"A PLUMBER DOESN'T BLAME HIS TOOLS."

PENCILS

I use pencils in two stages sometimes.  The first is a quick pass with basic shapes and the second is a more refined build from step 1. Often times I will use two different pencils, but usually I just do both steps with one pencil - the Staedtler Mars Technico 780.

WHY: I hate sharpening pencils and I like to work quickly and loosely.  This is perfect for that.  The lead lasts a long time, goes on smooth and light.  I can erase and fine tune if needed.  When I color on top of it, the lead is hidden well underneath the marker.  I find this ideal for using on sketch covers.

INKS

WHY: I like the range of lead sizes and types which allows for more flexibility in pencil work.  I typically use only the .3 size for refined pencil work over my initial quick and loose sketches.  The .3 gives me an incredible amount of control and crispness with this lead type.

I really dislike Micron pens.  The harsh angle of the pen near the tip cuts into my skin and makes using them very uncomfortable.

WHY: They just feel right.  I've tried out a number of common inking pens for comic artists and these simply feel right to me.  They're easy to hold and go on smoothly.  

WHY: It's just fun to use.  Ink comes out smoothly and evenly.  Refills are easy to use.

WHY: I like the size of the brush and its ability to go from very thick to very thin.  It's also got a very cool "inked" look to it lol.  Meaning it's not too clean and goes on a bit messy.  This pen allows for more control over ink release with the ability to fill the reservoir before drawing.  I currently use this one more often than the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

ERASERS

I haven't experimented much with erasers.  I've found what feels right for me and stuck with it.

WHY: It does the job and doesn't ruin my page.  What more can you ask for?!  I find it works well with the Mars Technico pencil I like. 

WHY: Same as the block eraser from the same brand, but this allows for more fine-tuned erasing.  Gentle on the paper and works well with my loose sketching pencil.

COLORS

Use Crayola if it works for you.  Seriously, just create.  If you can afford more and want archival quality, then I recommend these tools for coloring:

WHY: So many reasons: brush and chisel tip, refillable, crazy amount of colors, blendable, archival.  If you can afford it, these are the way to go.  It might seem like a costly investment, and it is, but the refills make it worth it.

WHY: Same reasons as the Sketch version, but the larger ones allow for some pretty neat texturing and obviously cover a bigger area.

WHY: I really like these for all the reasons listed for Copic Sketch markers, except one... they aren't refillable.  They cost less than Copic upfront though.  I still use these but am phasing them out due to that reason alone.  Otherwise, fun to use, great color and both sides are useful.

WHY: I highly recommend investing in a big set of these.  They are super useful for finishes, giving textures and cool lighting.  Yes, they are costly, so I recommend waiting for a sale at an art store.  I got the biggest set I could set for 50% off from Aaron Brothers when they had a sale, which they often do.

DIGITAL HARDWARE

WHY: I currently use the New Surface Pro because I wanted a tablet that could run full programs, like Clip Studio Paint.  Also important, I want to be able to easily transport it easily and work from anywhere.  They're costly, but it's worth it.  I was using the SP4 before this one, also highly recommended.

WHY: It came with the SP4 and now works on my NSP.  But I also like how it feels like an actual pen and has nice weight to it.  The buttons are very handy and I like how I can actually erase with the end, although I stopped using that function.  

SOFTWARE

WHY: This is currently the only software that I use.  It does it all and a lot more I don't take advantage of.  I use it mainly for print, design and comic work.  There's simply not a better comic creation software out there.  Some cool things: posable figures, perspective and page panel layouts.  It even has an animation component, though I haven't messed with it yet.  Yes it can be pricey but there are often times sales. 

WHY: A very solid, fun to use program/app that maximizes drawing space.  It can handle more intense pieces, but I use it only for sketching at this point.  After the sketch is done, I send it off to Clip Studio Paint for more in depth work.

WEBSITE

WHY: Easy to use with lots of apps, tons to customize.  Wix does everything I need and I don't feel like they're trying to nickel and dime me.  I highly recommend Wix.

WHY: I no longer use Weebly, but I would recommend it.  Very user friendly, but I didn't care for the pricing structure.  Wix is ultimately a better choice for me right now.

AUDIO RECORDING

WHY: It gives me what I need in audio for a good price.  I love this thing.

VIDEO RECORDING

WHY: It gives me what I need in video recording for a good price.  Not top of the line, but an improvement over your webcam probably.

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