Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Tools, Pt. 1

Considering I’ll be posting my art, I think this is a good time to look at what I use to make the art and describe my work process. Every artist is different and the tools we use can differ depending on our style and technique.

These days, my style focuses on clean, contour line art and digital coloring in Photoshop, so my tools, or LACK of tools, reflect this. This is what works best for me and I’m not saying that anyone should to go out and buy only what I use.

Shown in the picture, listed in no real order, are my weapons of choice:

1. Pigma Micron Set – Blah. Inking. I HATE it. My hand isn’t steady enough for it; too much drumming I suppose. When I do have to ink, I pull these puppies out. They are waterproof, have great line quality and come in lots of sizes.

2. Pentel Clic Eraser – I switched to this bad boy when I was in 7th grade. I was tired of using up my erasers on pencils and then you get all the way to the ferrule and it rips your paper. Also, I bet you didn’t know it was called a ferrule! I hardly use this thing anymore, because… well, see below.

3. Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball (extra fine) – Here is the ‘meat and potatoes’ of my tool set. Oddly, I NEVER draw in pencil anymore, so this is my No.1 drawing tool. Pencil just doesn’t give me the contrast that I like and I literally don’t feel comfortable with anything else. The line is thin and clean. It has very dark, almost watery ink and a fast response, so it requires good control. It gives me the contrast I need for scanning and light-boxing*. If this pen were a chick, I’d be on my honeymoon. Forever. Like, literally. You’d never see me again. Never. Ever.

4. Zebra M-402 Mechanical Pencil– Pencil connoisseurs know that the 402 is one of the greatest mech pencils ever made. The 402 is super durable with a stainless steel body and rubber grip that’s comfortable and isn’t too grippy. People are big on making custom mods to this pencil and I myself modified the end cap to seal off the eraser, since I’d use my Pentel Clic. I use this when I absolutely HAVE to draw in pencil.

5. Pentel Brush Pen – This pen is a bit of a legend. It has REAL bristles, not that lame felt-tip that is shaped into a point. Therefore, you get the real separation of a brush but it is refillable like a pen. Str8 genius.

6. Liquid Paper Correction Pen – This thing is not only used for correction, but it has a thin metal point so it can be used to draw thin white lines over black areas. Positive over negative.

7. Pentel Ain Stein 0.5 4B Lead – If you’re an artist you’re probably thinking, “4B??? You’re fuckin insane!” Well, let me explain! I know most artists work in HB to 2B but I do a lot of scan work and light- boxing* so I need a darker lead. Yes, 4B is soft and smudges more but the payoff is that it’s easier to see, erase and it scans better.

As you can see, a lot of this can take YEARS to figure out what does and doesn’t work for you. Just think of the hundreds of things that I’ve used and discarded that DIDN’T end up on this list. I hope this is helpful for those starting out or even veteran artists looking for change. The only other things that I use exclusively for my art production, like Photoshop and my light-box*, I’ll discuss in a follow up post explaining my actual workflow.

*more on my light-box technique in the next post!


  1. Dude thaaanks! Im self taught and I want to get better but I never knew what stuff pros use. Where can I bye these things? Should I get artbooks too? Do they really teach you?

    Btw this is Jared from da.

    1. Yo thanx for dropping in! Most, if not all, of the pens and pencils I use can be bought at JetPens. Check them out in my Links page. And hell yea, buy art books! I know they aren't all created equal and buying them online doesn't give you the option to really look through them. Check back soon because I'll be doing a post on really good and classic art books!