One of the frustrations of living the cartoonist's life is finding drawing materials you are comfortable working with.
Since I still have not started using computer-type programs for generating my work, I still use the ol' fashioned pen and ink products. Which ones to use, though? A stroll through any art supply store will present you with a plethora of pens, pencils, brushes and the like. Finding one you enjoy using is difficult. It's a lot like dating: It's hard to find the perfect match.
One problem is that the manufacturers of art supplies are constantly changing their products. Just when you find a drawing instrument you are comfortable with, the makers "tweak" the design. The pencil you loved using is now a piece of crap, so your search for usable tools continues. (Wow! That dating analogy is really apt!)
I used to be really "old school" when it came to drawing, using dip pens and brushes and bottles of India ink, but the quality levels of the tools I was using declined rapidly, so I switched to working with markers.
A lot of cartoonists turn their nose up at markers as if it's cheating. It's true in a way. However, marker technology has improved a lot over the last few years, and there are markers out there that give me results as good as any dip-pen ever did.
In case you are interested, my favorite marker is the Pigma Micron™ marker. They have a wide range of nib sizes, and the ink is archival, so if you proudly frame and display your work, the ink won't fade. For you fans of inking with a brush, the Sigma™ brush marker, from the same company is great, too.
If you are one of those poor unfortunate souls doing caricatures at parties and the like, the go-to marker has always been a Dixon Markette™. These are hard to find in the US of A, though, so caricaturists are always on the lookout for that perfect pen for live gigs. Something that produces a nice line weight and dries quickly. For years, I used a Sharpie Rub-A-Dub pen. It was okay, but the tip wore out too quickly for my tastes. A better choice is the Marvy Fabric Ball & Brush™ pen. My pal John turned me on to these, and they really are good to use. Not perfect though. Recently, I have returned to my Sharpie roots, only this time, I use the Sharpie Chisel Tip™ marker. These are great! You can get all kindza line weights, the ink doesn't smear, and best of all, they're cheap! If you are a "live" caricaturist, you really should check these out.
When I am just doodling for myself, though, I love the Papermate Flair™ pens. I don't recommend them for professional work, though. They fade too quickly. A shame, as they produce a really beautiful line.
Of course, sooner than later we won't even be using paper and pen to draw cartoons. Everything will be created on the computer.
Then they'll change the computer.
Labels: Animated Cartoons, markers