Tools of the Trade

(aka Spiffy Art Supplies)

These are supplies I use most when drawing. And just so I don't get flamed later, I'll say this right now. TOOLS DO NOT MAKE THE ARTIST. I've seen people that could use a crayon on a piece of toilet paper and still make it look good! However, good supplies can be a *big* help in terms of speed, looks, quality, and my favorite...scanning! So why not make things easy for yourself?

I use different kinds of paper for different things. Plain computer paper is good for practicing on (and you should be practicing a lot) and for pictures that will be computer colored.
After that, I like to use paper that is at least 80 lbs. (the higher the number, the spiffier the paper)
Final drawings that are going to be colored by hand go on Strathmore Smooth Bristol board. It's amazing paper to use markers or color pencils on.

Eberhard Faber 'Blackwing'
Just like it says on the pencil, ‘half the pressure. twice the speed‘. Makes for a nice smooth line when I'm doing plain pencil pictures.

2H pencil
My mom got this for me, although I have no idea where. I just know I like to use it for shading and doing under-structure. because it's a very hard lead, it makes it easy to erase later on.

Mechanical pencil
I love these things! Great for detail, and no sharpening required! I’ve used these since late 1998 for the majority of ALL of my drawings.

Basically just a rolled out piece of hard paper, although you can buy them in different sizes. They’re great for lending pencils and charcoal. Especially in places where your finger might be too big for smudging.

Non-Photo Blue Pencil
A blue pencil used for roughs. It gives you a different color to work with so when you add your final line, your picture will actually look cleaner.
With 'real' Non-photo blue pencils, the blue lines disappear when photocopied or scanned (Depending on your quality of scanner. I just set mine to greyscale and all of the blue lines come right out like they were never there).
Used by animators, comic book artists, architects, and numerous others, just because it's so handy.

Prismacolor pencils
The best color pencils out there.

Very good for taking out those patchy white spots commonly found in color pencil drawings.

White Color Pencil
Works the same way as the Splender, but it'll lighten the actual pencilwork up a bit. But that’s not too big of a deal.

Pencil Extender
An amazing revolution for color pencil users everywhere! Get another two inches out of your beloved (Yet horribly expensive) colored pencils!

Tria Markers
Right now my favorite coloring tool, until I can get my hands on some Copic markers. Prismacolor markers are good if you're just starting out and don't feel like shelling out four and five dollars per marker.

White Eraser
My favorite eraser. Good for removing lines from a picture after it's been inked. It doesn't 'lighten' the inked lines as badly as some of the others do. Because it *is* very soft and can easily be broken into little pieces, keep it in it’s little cardboard holder.

Gum Eraser
Now these are great for erasing pencil on rougher types of paper. Please note that although I have the Roseart one scanned, don’t use it if you can find a General's brand one. The Roseart *will* erase, but it likes to smudge at the same time. You can buy a set of General's White Eraser, Gum Eraser and Rubber Erasers in a package together at Michael's for around three dollars or less.

Rubber eraser
These are very malleable, kind of like silly putty, so you can work it to whatever shape you need. Used mostly for charcoal pieces.

Vision Uni-ball pen
You can get these at any place that sells office supplies: Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Office Max, Office Depot, etc. I use it to go over my ink lines after I've colored a drawing with PrismaColor Pencils to make them stand out more. I like it because they makes a nice dark line and rarely get clogged, although you need to be careful of smudging .

Disposable Rapidiograph pens
These are what I ink with. You can get these in all different sizes, from the size of a pin head on up. So far, these have been the best things for inking I've come across for plain white paper, even though I enjoy inking with a brush or a brushpen now and then.

I should hope everyone knows what this stuff is.

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