Hello again, is everyone else looking forward to spring like me? The little bit of upper 50's today gave me a bit of spring fever today!
Anyways, I thought I'd make a post about what materials I use. I've written emails to plenty of illustrators asking what they use and am always checking the copyright section of books for the same info. So, here's a list of my own materials, plus a list of what I typically do with them.
1. When I have an idea of what subject I want to draw I start with tiny thumbnail sketches (small sketches barely an inch or two big) to figure out composition and test ideas quickly. Then after I do a few (or lots depending how difficult the image is) I choose which one I like best and use that as I guide.
2. I sketch a larger version of that chosen thumbnail complete with full details and really flesh it out. If I'm still unhappy I either manipulate parts of the sketch with Photoshop, or completely start over.
3. If I have the time, I let the drawing sit on my desk for an hour or so (sometimes I can't wait though and dive right in lol). That way I get a fresh look at it and I can see mistakes easier. OR you can use the 'transform/horizontal' feature in photoshop which gives you an immediate mirror view--or just look at it in the mirror. All those ways will bring out most of what is wrong with the drawing. Then I correct the problems.
4. I bring out a light box, cut a piece of 140lb hot press (or cold if I have to do a lot of large washes) Arches watercolor paper and tape my sketch under it. Then I place the whole thing on my light box so the sketch shows through the watercolor paper and I trace the sketch.
5. Then I take scotch tape and tape the watercolor paper to my desk along all four edges. I don't really have a set rule in terms of painting the background first or the characters first, it just depends on what I feel like, or what would be best for that particular illustration. Anyways I usually do a lot of layering with Windsor & Newton Artist's watercolors, and red sable brushes (mid-range expense-wise).
6. Sometimes I speed up drying with a hairdryer. When I'm done I let it stay taped overnight so it dries nice and flat.
Anyways, to recap, or for those who are just interested in the materials:
1. Windsor & Newton Artist's series watercolors (tube)
2. Various red sable/half synthetic brushes
3. Artograph Lightracer Light box (by far the most comfortable light box I've found so far.)
4. Arches cold press or hot press 140lb watercolor paper
5. I buy most of my stuff from dickblick.com - excellent art site with good prices, and even if you choose the lowest costing shipping, they surprise you with fast shipping anyway. I've used them for years.
Quick comment on art materials: if you can afford it, don't skimp on paints, or paper - because you really do get what you pay for. The difference between painting on student grade paper with cheap watercolors and on artist grade paper with quality watercolors is night and day. Watercolors do last quite a while though, at least for me (and I paint a lot!).
Have fun :0)