Thursday, September 22, 2011

My tools

One of the things I always want to know from other artists is what tools they specifically use. I've experimented with many over the years. Different papers, brush pens, erasers, I've tried them all. The pictures above are what I'm using now.

I'll start at the top. I use Higgins non-waterproof ink, but I never use it straight out of the bottle. Over the years I've grown to have a great distaste for flat black. This has to do mostly with my coloring process. Flat black never really looks right with my coloring process and rarely does the eye see complete natural black. There is always color to see even in darkness.

So I mix higgins with distilled water. Right now I have an "almost black" and a "light grey" mix. You can see one of the bottles right in the center.

To draw with ink, I use a brush. My absolute favorite is a number one Escoda Kolinsky Sable. It's the small blue brush in the picture. Most artists use a number 2, which is a larger, fatter brush, but I've found I can't get the control I can with a thinner brush (I've also used a number zero brush, but it really doesn't hold enough ink).

For pencils I use a 5H pencil. It is extremely hard lead, so the drawings are light. This means I don't have to erase much, if at all. Sometimes i'll add marks over the inks with a mechanical pencil as well.

For panel borders I use a fantastic wedge-shaped marker from Japan, a Sakura Pigma Sensei. I love it because I can vary the line width, but keep it much more consistent than a brush.

The last picture is my paper. I've tried many different brands and this is by far the best bristol I've worked with. This paper has a smooth side and a rough side. I use the smooth. This paper does not bleed and works great for dry brush effects. I just hope they don't change the formula or discontinue it like the last paper I was using.

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