View Full Version : Tools of the Trade: Your Preferred Arting Equipment

06-21-2011, 10:46 PM
So, instead of sleeping like I'm supposed to, I've spent a good portion of my evening perusing this thread (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=11203) as well as assorted tyrants' personal art threads. Now, I haven't seriously considered doing any artsy stuff of my own since high school (and boy was it terrible), but I've been starting to get the itch again, and one of the things that always intrigues me is the various mediums people use, how they came upon them, etc etc.

So tyrants! How do you typically make your art? Do you do the tried and true blue pencil + ink + scan? Is your art done on a wacom tablet from start to finish? GIMP or Photoshop? Oils or Watercolors? Boxers or briefs?

No topic is too asinine. I don't care if you want to tell me about your preferred scanning DPI; go nuts!

06-21-2011, 11:21 PM
I never use like media, but my big tool is an upgraded Toshiba M200 Tablet Laptop. A poor man's cintiq, if you will. I use Paint Tool Sai for everything I possibly can, saving Photoshop for advanced effects, typographical elements and color correction.

It's getting pretty easy to dodge live media entirely at this point. All it comes down to now is preference.

06-21-2011, 11:27 PM
I try to use a lot of different materials, but I know I haven't experimented with nearly enough stuff. I've been holding back because of my living and work situations, but maybe that will change in the near future.

Anyway, for digital stuff, I mainly stick to my Wacom Bamboo Fun CTE-450 (it's no longer sold; it's old and quite small) and Adobe Photoshop CS5. In the past I used red (or blue) pencil + ink + scan, but after a while I realized it was easier and less expensive to go with regular pencil + scan + ink in Photoshop. It looked nicer too, in my opinion. I've been trying to get the hang of Paint Tool SAI so I can learn how to paint digitally, but stuff keeps distracting me. I can only mess around with it in short bursts, it seems.

Not that there's anything wrong with inking traditionally. Sometimes I like using a brush pen to ink because of the look I can get with it. There must be a way to do the same thing digitally, but whatever. I like my brush pen.

In the case of coloring traditionally, I used to use prismacolor markers for a few years. Recently I switched over to a set of copic markers, and I like them better. A white gel pen also does nicely for "touching up" pictures I've drawn with pen and marker. Speaking of drawing things traditionally, sometimes I like drawing on brown craft paper with pencil, pen, a white colored pencil, a white gel pen, and a regular red pen. It has a nice look that I like.

That said I believe I'm a mook who has no idea what she's doing. Kind of like if you gave a caveman a calculator. Buh what dis button do

I think it's important to remember, though, that it's not all about the money. Buying expensive art materials doesn't automatically make your art better; you have to know how to use what you've got. Although I don't think it applies to anyone here (that I know of!), there's a depressing amount of people out there who believe that good art can only be made with the biggest and the "best" tools with the highest price tags. I think expensive stuff can only make things easier at best, and even then, like I said, you have to know how to use them anyway.

06-21-2011, 11:38 PM
I do most of my art digitally in Photoshop with an Intuos 3 tablet, but I occasionally doodle with blue and carmine red Col-Erase pencils in my sketchbook.

I only ever animate with those same pencils.

06-22-2011, 12:54 AM
I don't usually like to go all-digital unless I'm at school and have access to a Cintiq. Something about that disconnect between my drawing surface and the actual image just fucks me up every time. So generally I'll draw with pencil and paper, scan it, then do corrections, ink and coloring in Photoshop. I really want to learn how to ink with actual pen and ink, though, because I vastly prefer the look to digital inks, and because the lack of resistance when drawing with a stylus means a ton of mistakes, especially drawing curves.

06-22-2011, 01:32 AM
I have an Intuous 2 I really should use more. I could use more practice.

I mostly draw in pencil and ink with Sakura Micron pens. I also like to use Shiva oil sticks but those things are so expensive and messy to work with.

06-22-2011, 08:43 AM
I have a guitar. Also I use computer program Guitar Pro, and occasionally Fruity Loops for composing purposes

Kate or Die!
06-22-2011, 09:58 AM
I work in traditional mediums, mostly acrylic paint. I have a girl boner for Golden Fluid acrylics, but I'll use anything (I have a suitcase full of acrylic paint), provided the pigment content is decent. I have a big collection of cheap, teeny brushes that I'm constantly replacing. White nylon is my favorite for no particular reason. Also, Windsor & Newtown brush cleaner is the shit. With it I've rescued brushes that I had no hope for.

For work, I have the holy trinity (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator) open at all times.

Alex Scott
06-22-2011, 10:22 AM
I usually keep a sketchbook at my work desk in case I feel the urge to doodle, and will switch between a regular mechanical pencil and one of those large mechanical-ish pencils with 2B lead. I also got some colored pencils a few weeks ago for when that urge strikes me.

Computer-wise, I'm on Ubuntu, so I mostly rely on GIMP, for better or worse. I use a cheapo tablet I found online. I have an all-in-one laser printer for work, since I work from home, but since I've never actually needed it for work, that's my default scanner.

Writing-wise, I do first drafts and sketches in a moleskine-or-similar notebook, and my regular writing and revision in LibreOffice.

06-22-2011, 02:03 PM
A buggy single button mouse that overclicks and this (http://www.lemkesoft.com/content/188/graphicconverter.html). Just zooming way in with the plain ol' set-color-of-this-one-pixel-to-this pencil tool and methodically plugging along.

06-22-2011, 07:33 PM
I do most of my drawing with Staedler 2H pencils. I erase with Staedler generic white erasers and draw on some cheap-ass Fierro notebooks with a grainy texture to them.

I have this nice pocket pencil sharpener that I use when I can find it, but most of the time I sharpen with a Swiss Army Knife. I find that you can get a better point that way.

I used to have a Bamboo tablet, but it broke last year. Until I get a new one, all of my Photoshop and Illustrator work is done with a terrible wireless keyboard and a cheap-but-nice wireless mouse with adjustable DPI. I'm actually heavily keyboard-reliant no matter what I'm doing, possibly because I feel like I'm the only person who knows about shift-tabbing.

07-21-2011, 03:36 PM
Question for you physical media types: anybody have experience with paint markers? I ask because there are these "Gundam Markers" that are really handy for model kits, and I *suspect* are pretty much the same as any old paint marker, which would be easier to find without paying a lot of shipping, probably. So I'm wondering if anyone might have any insight into various brands' quality. And of course they would also need to dry well on plastic...

03-01-2015, 10:45 PM
Thread revival!

Pencil Drawing:

Palomino Blackwing pencils - the Rolls-Royce of pencils, expensive but unmatched in quality
Zebra 0.5mm mechanical pencil - have had this one for 15 years; "Old Reliable"
Pentel 2B lead - for the above-mentioned pencil; a bulk 144 pack lasts several years
Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils - my favorite for rough sketches, layouts, and animation
Tombow MONO-R pencils - for clean-up and more detailed drawings

Ink Drawing:

Faber-Castell PITT artist pens - great quality India ink pens; I use black but they come in a huge assortment of colors
Kuretake G-Pen nib and holder - dip pen; good for more detailed drawing
Silver Brush round #6 red sable brush - for inking pencil drawings or general sketching
Kuretake sumi ink, Black Cat India ink - both are nice, dark inks; waterproof when dry


Liquitex Artist Acrylics - great colors; use these in addition to Golden acrylics
Golden Fluid Artist Acrylics - these are a dream to paint with, but I prefer some of Liquitex's colors so I mix and match
Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache - started using these about a year ago; still need practice but so far I'm really liking them; the most vibrant and beautiful colors I've ever painted with
Butcher's tray palette - enameled metal tray that I use for gouache and watercolor; for acrylics I use foam plates and toss 'em when I'm done
Silver Brush Black Velvet brushes - rounds size 2, 4, 10, and 12; my favorite for acrylics
da Vinci Kolinsky Sable round #5 - detail brush for gouache
Various flats and filbert brushes - I usually use synthetics as acrylics are hard on natural bristles


Basic copy paper - I do almost all of my sketching on this; a 500-page ream lasts about three months
Bristol board - for finished drawings
Canson Watercolor or Mixed Media paper - for practice or small paintings
Crescent Hot Press Illustration Board - for detailed works in gouache or mixed media
Masonite or hardboard panels - for acrylic painting; sanded and primed with multiple coats of gesso

This is not a comprehensive list. It's just my favorite or most-used materials. I've tried a lot and these have worked out the best for my projects.

03-04-2015, 04:12 PM
Sharpie pens and big pieces of paper.