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Help me oh wise artists...
Lisa Moore
post Feb 6 2011, 02:44 PM
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So I'm trying to get into drawing traditionally a bit more. The very little drawing that I do at this point I do digitally, because I can erase everything really easily and start over. lol I'm so used to drawing everything I do digitally that I'm absolute rubbish at drawing anything the real way. Since I'm wanting to contribute a couple sketch cards to the comics for cures auction again this year I figured it was a good time to pick up some tips. Last year I just drew my cards in photoshop printed them out and made a makeshift lightbox so I could just trace them onto the card. ha

So anyway, what I'm really wanting to know is what types of pencils and pens should I be investing in?

I figure I'll need to pick up the blue pencils that you can sketch with first. Trouble is I don't know what those things are called, where you get them or anything important like that. lol I figure I can get them at blue line, I looked and am assuming those would be the Non-Photo Blue Pencils. Is that right?

After that what pencils do you all use to draw in the solid lines, does it even matter? Also any tips for good inking pens. Last year on my sketchcards I got a pen that I thought was water proof and wouldn't smear when I colored over it with markers. Well I was wrong. So I ended up painting most of them with acrylics instead. A lot of extra trouble because I just didn't know what the heck I was doing. lol

So help me out if you can. Feel free to be specific and point me in the direction of any of the pencils and pens you use. Thanks!!


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Fred Lang
post Feb 6 2011, 03:18 PM
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Before I went completely digital, I'd use a non-repro blue pencil to get my forms down, then switch to an HB lead in a lead holder for the final lines, with maybe a 2B for outlines and spotting blacks.

I never found an acceptable pen that didn't dump too much ink into the paper, so I'm interested to hear what others say about that.

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Anthony Hochrein
post Feb 6 2011, 03:35 PM
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I enjoy using lead holders and then mechanical pencils for tiny details. I would love to use traditional wood pencils, but within a short while I've sharpened the poor things down to nothing. I've had to get used to drawing tiny, so the mech pencils help. I also make good use of tracing paper and Saral transfer paper is always optional. I'm fond of my Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes and their Sceptre Gold II brushes as well, as I can beat them up and they're relatively cheap from Blick. I'll use Micron pens for touch ups as well.

This post has been edited by Anthony Hochrein: Feb 6 2011, 03:37 PM


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Casey Campbell
post Feb 27 2011, 10:49 AM
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I'm probably late chiming in here but here goes. First let me say that I just acquired my first digital tablet (intuos 3) and need less to say I'm finding it a pain in the butt to work with so hats off to you Lisa for mastering that media. I prefer traditionally to use a 2H pencil to lay out my pages then move to a softer lead like an HB or a 2b to sharpen it up. I like tech pencils as well especially when adding details to the page beforemoving on to inks. I've even got a .03 tech pencil I like to use now and again. As far as inks go I use a wide variety of pens and brushes. I'm more of a tech pen kinda guy(expensive and a pain to keep clean) but the results suit my style. I like using F&W waterproof india ink. Brushes are an art form within themselves with a wide range of line weight available with the trained hand. I find them too unpredictable for my taste but to each his own. Its really whatever feels comfortable to you. Its a learning process and I'm still learning everyday.

Oh forgot to add other brands I like to use. For disposable pens I like Staedtler pens, Kohnor Tech pens, Ticonderoga pencils, prismacolor black markers are cool too.
Copics are a good brand as well. I've used a wide variety but like these the most
Oh..heh heh..and pink pearl erasers.

This post has been edited by Casey Campbell: Feb 27 2011, 10:54 AM
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Carl Shinyama
post Feb 27 2011, 12:35 PM
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I'm pretty late to the discussion too, so I apologize.

As a penciller, I use a variety of pencils, all of them mechanical except my non-photo blue pencils.

Generally, because of the scanners at OfficeMax when I scan 11x17 art (I am using their services at the moment even though they by and large suck because I'm saving up for a scanner), I start with .5mm HB lead to layout the basic forms and some finished lines before moving over to a softer lead so I can lay down darker lines. I start moving over to thicker leads when I start dealing with issues of depth, mostly when objects and people are closer to the reader in perspective. I might go up to 2mm in thickness. I have .5mm, .7mm, .9mm, and 2mm mechanical pencils. I am going to be order some harder leads soon to for my layouts, perhaps 4h.

I don't use my non-photo blue pencils very often, but I tend to use it when I am going to do a very detailed background and I'm dealing with 3-point perspective. You do not need them, but they can be handy.

However, my most important weapon in my drawing arsenal is not my pencils. It's my eraser shield. This is what allows to be accomplish cleaner lines and doesn't compromise some of the other lines that I've put down but should not and cannot erase, and I do a lot of erasing. A lot. As for erasers, I use kneaded rubber erasers, black pearl erasers, and gum erasers, each for a different purpose. You might want to invest in a razor, because at times, you will want to cut off a sliver of the eraser for a sharper or more precise erasing edge.

Paper quality and type are important. This is what tends to dictate what sort of pencils that you might use and what sort of approach that you might employ. You will also find that your erasers will react different to each surface as well. If you are drawing on an art board, chances are you have the option of either a smooth surface, called "plate" or a rough surface, called "vellum". No matter what pencils you use, they will react differently to each paper. The smooth surface is more ideal for smaller, more detailed drawings, and is more ink friendly, where as the rough surface is more ideal for larger, simpler drawings, and doesn't take to detail as well. 2-ply art boards are fine if you're just doing pencils and inks. If you're going to incorporate paint oils, acrylics, gouaches, watercolors, etc., you will need to go with a thicker paper that can hold the media without curling or buckling, like a 3-ply or higher.

As for pens, and I'm not an inker, but what I find most helpful are the pigment liners with interchangeable nibs. They come in varying widths, usually packaged together. Micron is the best that I've seen in that regard.

As for getting good at it, it requires study, patience, and repetition, regardless of the tools at hand.
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spearcarrier
post Feb 27 2011, 12:45 PM
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Late joining in as well! I'd probably be late to my own funeral.

I just recently decided to start using blue pencils. I used to use grey as my base before inking for everything. That being said, I couldn't find the blue pencils mentioned above. At the enforced help of my letterer (she who holds an art degree where I have none, and thus is created to do my bidding) I purchased two prismacolor non-photo blue. They were also all I could find. If your area is like mine in the art supply department, try that.

They do well, although I've discovered that when it comes to scanning in clean line-art it works better if I scan first in color, then convert to 2-bit with the blue setting checked in my little box. *shakes box*

The drawback to using blue pencil, I have found, is it eats up the tips of my Faber-Castell pens. I'm not liking that. So I'm actively looking for a non-photo blue PEN. Surely someone somewhere thought to manufacture such things. And if not, well, I've already figured out how to make one. I'll do it eventually.

Since I've switched to blue, I've discovered my art has gotten slightly more proportionate. I think that's because I feel more free to draw the bits of things that don't show up when they're behind other bits of things. More circles and guiding lines and such. So that's the 2nd bit of advice I'd give. I was always careful with that before because of the scanning process. I rarely paint traditionally anymore, although I consider it on occasion. Especially when passing the gigantic canvases in Hobby Lobby. Yum.


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Lexia
post Mar 4 2011, 08:32 PM
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I still draw my work traditionally, I use mechanical pencils really, I use the blue leads in my blue pencil and do the basic shape with that, then I use the red leads in the red pencil to draw some very basic details and then finally draw it with a regular 5mm leads ><

when I use to ink, before I used my tablet, I used a gel pen for awhile I found those to be great and easy to use. But then I wanted something better so I got the copic markers set and then I got a few 005 ones since I used them the most. I found those to be great and they are not really to to much. And you can buy just the ones you need since it seems to be only for now thing not forever.

Now it is just much faster and easier to ink on the puter so I do that.

But do tell me what stops you from drawing it on the puter and print it out? Is there a rule against it or something of that nature?


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spearcarrier
post Mar 4 2011, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE (Lexia @ Mar 4 2011, 08:32 PM) *
But do tell me what stops you from drawing it on the puter and print it out? Is there a rule against it or something of that nature?


Oh yes, that's right. There are times I'll create the line-art on the computer, color it blue, and print my blue-line... but when printing onto trading cards that would be a bit difficult. I know my own printer doesn't like handling tiny things and eats them.


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Carl Shinyama
post Mar 5 2011, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (Lexia @ Mar 4 2011, 04:32 PM) *
then I use the red leads in the red pencil to draw some very basic details

This is probably a dumb question, but are the red leads non-photo reproductive?

I have some, but I don't really use them because it's difficult to erase them, but they could be handy for perspective work, only if they are non-photo reproductive.
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uphillbrian
post Apr 30 2011, 01:15 AM
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Workstation process for myself. Digital layout. Old-xray viewer as lightbox. then i use 4H or 3H pencil to lay out backgrounds. HB/2B mechanical pencils and 2B lead holder/wood pencils for finished pencils. Inking with any old liner brush that keeps it's shape (I think brushes would look nice considering the way you sculpt lines digitally), calligraphy pen, Multiple quill nibs. Talens drawing ink.

Different fiber densities in bristol board will hold ink differently from pens, so watch for that. Pentel pocket brush, calligraphy pens, sharpie will bleed out on low density paper.

My short list of never-leave-home-without, portable tools. High-density bristol, zebra .5mm mech pencil (HB), Ticonderoga red checking pencil for roughs (lots of haters on the red pencils, but, i dont give a crap! my eyes hate that non-photo blue stuff.) pentel pocket brush, calligraphy pen. Ultra-fine, fine, and chisel tip sharpies. red prismacolor marker (just in case it needs BLOOD!).

I use so much crappy cheap stuff it's ridiculous, so, I'm not too good for naming good brands. smile.gif

This post has been edited by uphillbrian: Apr 30 2011, 01:15 AM


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Lisa Moore
post Apr 30 2011, 02:30 AM
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Wow, I forgot all about starting this thread!! Thanks for bringing it back up to the top Brian! Thanks so much for all of the tips guys. I'm actually gonna print this thing out so I can go over everything when I have a bit more time and figure out what supplies I should look into getting. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Lisa Moore: Apr 30 2011, 02:31 AM


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Minjaz
post Jun 25 2011, 12:34 PM
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Lol - I feel so inadequate now after reading all the advice on specific supplies and preferences.. I just usually work with what's handy or around me at the time. "I need a pencil... oh, here's an HB under my chair. Good." I should probably be more professional about it. smile.gif


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Lexia
post Jun 25 2011, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (Carl Shinyama @ Mar 5 2011, 03:05 AM) *
This is probably a dumb question, but are the red leads non-photo reproductive?

I have some, but I don't really use them because it's difficult to erase them, but they could be handy for perspective work, only if they are non-photo reproductive.


Hmm.. When I scan the picture I see the blue more then the red but even non photo blue pencils I have are scanalbe which I always found odd being they not suppose to be Oo but yea I see it way way less then the blue one.

But what is very funny is the lead blue and red break way way easier then the normal leads.

Speaking of which, I been using this pen/pencil which is the most awesome thing ever!!! I want the pink one now tho >>


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