I was recently asked by an artist in Mexico about the tools and materials I work with in creating my work. I thought I’d share my responses:
Thank you for the kind words regarding my work.
There are certain art supplies that are my favorites, although I agree with you that an artist’s thinking, problem solving abilities and talent are far more important than the tools that he or she uses. When I was making Conan the Barbarian in Zaghreb the art supplies available there were absolutely pitiful. I ended up coloring my designs with a children’s watercolor set intended for ages 3 to 6. No other watercolors were available there. Nevertheless, I made it work.
I lived in Mexico city when I was making the second Conan film, Conan the Destroyer. I don’t recall getting art supplies in Mexico to be too difficult, except for getting the kind of illustration board and matte boards I liked to work on. I noticed, also, that the Pelikan inks in Mexico had a different formula than their German counterparts.
The only art supplies that I am really picky about are my brushes. I insist on using the very expensive Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes, although in Zaghreb I was forced to use the little children’s brushes that fan out (they won’t/can’t come to a proper point)!
Nevertheless, here are the tools I use most often:
Black & white art:
3H and HB (or #2) pencils, any brand
Magic Rub eraser (these are great erasers; they don’t tear up the paper)
Bruning electric eraserPanasonic electric pencil sharpener
Hunt Crowquil pen, standard 102 tip and holder
Speedball B tip pens for lettering (mostly B-5, B-5 1/2 and B-6)
Osmiroid chisel tip pen for regular comic book text lettering
Higgins Black Magic India ink (not the greatest ink; that would have been ArtTone Extra Dense Black, which Higgins bought out. Higgins changed the formula, ruined the ink and then discontinued it)
Winsor Newton Series 7 #1 brush (Dave Stevens used the Series 7 #2)
I use a lot of Sharpie markers, too, for quick sketches. They are very permanent and don’t bleed over time (although many of the colored ones can fade).
Fredrix canvas (when I stretch my own) or high quality pre-stretched canvases from Dick Blick. I’ve tried a variety of Fredrix canvases; they’ve all been good.
Winsor Newton Galleria acrylics (for my underpainting)
Winsor Newton Griffin Alkyd oil paints.
Any good large brushes for the painting lay-ins
Winsor Newton Series 7 #s 1, 2 and 3 for details.
Liquin medium (I add turpentine for a 50/50 mix)
Crescent extra heavyweight (less warping with extra heavyweight) cold press illustration board
Prismacolor pencils (Prismacolors are great; these pencils have saved many of my pictures. Don’t forget to spray them with a fixative, though, after you’ve finished your picture, or they will eventually “bloom” with a light, powdery mold)
Winsor Newton Designer’s gouache or watercolor; I NEVER use Dr. Marten’s dyes (they fade and don’t photograph properly. The reds fluoresce and fool the camera, turning brown in the photo)
Artist’s sponge (a true sea sponge; not artificial)
I like any sketchbook with good toned paper. The toning of the paper (I prefer light brown) allows me to add white when I need to.
I color my comics work digitally using PhotoShop.
I hope that helps you out. I think everything listed above is available online from Dick Blick Art Supplies. I don’t know if they ship to Mexico, though.