In my previous post, I listed tools that I use to make artwork on the computer. In this post, you'll see some tools that I use to draw things on paper the old-fashioned way. I use a lot of different things, from dry-erase markers to cut paper and gold spray-paint, but these are the tools that I use the most.
Prismacolor "Col-Erase" pencils are colored pencils with an eraser on the end. I might start a sketch with Red and then tighten up the drawing with Blue. That way, I can tell where I've already gone over something. In addition, each color seems to have it's own hardness. So, if I want to be really loose, I might use the buttery Light Blue and then refine the art with the hard-tipped Indigo Blue. These pencils also work well with kneaded rubber erasers and have the benefit of not turning the eraser into a greasy black mess like traditional graphite pencils.
Pentel "Pocket Brush"
The Pentel Pocket Brush has become the staple for many cartoonists, especially at comics conventions or anywhere where it's inconvenient to use a dip brush. I has synthetic bristles and replaceable ink cartridges. I usually keep a couple handy and I tell them apart by marking them with colored tape.
Assorted Round Brushes
I use a few different sized round brushes for most of my inked lines. If you can afford it, I recommend sable brushes, but if you're as hard on your brushes as I am, don't spend too much money. Lately I've been inking with a Number 3 sized round brush, but I'm figuring out that you can go even bigger and still get fine lines with practice.
Micron pens are great for consistent line weight and with practice, you can achieve some nice thin-to-thick work with them. I keep them even until they get tattered and old. They start to create more interesting lines as they age.
Zebra Brush Pens
I like plastic erasers but it's important to leave the sleeve on. The plastic picks up oil on your hands and that can mix with your pencil marks as you erase, leaving a difficult to fix mess. I like this brand mainly for its hand-drawn logo. As I mentioned above, it's also handy to have kneaded rubber erasers for more subtle erasing.
Acryla Gouache is a really interesting paint. It's a strange mix of opaque gouache and acrylic paint. You can mix it with acrylic-based paint or ink for effect or duration. I use a mix of acrylic black ink and Acryla Gouache Black for inking on bristol board because I like the way it thickens up the ink. It doesn't shift in color when drying as much as acrylic, either.
- Aluminum Foil makes a great disposable palette
- I keep an old blowdryer handy for quickly drying paint and ink
- Bristol board is a decent illustration board alternative
- Always keep new X-Acto blades around.
- Tape! I use all kinds of tape from gaffer's tape to masking tape. Tape!!