([ On Art Supplies: The Traditional Stuff ])
weapon of choice
ugh they’re such a waste of money for me
idk i guess i am a retard with art supplies because the thinner nubs always break or bend for me even though i always try to be as gentle as possible and i bought an 05 once and it dried out completely in a few weeks
i am terrible at inking anyways so there’s really no point for me to be spending money on more professional/quality art supplies
i like faber castells way more
I agree. I’ve had both and I like my castells a ton more, even though I’ve only used the brush size so far. The fact castells can very in stroke size is just unnfff.
microns really are for noobs
Microns are a terrible brand ew yuck.
There are much better pens for detailed work out there.
/discreetly nudge microns underneath a rug
I use Microns for inking (when I traditionally ink anymore) and, yeah, the thinner tips to have a tendency to break/split, the thicker nibs are quite nice.
Saying any art supply is for noobs (aside from RoseArt, because RoseArt is like the Comic Sans of the art world) is kind of pretentious. You use whatever’s available/affordable to you and you should only buy ‘better’ stuff if it works for you.
God, I remember thinking that picking up Prismacolors or a tablet would make me a better artist just because all my favorite artists used them and I was sorely mistaken.
ugh i totally agree. i used crayola markers for years. YEARS. and i used to see crappy artists using prismas and i was like um. its not.. magic?
micron’s tips are too firm for me, though their 005 seems the most reliable. i’ve gotten other ones and they just… i dunno. i feel like 005 is such a tiny point to begin with, its hard to get a good pen that size in general.
Microns take time to break in, I think. Usually the tips are a bit stiff, but after some use they soften up and are great to work with. Plus, they last forever, it seems. But I rarely have to purchase new Microns because I don’t ink traditionally much these days.
I’m awful at blending markers/colors, so Prismas and me don’t get along too well. But I like them because I can put down a lot of color at once and then do all my fiddly details with other stuff. But they alone definitely don’t make one a better artist.
[Start High Art Sarcasm]
For “noobs”, indeed. Real Inkers
use antique bronze drawing nibs with silver inlays placed in the most exquisite hand-carved teak handles available. They only ink with the finest blends of black ink squeezed from the rarest of cephalpods and quintuple distilled through fine silk to remove all possible impurities. They would never
dirty themselves by using something as common
as a “Micron Pen”.
[End High Art Sarcasm]
Terrible sarcasm aside, I like my Microns. I also like using whatever is handy and I can afford to get my work done. Simple as that.
I have skills using everything from a Rapidograph pen to the classic dip pen (a personal fave) but I always go back to the Microns. I also own a lot of Staedtler stuff, a set of Prang colored pencils, Crayola watercolor pencils and Liquitex paints. Why do I have such a collection of tools? Because they all where cheap and available at the time. I won’t knock someone for using something I don’t like or use. I’ve got too much work to do.
Always remember: If one frets over the tools others are using, they’ll never get their own projects finished. = )
[Click Here for High Res
Recently, I’ve started to run out of the supplies I use for doing the art-type voodoo that I do all the time. One wouldn’t assume this stuff is all that hard to find, right? I draw on paper with pencils and ink. You can pick this stuff up anywhere from corner stores to highfalutin art supply shops. How hard could it be to find a something like a pencil?
As I’ve found out recently… pretty hard. o.O
Let me start with the tools I use. I don’t draw my comics with my regular pencils. I have a bunch of pencils and mechanical pencils with #2 or HB lead – whatever was loaded into it when I got it. What I used on my comics was a 4H pencil. The lead has more clay in the mix, making the pencil harder and the mark lighter. Why does that matter? The marks I put on paper are lighter, tend to smudge less and are easier to erase. Perfect for dropping a crap-ton of lines on paper with the sole purpose of building a bunch of small pictures from nothing.
Apparently, the lead I used to use must be some mystical magical graphite of lore because I can’t seem to buy another 4H pencil or lead that matches what I’ve been using since the late 90’s. My luck has proven terrible at buying pencils that actually follow the code written on the side of the damn things. I know I sound pretty snobbish about my supplies but it honestly comes with the territory of using traditional means to make stuff.
When you draw on paper, you have factors that never come up with digital drawing. It’s one of the trade-offs of never having to deal with a system crash eating hours of progress in a heartbeat. Some of the factors that come into play are paper quality and the quality of what you use on it. When working on a page from start to finish, you will run into all of them. Many traditional artists are kinda’ particular about their tools and supplies because they know that those supplies work.
It took a while before I came to the decisions I have come to on the stuff I use.
For mindless sketching and doodling, all bets are off. I use whatever I have on hand and just have fun with it. Sometimes this works out fine, sometimes it doesn’t but the important part is it doesn’t really matter. My sketches and doodles are pretty much just me working through poses or layouts or simply throwing stuff out there. It all gets scanned in the end so I’m never too terribly worried about the paper yellowing or things getting too messy.
For my comic, it was a different story. I had marks that I had to hit consistently. The 4H pencil was just the start. The paper I use needed to be able to take some abuse. I’ve been lucky in that the stuff I use is easily available at any office store – Printer paper and Cardstock. It makes sense, really. They have to survive a mechanical process plus be able to absorb ink fairly quickly. I can put the hurt on this stuff without worrying about it tearing. Bonus: It’s insanely cheap. Nothing beats being able to buy two or more years worth of art supplies for less than other folks spend on food for a weekend. The only change in this is the 7”x10” Canson Field Drawing book I draw my strips in. A slightly more expensive item but I can carry them with me for making comics on the road, they take ink like a champ with little to no bleed through and they last close to a year. All the qualities I was looking for in a portable comic strip setup.
When it comes to ink, I generally stick with what I’ve found are referred to as “Tech Pens” – the Sakura Micron pens or Staedtler Pigment Liners. Again, this goes back to the whole “Making comics on the road” thing. When I’m up for it, I use an old drawing dip pen with Higgins waterproof black India ink. It’s cheap and it works for what I need (and I still have a couple of bottles of the stuff hanging around from college). Both the tech pens and the India ink dry relatively quickly on the paper I use. This means I don’t have to wait an hour to go over a spot or risk an unwanted unfixable smudge across my entire page. The waterproof quality comes in real handy if I spill juice or water on my work. No risk of nasty runs or the dreaded ink fade.
Color is where I have a little fun. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to get a good set of Prang colored pencils that have served me well since high school. I also picked up a set of Prisma pencils that I’m not too fond of but have come in handy. One of my favorite grabs has been my set of Crayola watercolor pencils. I’m rubbish with markers so getting a nice controlled field of color was tough. That is, it was until I found out that I could combine my skills with colored pencils and watercolors in one simple tool. I’ve expanded the colors I have with a Staedtler set. Both work very well for my needs.
Looking back on this wall of text, it probably seems like I’m of one those crazy art supply snobs you may see popping up from time to time telling others “This is what you need to be an Artist”. In reality, this is just what I’m using at the moment to do the voodoo that I do. It literally took me years to figure out a lot of this stuff and find out what I dug using. I gave quite the list of reasons why I use the tools I use and you could follow in my footsteps if you want but I feel the hunt is part of fun of creating artwork. Try everything you can on everything you can until you find the stuff you like. Once you do, continue to try everything you can on everything you can because you never know when you’ll find something new that sets your imagination on fire and gets you in the mindset to make the best work that you can.