pencil, ink and watercolors. Sometimes I color my works with my pc, too, but I prefer traditional tools.
Some years ago, I decided to learn watercolors, because I felt that, in some way, I was kinda half an artist, knowing no traditional techniques. ^^
I felt it was perfect for my drawings, because it's a technique so light and warm much more personal (to me) than digital ones.
I found out that the blue pencil nearly disappears under colors (so the result is lighter then with traditional pencils).
Also, I began to ink only the figures that have to stand out, in order to get a good balance between colors and lineart.
I use Maimeri watercolours (Italian brand. They are expensive, but they are really BETTER then the cheaper ones) with synthetic brushes (size 20 for backgrounds, size 14 for bigger things and size 4 for the smaller ones).
I use acid-free paper, minimum 200 grams per square meter for comics and cotton paper, 300 grams per square meter for illustrations.
By now, I developed a certain speed with brushes and I love to know that, wherever I go, I can take my watercolor box with me.
Another great thing about traditional tecniques is that you have the original and you can decide to sell it ^__-
Still, there is a bad note in my great love with watercolours: the PRESS.
When I use my scanner (which is a good scanner for daily scanning jobs), I can't get files with the same shade of my originals.
Then, when I see my issue published, I always think Great... colors are too dark -__-
Well, I think there is a solution, but is not easy to get it.
Maybe someday I'll find out. ^__^
Michela Da Sacco aka says:
I work with paper, pencils, eraser and ink: I've been working this way for years and I still like it, even if you can get excellent things done with digital work. Traditional and digital are NOT mutually exclusive, but even in schools you're taught FIRST to draw with your hand, and only later with digital means.
I like to discharge my energy on the paper, to fix point of views and perspectives with quick sketches, and to have the finished work materially in my hands. It's a matter of materials and experimentation: manually I can try and feel the brush] , the marker , the pencil both black and colored and it's a lot of fun!
Being able to draw with your hands alone is very useful: if it happens you have to draw sketches at comic conventions, you have to rely on your hands and if you did a good job, the fan walks away with a great smile.
For my daily job I use Italian paper (Graphica and Favini brands). The former is better for me because it's thicker and whiter.
I do my rough sketches with a simple blue pencil.
Then, I use mechanical pencils 0.5 B: thanks to the very thin point you can handle detail much better when compared to the usual pencil.
I also use Staedtler markers: they're very good markers with different point sizes. 005 for very thin details, 02 for backgrounds and characters in midground, 05 and 08 for what it has to draw the reader's attention.
Brush is a very good medium for inking, but it's very difficult to master it. I use, instead, the Pentel Stylo. It's a non-refillable fountain pen woth a soft tip: it's very good for inking characters and item in foreground.
Manuela Soriani aka says:
My favourite tools of work are my iMac (Mac OSX) + Wacom Cintiq 12".
For digital work, it's just the BEST there is.
I prefer with no doubt to work in digital, because it's more precise, clean, and thanks to the wacom cintiq, which has the sensitive tablet which is a true monitor, and I get much less tired (my eyes expecially). It's EFF-ing precise!
Of course, it's necessary a good knowledge and skill of traditional, hand-made drawing before all of this, but these give a definite improvement on the final work's quality.
With digital tools it's also easier to get perspectives right: with the "line" tool in your software of choice (ex.: Photoshop, GIMP, Painter...) you can be sure that the perspective lines will be straight! You can also find software with 3D models, so you can rotate them and find the right point of view.
Just beware: don't trust too much in the hardware or in the software, it's YOUR skill which makes the work!
So, the related brands: iMac with Mac OSX 'cause it's very, very reliable and easy to use. Of course, I dislike and don't reccommend operating systems which are heavy or unreliable, such as the Windows family... I used XP for years: never again! >.<
The Cintiq is made by Wacom... And there's nothing like that on the market (tablet and screen all-in-one, I mean), as far as I know. I chose the 12" model since it's smaller (but big enough), lighter, you can take it with you if needed, and the 21" model, while DAMN SEXY, it's too expensive for me, now.
Are you a pro who wants to contribute to this series? Please note `majnouna.