FAQ: Materials

Copic Multiliner SP in Black & Grey

I receive a lot of emails and questions on social networks from aspiring illustrators, students and other artists asking me what kind of materials I use.
Although I explained my technique in many interviews, and I show my favorite materials in video and photo process on social networks very often, I think it might be interesting to make here a small recap of what I love using the most right now (I discovered fantastic treasures form other illustrators and learned a lot reading this kind of posts).

Anyway, my technique is nothing special, I don’t use any miraculous material: my work is based on a lifetime drawing. All is about passion, ideas and one million hours working. I can ensure that the material I use most is hard work.

But for the curious ones, here is my HOT NOW listing (although I’m always experimenting):

PAPER: Heavyweight and with very fine grain. I love using the Canson Iris Collection for drawing and CABALLO 109 for watercolor (believe me, this paper can support tons of water without bending). I usually work in A3 size.

Iris Canson (pack 50 sheets A4) & Caballo 109 paper
Iris Canson (pack 50 sheets A4) & Caballo 109 paper

PENCIL/GRAPHITE: We can create very cool pieces without investing all our savings in expensive materials. A simple pencil is all I need (and one of the most wonderful inventions in history!). I love the Lyra, Faber Castell and Prismacolor pencils alike. Just be sure that your pencil is very well sharpened and combine different hardness for getting the best results.

I also love to work certain areas with mechanical pencil (the MUJI Wooden Pencil Natural is inexpensive and one of my all time favorites).

ERASER: In addition to the traditional Milan rubber, my last discovery is the Mono Zero eraser from TOMBOW. It’s extremely fine and erases the smallest detail. It is ideal for adding lights too.

Lyra & Faber Castell pencils, MUJI Mechanical pencil and TOMBOW Mono Zero eraser
Lyra & Faber Castell pencils, MUJI Mechanical pencil and TOMBOW Mono Zero eraser

MARKERS: I love playing with ink, and Japanese markers have never disappointed me: I ‘m a big fan of Copic Multiliner SP for very thin strokes, Zig Letter Pen CocoIro from Kuretake for brush strokes, and Copic Sketch (their range of colors is to die for!). As the latter ones are expensive, buy ‘Pick your own‘ packs is a good idea (I recommend this ebay seller, who also offers sets of Copic Sketch refills).

Copic Multiliner SP in Black & Grey
Copic Multiliner SP in Black & Grey
 Zig Letter Pens CocoIro from Kuretake
Zig Letter Pens CocoIro from Kuretake
Copic Sketch & Copic Wide (Blender)
Copic Sketch & Copic Wide (Blender)

OTHERS: Experimenting with different materials is my passion and I ‘m always changing, so it is difficult to choose ‘other’ favorites or brands. I recommend especially the Liquid Watercolors by Vallejo and the colored pencil boxes from Faber Castell.

Vallejo Liquid Watercolors
Vallejo Liquid Watercolors

 

When the drawing is ready, I scan it (I have a Canon scanner ‘CanoScan LIDE 200‘) and move to the digital part: I clean and color the scan in Photoshop (incorporating other scanned textures).

I show my digital technique in the following video:

I work with an Apple iMac and a Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. I know that they’re expensive, but they are the best technology investments I have made long term.

But be realistic: these devices don’t solve your life and your drawings won’t be better only for using them. These items are not basic needs: we all have begun to draw with no more than a sheet of paper and a pencil in our rooms. Sophistication comes many years later, when we have a refined technique, and a full-time illustrator job.  Furthermore, not everyone has the same needs: the tool for some is a major change, for other is a waste of money.

If you’re just starting don’t go crazy: the key is work, work, and work (and, eventually, these devices will make your work easier when you’ve already done everything for yourself).

I hope this can be helpful! Xx

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3 Comments

  1. Este FAQ está completísimo! Muchas gracias por compartirlo! ^o^ (ya eres una verdadera artista, pues compartes lo que has aprendido ;D)
    En lo personal, tengo nulo acceso a lápices artísticos, pero como bien dices, por ahora a seguir tratanto con lo que hay. Conozco gente que no puede dibujar con otra cosa que con bolígrafo, y otros no salen de la tinta china. No digo esto como algo negativo, sino por el contrario, como algo que indica cercanía con una herramienta más que con otra, lo que a veces conduce a la maestría en dicha técnica.
    El caso es que yo acostumbraba a usar mis rotuladores, ya que ni la tinta china (plumas) ni otras técnicas se me daban, pero últimamente este rotulador también me está comenzando a molestar, y estoy a la búsqueda de un marcador de punta más suave, que no raspe el papel ni se quede atascado… En fin, escribí mucho, pero era principalmente para felicitarte, agradecerte y compartir un poco ^__^
    Te dejo un abrazo, y que sigas deleitándonos con tus creaciones y éxitos! :D :D :D

    1. ¡Muchísimas gracias Carolina! ^^
      Muy interesante lo que comentas: cada uno se siente más cómodo con una técnica u otra, y sabe sacarle partido de forma especial (a mí me gusta colorear digitalmente, pero no consigo dibujar directamente en pantalla y sentirme a gusto, mientras que los lápices me resultan naturales, casi una extensión de mi mano).
      Por cierto, ¿no podrías conseguir lápices artísticos por Ebay o Amazon? Yo mucho material termino comprándolo online. :)
      Gracias a ti por comentar y ser siempre tan encantadora. ¡Un gran abrazo! ;)

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