Acrylic ink on board is probably my favorite medium for illustrations. Second would be copics and microns on comic paper or bristol (which I think has already been discussed to death). Board has a really wonderful, almost tactile quality to it that I think provides more feed back to me as the illustrator than canvas or paper does, and so I try to use it when ever I can afford to. It's light, solid, presents well and stores easily. The wood absorbs and holds moisture really well, making it really forgiving when working with inks. Alternatively, acrylic paints on board makes for really nice, vivid illustrations as well. Ever since I started working with acrylic ink/paint on board, it's been really difficult for me to return to copics and bristol/comic paper again... It just lends itself so nicely, I find :'D
Funny...when I read "traditional" illustration- my mind immediately leaped to the "Golden Age Illustrators". No felt tips back then. Mostly they used watercolor & ink (Rackham, Bauer, Dulac, Nielsen) or they used oils (Wyeth, Parrish, Pyle). Or just plain old fashioned ink.
I used to love felt tips. I stay away from them now- mostly the result of an education I got at a gallery. They are fine for renderings, & for illustration whose purpose is to be reproduced. Unfortunately, felt-tips aren't light-fast. Nothing dye or alcohol based is. Expose them to any prolonged UV & in 6 months those brilliant colors will be ghosts of themselves. Sprays & UV retardant glass help, but like their labels say-retards, as in slows down, not prevents.
I use microns these days. My greatest fear is their light-fast claim is bullshit. But, I'm also lazy. I like the predictability of a micron line & nib vs a dip pen. I've never known a micron nib to catch a fiber or an incised line in the paper & spray ink.
I'm a self-taught artists, so I say traditional meaning anything 'not digital'. My portfolio is never exposed to UV, so I don't have to test light-fastness, and I show and sell prints in the galleries, so my work remains archived and safe. I prefer the precision and predictability of microns too. They don't leak, clog, bleed, etc.
Gosh, I miss doing large canvases outside on the patio in the summer.
For inking: sakura micron .001 for small stuff, sharpies for large stuff or anything waterproof. I used to use a fountain pen with green or purple or brown ink but.. there weren't waterproof inks available for that lovely pen. Otherwise, the Deleter brand pen holder with G-pen nibs is a favorite for easy line width variation. There's a few diffrent black cat inks available with the g-pen.
For Colors: Well, I do have a decent selection of Copics recently, although I tend to only use these doing on-the-spot commissions at conventions since it's tidy and portable and LAST. The orignal set of copics I have is 7 years old and still in perfect condition. They don't dry out lol.
Otherwise, I have loads of experience with watercolors, water color pencils, gouche buuuuut my favorite medium for paints is probably acrylic. Sometimes I'll use it in its normal form, but I discovered mixing it with some water gives it the consistency of watercolor, but more pigmentation which was a joy to work with.
I wish I could think of the brands off the top of my head, but it's been a long time since I've regularly used traditional. Most clients these days demand digital x.x. I miss the textures of traditional and how easy it is to do gradation and blending.
I used to work with the Sakura Microns on Bristol board. I haven't really messed too much with any other brands, mostly due to cost and availability, but they did the job pretty well. I agree that they give nice clean lines, and I loved the tiny .20mm for detail work. But I stopped working with them and went back to wet ink because I was never able to get the quality of line I wanted and couldn't get a nice black. Took a bit of editing in Photoshop to get things right.
So currently my pen & ink work is done with Higgins Indie ink and Hunt nibs on smooth Bristol board or hot press illustration board. Bamboo brush to fill in flat areas of black. Not sure I like the coverage of the Higgins for this purpose, so I'll be looking into other inks once this big bottle runs out. I might also look into some other brands of nibs. I like the tiny crow quills mostly, though the larger drawing nibs are nice for thicker lines. I guess a brush pen would be more convenient, less mess, but I love the way wet ink looks.
I've been doing more pencil work and developing stronger preferences in the process, mostly based on the hodge-podge collection I've built over the years. The Faber-Castells I think are my favorite; the quality of the lead is good and smooth. I use a Koh-I-Noor mechanical, but have used various H/HB leads. I use the Mars plastic erasers. I like working with pencils on good quality rag papers, like Rives BFK.
I've started doing comic art recently, and have narrowed down my materials to the following:
- Rotring Tikki 0.5mm mech pencil with Pentel non-photo blue leads. More convenient than a regular pencil, and at the time I switched to blue leads was unable to obtain non-photo blue regular pencils.
- Rotring ArtPen; a fountain pen [apparently] designed specifically for drawing. Pretty utilitarian design (all plastic bar the nib) but well-made and nice to use. I got it after learning it's the preferred tool of several comic artists I admire, and haven't regretted it in the slightest.
- Pentel Pocket Brush; I've very little prior experience with brush pens, but this one was meant to have a very heard-wearing and good quality nib. The ink is a little pale, but scans pure black.
- Sharpie chisel-tip permanent markers; for filling in large black areas they're much faster and more convenient than a brush.
When it comes to paper, I use whatever decent quality drawing paper is to hand, but plan on investing in some Blue Line boards when I can afford it. In general I'm not too fussy about brands, but always prefer artist-quality.
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Endorell-Taelos is very well known within the community for her selfless giving and gracious community spirit. Since joining DeviantART over seven years ago, Alicia has continued to make a positive impact on many deviants. Her helpful and thoughtful approach was one of her finest attributes when serving as a Community Volunteer, and this has continued throughout the many contests which Alicia provides on a regular basis. As we approach our Birthday celebrations, we can't... Read More