Sunday, April 3, 2011

Taking Inventory: Traditional Tools

Right now I'm just looking over what tools I use for creating manga. I like taking inventory because it helps me keep in mind what I like to use and what I don't. This list is for traditional tools only. The next list will be all of the digital tools I like to use--and there are plenty. So here's a list of traditional tools:


Printer Paper

I don't go too fancy with the type of paper I use. I use regular printer paper. After my dad started complaining about how rapidly the paper was disappearing from the printer at home, I went out and bought my own pack. This is a pack 500 sheets I bought a little over a year ago. Just about gone.

Smooth Bristol

Although printer paper works fine, I like using Smooth Bristol once and awhile as well. I love the texture of it, and when I draw on it, the lines look very clean and crisp. Also, it's great for ink work. I plan on using it more often in the future.

Pens, Pencils, and Erasers

I'm definitely a mechanical pencil girl. I don't like having to stop drawing just to sharpen a pencil, and I can't stand dull pencils--they must be sharp all the time. 

It's been hard for me to find a cheap eraser that erases well and doesn't ruin the paper. But I happened to run across an awesome mechanical eraser. The type of eraser in it wasn't too soft, but not too hard either. It was similar to erasers that come in high quality mechanical pencils, but the eraser itself was much longer. 

Having a large eraser on hand is great for erasing pencil lines from pages after inking. Also, having a gentle eraser is especially important for erasing inked pages, because if the eraser is too hard, it'll remove some of the ink too. Then the lines will come out too dull when the pages are scanned.  

In the picture below, my mechanical eraser is the yellow stick thing. Sadly, I've run out of refills for it, and I haven't been able to find any more. 

Pen sets are simple. I use the sketch pen set from Prismacolor and the brush pen set from Faber-Castell.  And I keep it all in handy carrying case so I can easily find everything and take it with me.


I try my best to keep other supplies organized, so I have a little organizer case to hold my mechanical pencils, erasers, and other things that I've tried but rarely use (such as India Ink...)


Clipboard. My best friend. I use it for drawing in bed when I first wake up in the morning to drawing in the car. Yes, I can actually draw while in motion. Blaine doesn't mind me taking his picture, but Ian looks disturbed. Sorry.


The Grid

As far as drawing backgrounds go, this transparent grid has been a lifesaver. I have a very hard time drawing straight lines with regular rulers, but with the grid, I get perfect lines with it every time without accidentally drawing them crooked or something strange.

Circle Template

This is a tool created for drafters. A long time ago I used this for creating perfectly round speech bubbles. Now I use the edges of it for short straight lines. The grid is better for long straight lines.

Other Accessories

There are variety of notepads and folders I use to write my story scripts in, plan pages, and to store older pages that I've done. I also keep plenty of music and candy nearby. I like keeping everything colorful because color motivates me. 

I have two binders that contain all the pages of Mascara and Couture. The pages of Mascara in these binders are pages that are in the process of being edited. They're not the pages you see when I post it. Often the dialog is different, and sometimes even the artwork isn't the same. I write what I want to fix on the pages with a red ink pen, and then I get on my computer and start fixing it.

And that's it for the traditional art tools I use. So next will be all of the digital stuff. ^_^