Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

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Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby Tainted-Pink on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:22 pm

What do other artists use? I have a few categories for what I would really like to know...

Skintones: What colors/shades/tools do you use?
Inking: What works? What doesn't?
Erasers: What was a great buy? What was a waste of time?
Colors: What makes a VIBRANT color? What is good for bulk jobs? What is great for minute detailing?

Personally, this is that I've found:

Skintones: I use normally four Copic shades: E-50, E-51, E-53, and E-00 (Eggshell, Milky White, Raw Silk, and Skin White). Now, these look kind of yellow at first glance, but once on the page and put with each other, they blend and work together. Skin White is great for cheeks and lips, as it's more pink, and for a "natural" lip color, I tend to use another copic, "Flesh" (I can't remember the number off top of my head), then put Skin White over it, and it goes very well. This really only works, though, for fair to average skin tone, I can't seem to work out a "tan" look. Suggestions?

Inking: For a quick job, if there's no coloring or real shading, then Sharpie pens work. For those artists out there that just gasped and shrieked "BLASPHEMY!", trust me, it works. ^^ If you have more time, and you want to color or grey-scale it by hand (I do it sometimes, when I'm not lazy), Copic Multiliners are suggested, as well as Sakura Micron ink pens. They tend not to bleed with your colors. HOWEVER!!! I must say that if you're using Faber Castell brush pens, then they WILL BLEED! I didn't realize this. Had to restart a while commission once. I learn fast.

Erasers: Pencil erasers. They is the bomb-diggity, yo. Okay, stupid comment aside... There are erasers that have the wood of a pencil around them, and you can sharpen them to a point and are great for getting fine details, like if you're working with pencil shading, it works really slick. That, and click erasers work well. The big pink erasers that we all got in Elementary school work fantastic (and so do the white ones! Though my dog comments that they taste pretty bad...). Kneaded erasers are pretty cool too (and entertaining!) and when they get black, just toss it in some soapy water, knead it a bit, pull it out, dry off, knead some more, and resume use.

Colors: Actually, I find for the most part, that Prismacolors seem kind of dull for most of their colors. It might just be my weird taste, but they seem that way, when they dry. Copics are like this too, and I often have to take a Crayola (Yes, dimestore Crayola) and go over it to bring that vibrance back into it. I do want to say that as far as my opinion goes, Roseart is not near the color vibrance or quality, but again, my own opinion.

Watercolor: Yeah, I know. Those dinky little trays of 12 colors you get in grade school. But you can do cool stuff! If you take a dried out marker, get it a bit wet, rub it around on the watercolor of your choice, and dip your "brush" back into the water for a moment, you have a marker with watercolor that you can spread around with the ease of a marker applicator! Now, I don't suggest taking a dried out orange and coloring purple with it. It might actually reactivate the dried ink and run into the watercolor! So just keep in mind: blue with the blues, yellow with yellows, etc.

Feel free to throw in your own tips and advice for traditional artists!
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Re: Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby cuddlycornpone on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:22 am

I'm fairly new to the world of coloring stuff and making my work actually presentable, but I think the reason a lot of people avoid Sharpie is that it turns green after a while. I think that depends on what paper you're using because I haven't noticed it myself yet, but I just wanted to mention it in case you feel very close to your originals. (If anyone else can clarify this further feel free to take it away)

In other news, I color with anything around. The finished pieces tend to look like a giant smattering of poorly thought out mixed-media. Of course, I think it looks good, but otherwise I wouldn't be drawing it still, would I? :D I sketch with your typical Dixon Ticonderoga, ink with Staedtler, get down skin, eyes, hair color and sometimes clothes and objects with a variety of brands of colored pencils, do backgrounds with crayon (it gets the job done) and then go back with watercolor paint or markers if I missed anything or if I feel things look unsaturated. Basically I spasmodically grab anything around and smoosh it onto my drawing.

It looks pretty childish and surreal, but I like it, and besides, I never said I was a paragon of admirable art form.
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Re: Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby VinnieD on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:34 pm

For erasers I like General's Kneaded gum eraser. You can mold it to whatever size you like, it doesn't leave dust, and doesn't damage the paper. Good if you change your mind a lot while penciling. Though it won't get up really heavy pencils, so keep a tougher one around for that, or learn to be less heavy handed.

For when you need a vast blob of black, instead of sharpie (which I've found EATS paper) try using an old fashioned bottle of ink and brush. If you're good with brushes you can manage both precision and bulk with one well shaped brush. It's not exactly portable though. Though you can probably get away with ordering an empty copic and filling it with bottled ink for a portable version.
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Re: Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby Jbrown on Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:15 am

Inking: For a quick job, if there's no coloring or real shading, then Sharpie pens work. For those artists out there that just gasped and shrieked "BLASPHEMY!", trust me, it works.


Blech. Good luck years down the road when your inks yellow and fade. Also, Sharpies only work on thick cardstock and even then they bleed like nothing else. That stuff's like acid.

If you're good with brushes you can manage both precision and bulk with one well shaped brush. It's not exactly portable though.

A 3oz. bottle of ink and a no. 2 brush? Sure as heck is portable. They make small handled brushes (like 2-3" in length) and you can stick a cap to keep the bristles from splitting and stick it in your pocket.

Anyways, my webcomic is drawn completely by hand (primarily because I suck at photoshop and tablets scare me). All of my tools fit in a 8" long by 2" wide art bin.

Pencils: I use a set of draftsmen pencils; the blue kind with the black tip. My favorite is 6h because it's light. I then use a 1mm lead to go over the final lines. I use a kneaded eraser, a gum eraser, and I'm thinking about investing in an electric eraser. I use an eraser shield to keep from removing important marks. In general, I don't pencil much because only 10% of my comic is actually inked. The rest is painted.

I don't recommend the pink erasers because on vellum paper the crumbs rub into the vellum and turns your paper pink.

Paper: Since I water color and use nibs, I have to go with heavy paper. Anything over 140lb is good. I prefer cold press paper for water coloring because it allows for texturing.

Inks: Nibs and india ink. Personal favorite is Hunt 102 Crowquill but for thick brushlike lines I'll use a Hunt 99 Artists nib. For drawing the panels I use a ruling pen.

Lettering: Ames lettering guide and Staedtler pens.

Coloring: Watercolors (and sometimes acrylic ink for sharp, rich colors).

This leads me to something else:
Those dinky little trays of 12 colors you get in grade school.


Don't be cheap with watercolors! There are two grades; student grade and artist grade. Even if you're just painting as a little side thing, you should always go with artists grade. It's expensive (like 6$ per tube) but ultimately all you need are three colors; yellow, blue, and red.

I'm sure if any of you took an art class in elementary school you learned about the primary colors and secondary colors. Three colors can literally make every color in the prism except white but in watercoloring all white does is lighten a color which can be achieved by varying how much water you use.

Personally, I have 3 warm primaries, 3 warm secondaries, 1 warm, 1 black, 1 white, and 1 white gouache which is opaque and used for highlights and edits. 10 paints ran me about 60$. A 12 pack of Winsor and Newton acrylics was 20$. At first I thought the teeny tiny tubes would run out quick but I've been using watercolors for over a year and I still have more than half a tube of every paint. I recommend getting warm colors because warm colors can be made cooler through mixing and water but cool colors can't be made warm.
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Re: Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby cuddlycornpone on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:32 pm

Right so I'm at college, and in the interest of keeping space spacious and limiting the potential for clutter I didn't bring my paint with me. Just colored in a page, but all I gots was colored pencils and crayons. To make it look less like crap, I went over all the colored penciled parts a second time, first dipping the pencil tip in water to help... uh... I guess spread the color more. It worked reasonably, in the absence of paint, for makign stuff look more saturated. It's still a little weak but, as I said, I am at college. You're supposed to avoid your full potential.

Fire engine lipstick is really good for coloring blood. And I think I used an old damp teabag once to make the paper look old. Anyone else have nontraditional means of coloring?
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Re: Copic? Crayola? Prismacolor? Traditional Artists!

Postby Samuli on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:57 am

If you're talking about erasers I have to say Caran d'Ache makes an absolutely magical green eraser. Plus, it says "Artist" on the side so I feel really important using it :D

I also use their colour pencils and watercolour pencils when I do that kind of stuff. Way better than Derwent, which is the competitor here, in terms of colour pigment and softness.

And as for vibrant colour - you can't beat soft pastels. The more saturated pigments just blow your mind. But then again, not one scanner can reproduce those colours...
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