Here you will see the tools that I use for my work, from the software that I use to draw, color, design and write, to traditional professional tools. Some on sale in my store Fude (English and Spanish) where I sell Japanese art supply. Also, I share my process in my YouTube channel (Audio in Spanish and there are a bunch of videos with English subtitles, but the community is still working on it).
But remember, try to find other tools. Experimentation is key to an artist.
I use this shaker mechanical pencil because with only shaking it up and down, the lead comes out immediately. I do not need to click; although this is possible. Furthermore, its weight is ideal for drawing, because the bottom is heavier than the top.
Pencil – HB
On sale here
The HB pencil is great because it is between H and B pencils; neither too soft nor too hard. Excellent for sketching. This is the brand I use, there is a bit difference with other brands. Besides I really like the wood finished, the graphite is of very good quality, pure and clean without small stones that could break the line.
These blue leads are great to draw my sketches. Although the color is cyan, I really like them because it’s easy to erase. Because something that I don’t like about the Staedtler blue leads is that they cannot be erased, which blocks me from seeing the idea that I have in mind. So these leads are ideal for drawing comics or mangas. Also with the help of Photoshop, I clear my sketches in seconds.
TOMBOW Eraser NON Dust (without crumbs)
On sale here
I really like this eraser because it is made of plastic, soft and adhesive material. The crumbs are crushed and they stick together, leaving a clean surface without small residues. Allowing me always to keep my desk clean.
With its rotating action you can easily erase. It has a white rubber used to erase pencil, and sand eraser for pens or ink. Very convenient!
The benefit of this pen brush is its ink which is waterproof. The ink is very smooth and its extra-fine nylon brush tip is very thin, but versatile as it can also make thick strokes.
Excellent for coloring with watercolors and also to travel, because thanks to its water container it turn out to be very practical and quick to work. I recommend it only for watercolors. By the way, these are larger than any other regular brushes, which can carry more water.
Winsor & Newton
I prefer this one for its price and quality, as there are much more expensive brands. For its price, it offers brilliant colors and fine pigments. Also ideal for traveling and using over black ink because the pigments are transparent and not so thick as to cover the black areas. The half pans are sold separately and you can customize your own colors scheme.
I use this liquid to mask areas of work that need protection when color is applied in broad washes. Practical and easy to use. Really does magic and is very fun to use. Contains latex. But wait! wash brushes immediately after use.
Masking Fluid (Bottle)
Same as the above. The only difference is that its color is gray. A great liquid to mask areas of work that need protection. But remember! wash brushes immediately after use. I’ve been seeing other brands like Winsor & Newton, another good option.
Uni Pin Marker
On sale here
Waterproof marker. Its price is cheap for what it can offer. But it’s not COPIC proof.
On sale here
Besides being waterproof, I like its pointy tip, it can be achieved with fine finishes, like a tiny brush (this is very subtle, but I love it). And the best: it’s COPIC proof or alcohol-based markers, unlike the above Uni Pin.
Gel Pen – White
On sale here
This is great for touch-ups on the black ink. The ink comes out silky white, almost like correction fluid but smooth. Enough thick to cover everything in its path.
PEN NIB HOLDER & NIBS
This pen nib holder is ideal to use it for long hours, because it has a padded grip. It comes with a cap to leave the nib attached and carry it on during my travels. Or I can freely put it in my pen holder without the risk of accidentally pricking my hand. The pens are usually pointed and somewhat dangerous if you’re not careful. The holder features special double rubber rings at the tip; the inner ring can take smaller round nibs and the larger ring can take regular nibs. The rubber grabs the nibs tightly, preventing shifting when drawing.
G-Pen Titanium – ZEBRA
On sale here
I usually use both standard G-Pen nibs and this Titanium coated. But what I like about this one is that it is resistant to abrasion, ie, that will not rust. Plus it is proven that it can loads more ink which lasts longer than regular: the ink lasts 75 meters total than the regular nibs which only lasts 25 meters.
On sale here
I use the Saji nib only when I want my lines are uniform and not with different thicknesses.
On sale here
I use the Maru pen when I want to ink very small details. But there who used to ink all; it is a matter of taste.
On sale here
I like this one very much because it’s waterproof and its consistency is good to fill black areas. In fact there is another slightly more expensive version which is COPIC proof, but I do not usually use a lot of the COPIC markers because they are very expensive and can not find a sense to use them or invest in them when the watercolors are cheaper and easier to carry.
On sale here
This is my favorite, but are less milligrams per bottle and is more expensive. Although you can achieve very deep blacks, that is, uniform and undisguised, has a perfect consistency without being thick. Something incredible!
The Blackest Ink
On sale here
This is the blackest ink I’ve found, but it is not a good idea to use it. And I’d rather not talk about it … for now.
I really like using this drawing board for several reasons: First, the paper is acid-free, ie, that does not gets yellow with time and my originals are preserved, (which is good for the sale of original art). Second, it is subtly roughened texture, which makes it even better to see the sketches. And finally, its grams are enough to sketch and ink drawings. Note: It’s not for watercolors or other wet media.
Mix Media Canson
Another of my favorites, this is special to ink. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, this is a higher weight and has perforations to tear the sheet. Highly recommended! This one is for wet techniques, although watercolors I suggest the following below.
This is a very expensive but excellent board for watercolors because the the paper surface is satin, smooth. Plus it’s Hot Pressed and this makes it a little more friendly to the pen nibs to ink on it. Its weight is 300 grams, perfect to avoid the paper get wave with water. Acid free also to avoid the yellowness in the edges over time. You can buy separate sheet of paper (other brands), but the benefit of the block is that it keeps the paper stretched, avoiding to wave it while working on it.
Wacom Cintiq 12 WX
This is a previous model to 13-inch Cintiq, but I really do not see the point to update it because it still works very well. Great for travel. Note: I had a Cintiq 21 inches, but I sold it because I realized that I was working in a very small screen area, wasting mostly the entire screen. I think that larger screens are for artists who make “Matte Painting” or other kind of jobs where they need a bigger view of what they are doing.
I’m a Mac guy since 2000 and I’ve never felt the desire to return to the PC. I encounter many benefits: safe, stable and easy transportation. In addition, it occupies very little space on my desk. The one I have is 1 terabyte hard drive and I customized to 16 gigabytes of RAM. It flows smoothly and beautifully!
Escáner EPSON Perfection 2480
A home scanner is enough to digitalize my traditional drawings. It’s a rather old model but works very well. With it, I scanned and sent to print the covers of Tinkers of the Wasteland.
A professional quality ultra-thin light tracing pad. It’s a time-saving solution for me. It is perfect for transferring any type of drawing quickly and easily. This modern light box is easy to carry and store. It is very practical to draw my sketches. For example, I do my sketch digitally, I print it and then I transfer it on a high-quality paper to avoid smudges. This way I have a nice and clean original art piece. Although the process is a little more crafted, I love it! Its size is 12 x 17 inches (30.48 x 43.18 cm) and it has a dimmable touch button technology.
SOFTWARES & APPS
Art Pose | Website
I use this app a lot, it has been saving me more than one time when I face problems of anatomy or complex angles. It makes me save time and gives me a clearer picture of the pose I want to draw. There are two versions: the male figure and the female figure. It’s for iPhone and Android.
Clip Studio Paint EX 5 (before Manga Studio) | Website
My favorite software! I use to draw my comics digitally. It has everything you need for creating comic/manga pages. Very useful tools that streamline the time of creation of a comic book. Effects such as dithering, halftones, balloons, 3D references, brushes and more. A titan in the industry.
Adobe Photoshop | Website
Basically, I use to color my drawings and design. A leader in the market.
Adobe InDesign | Website
A great program if you want to print your comic. It is excellent to layout and design any physical or digital book.
Scrivener | Website
I love this program to write my stories, because it can concentrate all in one place: links, references, script, notes and other texts. It may be a little complicated at first, but is a matter of reading the instructions attached to write comics. It is a program widely used by many writers of the comics industry, television and movies. Although it is also another program called Celtx I used for long time when it was a program, it is now only online, and free!
This program is enough to edit my videos. I would not dare to say that it is limited because I do not take much editing or effects. It also comes free on Mac.
iShowU HD pro | Website
This software helps me to record my digital processes. I don’t think it’s the best but the one I use for a long time and I find it good and enough. And it depends on the needs of each person, so I advise you make a research well about what other software are around to record the screen. And if you a better one, let me know!
Block Site | Website
This is not an application or a software, it is an extension for Google Chrome. I use it a lot because it blocks sites such as my social networks using schedules. Excellent to work without distractions.
WEB & CÓMICS
Hostgator | Website
I have years where hiring this service hosted this website, are very efficient in their support, they respond immediately and I have concrete solutions. It also has an affiliate system. Use the link above to buy yours.
Webtoon | Website (South Korea)
If you don’t want to see yourself in trouble having your own website, because it costs money and knowledge to have one, this site is perfect for publishing your web comics. What is interesting is the presentation format of the sequences. You can even play background music, although this is only for “Featured Artists.”
And to become a Featured Artist, there are two options:
- Let Webtoon contact you interested in your project (as is my case).
- If you publish your comic there for free, and if over time your audience grows, the content editor would see your project and would propose you to be a “Featured Artist.”
And for being a Featured Artist, you have the following benefits:
- You get paid for making your comic.
- There is the likelihood of licensing your property, that is, making products, TV shows or movies.
- The printing rights are yours. You can print your comic after 18 months of publishing it with them digitally.
- You can put music to your comic.
- Multilingual translations.
- And exposure in other websites. They are in charge of marketing.
Salaries range from $ 2,000 to $ 80,000 per month. The founder speaks more about this on this website. If you want to know more about it here is detailed information of a “Featured Artist.” And if that were not enough, on his Facebook they have more than two and a half million Likes!
Dropbox | Website
Would you like to lose a job that has taken you years to accomplish? This is a service I use to backup my projects. I’m paying for the plan of 1TB. This in case you experience any misfortune: my hard drive was damaged, my computer was stolen, my hardware was taken away by a tsunami, etc. It’s always good to backup all your files. And it also does through synchronization, everything automatically! DYon’t worry, you modify a file, the file is up to date. It also has a system to share links if you are working with someone else, even publishing professionally. It helps you to share your progress in a safe and practical way without saturating your email with images and other files.
iPhone 6 (64 GB)
I find it very convenient to record with my iPhone and use it for several reasons: First, it is small and it has enough space to store video. Second, it has time lapse mode and finally, the video quality is very good.
Camera Desk Set
I built this set looking for various attachments to get my camera recorded from above without hinder me to draw. I’m not a photographer so I managed to get what I wanted accordingly to my needs. These are some of the pieces I found to build this set and attach it to my desk, of course, I never wanted to buy a tripod because it takes up much space. This set costs all together around $150 dollars. I bought all these while living in Japan. A jewel! Models: Velbon QHD-53 Velbon V4-Unit and Velbon Hide-Clamp II leveler tube plus an iPhone holder as an extra accessory.
On Sale on Amazon
If you do not have enough budget, you can buy this mini tripod, since it is the first one I used before buying the previous set. I still use this one for some reasons, but not often. The good news is that it is much cheaper, just use it with a small camera.
This is what I use for my work so far. A page that I will update time to time while discovering other tools.
Well, let’s draw together!