Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am a great believer that expensive tools do not a great artist make, but I'm always tempted to believe otherwise when I see someone talented using some pen I've never heard of to great effect.

Whether it's the way Andy Waugh deftly strokes his characters in to being with a brush pen, the furious hatching of Jack Fallows, or me - trying every pen in my arsenal until something sticks, it's exciting to see what tools other artists use to achieve their styles.

So my question to you, dear reader; what tools do you use and love?

- Dan


Andy said...

I might as well get the ball rolling on this one.

As I chatted to Dan about last meet-up, back in the day of Melanchomic I used to draw everything in fine-liners, creating the thick black lines I cherish so much by drawing parallel lines then painstakingly colouring them in.

This method I (partially) blame for my extreme lack of productivity and the hatred I eventually felt for drawing.

I since discovered brush pens (both of the rubber and hair varieties), which make drawing a hell of a lot quicker and easier.

However, they also deny you much of the control you get with fine-liners, but I found the way my 'style' had to alter to accomodate them to actually be quite pleasing.

I still use fine-liners (Muji pens are my favourite) for boxes and text and occaisional small details.

And on top of these, there is the 'joy' of Photoshop to take a flawed drawing and make it slightly less flawed (and occaisionally coloured in) over a long, arduous period of time!

Paul Thompson said...

I'm a big fan of perfectly normal ballpoint pens for sketching in. I enjoy drawing with a sharpie, though I've yet to find a fine liner that works for me.

The Copic brush pens are nice, but i've not got to grips with how to get the best out of them yet.

I'm currently moving a lot more of the drawing into photoshop/wacom as i'm starting to figure out how to make this work for me and i've got a good panel setup for drawing now.

Narrow toolbox on the left, and on the top right a Navigator pane, a Brushes/Information pane, and at the bottom right a History/Actions/Layers pane. A similar setup to Gabe from Penny Arcade in this vid:


The brush pane contains a range of round tips, plus a 7 and 24 point square for panel borders and gutters and now some scattering brushes for Kirby Crackle...

Paul Thompson said...

I should also point that for me all of this faffing about with the drawing tools is effectively displacement activity to avoid doing the actual drawing.

Daniel said...

Microsoft Word

Ian Mayor said...

When I draw it tends to be a propelling pencil followed with a combination of fine liners and a thick arse brush pen, soon giving way to a human blood/tears mix smeared on with my forehead.

This is why I don't draw.

Andy said...

Ian, that's how we ALL draw! It's just that you've got the writing chops to fall back on...