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Thread: tools of the trade

  1. #1

    tools of the trade

    I'm sure everyone who does art has tried multiple products to create,i want to know what do you use most and why?, what makes it better then anything else?, and was it a good deal? can also post about what ones you didn't like so much

    Me personally i tried a lot and have seen their pros and cons all the same,but a couple i liked most art the platinum preppy fountain pens and the copic multiliners, i liked them as they both give me constant lines , easy to use, no smearing and are refillable, but the platinum pens are best , being they have a stronger nib and haven't worn as fast as the copics nibs,, and if you buy the converters for the platinum fountain pens they don;t need the cartridges making it even better

  2. #2
    It's the artist, not the tools. That being said, this is what I've settled on for different work.

    I sketch everything in H with a 2mm lead holder to get forms, anatomy, perspective. I'll tighten it up with an HB lead holder (with some 2B here and there) if it's going to stay a pencil drawing.

    If I want color, I'll usually paint watercolor over an H drawing on bristol or water color paper.

    For inked work, I'll either do brush work with Dr. Ph Martin Bombay ink (my new fave) and sable brushes over loose H sketches or I'll use a 22 nib (flexible) and speedball or Dr. Martin Bombay, and a 56 school nib when I don't want variation (kudos to Smitty for that suggestion).

    As far as nib vs. brush, it's really dependent on my mood and the size of the work. I have a sequential series about dreams that I started with a nib and I've kept it the same for consistency, but for large pieces I always like to use a brush. Since I can clean a nib faster than a brush, I'll usually do quick stuff with a nib, especially in my office over lunch.
    Last edited by Always Drawing; 08-15-2016 at 03:42 PM.

  3. #3
    I've used lots of different markers and brushes and inks, but after years of drawing I've kind of settled on certain things. I do experiment still, which is always fun.

    But I generally draw on copy/print paper, and use Pentel or Staedtler HB lead in a mechanical pencil. I use a geometric triangle that's about 30 cm - handiest tool I have, I think. And a 60 cm ruler as well as one that's 80 cm, for doing perspective.

    Once I have my figures drawn, I scan them and do the lay-out in Corel Photopaint. Re-scale things and correct mistakes - saves lots of time, I've found. Then I print it out and do the backgrounds in pencil.

    Then I scan the finished sketch and print it out in light blue on Bristol (Clairfontaine, 205 grams - because it fits in my printer, anything thicker gets stuck on my printer). Which saves lots of time too, I think - if I mess something up, I can always make another print.

    Then I ink - which is the funest part, I think. I use Royal Talens ink - it's very black and dries quickly, though it's a little thick perhaps. But it is the best ink I've ever used. I ink with Winsor and Newton Cotman series 222 - rather cheap, synthetic brushes but I really enjoy them. The slightly longer hair suits me fine and they seem less stiff than animal hair. I use size 0 or 1 - rather small, but they give quite a lot of variation. They wear out quickly, but don't cost much and have less of a "reservoir" than real hair, perhaps.

    For straight lines (like buildings and windows and things) - often Staedtler or Micron pens and a triangle, or ink and a nib. I'm trying to use the nib more for those kinds of things, it's a lot of fun.

  4. #4
    My favs so far:

    Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil - 0.5 mm

    Zebra Disposable Brush Pen - Fine

    FranklinCovey Fountain Pen (Even though I don't use it as much as I would like)

    Staedler Pigment Liners (Mostly .3 mm, .5mm & .7mm)

    Pigma Micron Graphic Pens (Mostly 005, 01, 02 & 08)

    That's all the info you're gonna get out of me.

  5. #5
    + 1 on the multiliners for no smearing

    But their pretty expensive and also +1 on nibs qearing off very fast. Especially the 'brush' nib, that is going down so fast, it is an insult.don't buy that
    "Censorship is legal vandalization of art" - Urban Dictionary
    |LHW Bottomfeeder|
    PJ Sketchblog

  6. #6
    Oh man, a gear-geek thread.

    I've taken a great liking to Tombow's Mono line. Their graphite is slightly softer than their numbers indicate, so an HB (my default) is more akin to a B. I use a 3H or 4H for working directly on watercolor paper. I used to use a Mars-Staedler lead holder, and I still stand by that thing, but I've loved going back to wooden pencils. They feel so solid in the hand, simple, and comfortable. Using the lead holder doesn't feel as unified and it's not as comfortable.

    I also use blue and red Prismacolor color pencils for things like structure and perspective lines.

    For inking, I usually use a Maru nib, the Japanese equivalent of a Hunt 102 Crow nib. It may be splitting hairs, but I like using a Maru better than a 102. They feel like they're better built. I also love doing sketches and live figure drawing with a Brause 511. It's super fun to draw with. When I restock, it might become my Maru nib's competitor for default because I can use a lighter touch, draw fast, and still get the same types of lines with the Maru but with a different feel. I also keep a G-Pen handy for when I want to do nib work but want a slightly thicker line and more "pencil-like" feel.

    I also use the Deleter or Tachikawa nib holders that can hold both small and large nibs. They have a larger diameter at the grip, so it's nicer to hold... especially compared to the typical, too-small Speedball 102 nib holder.

    I have a collection of pretty old nibs, including Speedball calligraphy and some other brand I can't remember. They're really cool. I've used the Speedball nibs for different lettering effects and ruling. I don't use them very often for drawing.

    I use Raphael 8404 sable brushes for inking. A #3 is my default. I use various, less expensive brushes like Winsor and Newton Cotmans or some other cheaper brand, both with synthetic hairs so I don't feel to guilty if I want to beat them up during painting. I'm not the biggest fan of brushpens, though I do own a couple Pentel Pocketbrushes for sketching. They're okay. I also use Microns for ruling and lettering, but I want to try out some Faber-Castell PITT pens.

    I use Koh-I-Noor black waterproof drawing ink by default. It produces good black and pretty fluid. It's not that great when using Copics, though. I use Pelikan if I know I'm going to be using Copics because they can take the alcohol in the Copic ink. I also have a Chinese ink that's great but I don't know where to find it (I keep looking), and Yasumoto sumi ink that I use for sketching and live figure drawing. The sumi ink is fairly black but it's also easy to work with. I just bought some FW color and white ink to try painting with, but I haven't tried them out yet.

    I use Dr. PH Martin's Bleedproof White, but man, is it difficult to maintain. You can dilute it or use as-is, but it can dry the lid shut or, if you don't shut it properly, the paint will dry and you'll have to rehydrate. I also have Koh-I-Noor white ink, but it's thin and really needs a brush to apply it well (and letting it thicken by keeping the lid off doesn't hurt).

    I currently use the Strathmore 500 semi-smooth 2-ply Bristol board that comes pre-cut in those "sequential art" packs. It's mostly convenient and +/- $1.00 per sheet. I like the texture because it catches the nib; I had trouble using hot press/smooth Bristol. Currently using Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper blocks and Canson XL cold press for sketching/experimenting/live figure drawing.

    I have other pads of paper lying around, like Pentalic's paper for pen and ink (too smooth), some old Strathmore 500 2-ply 14x17 pads that I think may have been affected by humidity, and other odds and ends.

    Wacom Intuos Pro, medium. I like the felt tips for the stylus.
    Last edited by pmginn; 08-30-2017 at 03:29 PM.
    Phillip Ginn


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