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Ryan Dave Jimenez

How To Draw #3: Art Supplies & Tools

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Alright. If you've been following this series:

Quote

1. You've already started by copying (not tracing) your favorite anime characters.
2. You've accepted the fact that talent is not required only hard work.
3. -----

 

So what's the third step?

Well it's time to shop for some art supplies!

The things you will need will largely depend on your workflow (How you draw from start to finish)

There are at least 3 workflows (at least for me)

  • Purely digital (you do everything on a computer)
  • Purely traditional (you do everything without the aid of a computer)
  • Semi digital/traditional (you use a computer for some things)

For this post I would be focusing on Semi digital/traditional, as this is my personal workflow.

A drawing typically has these steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Sketching
  3. Inking 
  4. Coloring
  5. Lighting

For my semi digital/traditional, 

  1. Planning - I do this with just pencil and paper
  2. Sketching - I do this again with pencil and paper
  3. Inking - I do this with a computer
  4. Coloring - I do this with a computer
  5. Lighting - I do this with a computer 

Planning

A cardboard viewfinder
Movie directors use this to "frame" a scene. As an artist, you can also use this to clearly form a picture in your head of how a drawing should appear. You won't need this every time. But it helps when you encounter difficult drawings. Just cut out a viewfinder from cardboard or use your hands to form a viewfinder.

Posing figure
Sometimes it can get hard to imagine a pose. So you need to use a physical object to see the pose better. Posing figures come in many shapes and sizes (and prices). You can also use any old action figure you have lying around. Assuming its joints can be moved of course.

 

Traditional Sketching

Sketchbook
You can choose between paper or a sketchbook. But I recommend the latter. The problem with paper is you can lose them. At least with a sketchbook, all your drawings are in one place. Making them easier to find. I find that a 50 page 9 x 12 inches (any brand) is good enough for most purposes. Go smaller if you're more comfortable with that though.

Pencils
Without going into too much detail, you just need 2-3 pencils. One pencil with a light mark and another with a darker mark. This will allow you to vary the weight of your lines in your sketches. However, if you don't ink and color by hand (you use a computer) then you might just need 1 pencil.

Mechanical pencils
These are perfect for working on fine details like facial features. The point of these pencils are very small allowing you precise control over them. Choose a mechanical pencil in the 0.3 to 0.5 mm range.

Pencil sharpener
Eh what more can you say? If it can sharpen a pencil then it's good enough. It is funny though how sharpeners come in a ton of variety and styles.

Eraser
Do not choose pink erasers. Or the erasers that come with the pencil. They are terrible. They rub the paper away and do a poor job. I recommend Vinyl/plastic erasers. They are colored white and can erase without damaging the paper.

Paint brush
To brush away the pieces left after you erase. You can just use your hand but I find it cleaner to use a small paintbrush. As it won't smear anything. 

Ruler, French curves, Drawing compass
To make it easier to draw lines and curves. It is actually very hard to draw a perfect circle or perfect straight line with just your hand. There is no shame in seeking the help of a tool.

A lightbox

A box with a glass surface and a light inside. You place your drawing on the glass and it gets illuminated from beneath. This makes it easier to spot mistakes and what not. It makes tracing very easy too. I personally never used one but I can see how useful it can be.

 

Digital Inking, Coloring, & Lighting

A graphics tablet
There are 2 types of tablets. The first are the ones where you look at the computer screen while drawing. These are cheaper and smaller. I recommend them for beginners and hobbyists. It may take a while to get used to the hand-eye coordination required to use them but it's just like using a mouse.

The second type are the ones where you look at the tablet itself while drawing. These are more expensive but bigger. You will need a lot of desk space to use one. They are for professionals. Artists who make money drawing. They feel more natural as it's like drawing on paper.

A glove
When drawing with a tablet, your hand is always in contact with the tablet. It can be a problem. As your hand can get sweaty or oily. To get around this, most digital artists use a glove. Some cut away parts of the glove for better mobility.

Graphics software
Again I will stay away from brands and such as it really comes down to preference. There are paid and free options here. If you have the money then feel free to go the Adobe suite route. Otherwise the free options are good enough. 

 

The major mistake I see beginners make is that they tend to buy the most expensive art supplies and tools. Thinking it will make them draw better.

The problem with that is: 

A: Art supplies & tools won't be the ones doing the drawing. It will be you. They just make it easier. You can give a bad driver a Lamborghini. It won't make them a better driver. Just a bad driver with a nice car. 

B: As a newbie you cannot tell if pencil A is better than pencil B. That comes with experience. So just buy art supplies that fit your budget. You can always upgrade anyways if you feel your tools are inadequate.

 

Feel free to share your workflow and the art supplies and tools you use along the way. Because this is all just based on how I do things. I am curious to see how others do it.

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5 hours ago, Ryan Dave Jimenez said:

A drawing typically has these steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Sketching
  3. Inking 
  4. Coloring
  5. Lighting

For my semi digital/traditional, 

  1. Planning - I do this with just pencil and paper
  2. Sketching - I do this again with pencil and paper
  3. Inking - I do this with a computer
  4. Coloring - I do this with a computer
  5. Lighting - I do this with a computer 

 

to be honest, the way i draw, i just draw everything in digital 

i find it cheaper, and somewhat more fun (though its probably couse im a nerd)

so basically

>my digital drawing

1. planning - via PC

2. sketching - PC aswell

3. Inking - (i actually dont do this phase often, and skip to coloring phase) 

3.2 Shadowing - now this is what i do, on Pc that is (and im somewhat doing this often now, couse i find this to be fun-ish, doing black-and-white drawings)

4. Coloring - Pc master race

5. Lighting - i didnt know my Pc could be this cute! (i experiment in this part allot though, so my lighting effects always differ, cant do the "perfect" lighting everyone does =/)

 

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1 hour ago, XII360 said:

to be honest, the way i draw, i just draw everything in digital 

i find it cheaper, and somewhat more fun (though its probably couse im a nerd)

so basically

>my digital drawing

1. planning - via PC

2. sketching - PC aswell

3. Inking - (i actually dont do this phase often, and skip to coloring phase) 

3.2 Shadowing - now this is what i do, on Pc that is (and im somewhat doing this often now, couse i find this to be fun-ish, doing black-and-white drawings)

4. Coloring - Pc master race

5. Lighting - i didnt know my Pc could be this cute! (i experiment in this part allot though, so my lighting effects always differ, cant do the "perfect" lighting everyone does =/)

 

 

>my traditional drawing

1. planning

2. waiting

3. waiting - (i actually do this phase very often)

3.2 break time- now this is what i do, on Pc that is (and im somewhat doing this often now, couse i find this to be fun-ish, playing with my friends)

4. thinking - confused

5. demotivation - i didnt know my Personality could be this awful!

6. end result - Afbeeldingsresultaat voor anime sleeping gif

 

I felt like posting something cause I was just about to start a drawing and now I wasted 15 minutes again... I've made some great progress the last couple of days!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor a4 papier

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On 6/16/2019 at 8:52 PM, XII360 said:

to be honest, the way i draw, i just draw everything in digital 

i find it cheaper, and somewhat more fun (though its probably couse im a nerd)


Well it is really cheaper. Because art supplies will run out and need to be bought again.

I also want to switch to fully digital someday. As soon as I learn how to sketch with my tablet. 😄

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On 6/16/2019 at 1:16 AM, Ryan Dave Jimenez said:

Again I will stay away from brands and such as it really comes down to preference. There are paid and free options here. If you have the money then feel free to go the Adobe suite route. Otherwise the free options are good enough. 

Adobe products just are not what they used to be. I personally wouldn't recommend them based on their new MO of offering their software on a subscription basis. You would end up paying a lot more to use the software over the course of, say, 24 months than you would if you're someone who intends to use that same software for a few years. It's unfortunate that they finally pulled the plug on the CS2 suite, which for a time was being offered for free (legally) after shutting down their authentication servers. I can see why then a lot of digital artists are preferring software such as Paint Tool SAI or Clip Studio Paint these days, as they are both easily affordable. Krita appears to be the most popular free software now, but it's open sourced and just doesn't seem to have a lot of support.

Great job on the tutorials, by the way. They're very well-written. :)

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On 6/19/2019 at 4:24 PM, Wedgy said:

 

Adobe products just are not what they used to be. I personally wouldn't recommend them based on their new MO of offering their software on a subscription basis. You would end up paying a lot more to use the software over the course of, say, 24 months than you would if you're someone who intends to use that same software for a few years. It's unfortunate that they finally pulled the plug on the CS2 suite, which for a time was being offered for free (legally) after shutting down their authentication servers. I can see why then a lot of digital artists are preferring software such as Paint Tool SAI or Clip Studio Paint these days, as they are both easily affordable. Krita appears to be the most popular free software now, but it's open sourced and just doesn't seem to have a lot of support.

Great job on the tutorials, by the way. They're very well-written. :)


Awesome suggestions on other non-Adobe tools to use. Hope it can help other artists out there.

And thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you can understand how I write. 😄

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