Tools

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.


PENCILS

 

Tombow Mono Graph Shaker Mechanical Pencil 0.5
0.5 on sale  here |0.3 on sale here.

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.

61486

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.

HB

Erasable Blue Leads
On sale here | Video Tutorial

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.

Minas Azules

 


ERASERS

 

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.

nondust

Electronic Eraser
On sale here | Video Tutorial

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!

Daiso

BRUSHES

 

Pentel Pen Brush – Extra Fine (Sumi waterproof ink)
On sale here | Video Tutorial

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.

pentel

KURETAKE Waterbrush
On Sale Here | Video Tutorial

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.

waterbrushes

WATERCOLORS

Winsor & Newton
On sale on Amazon

I prefer this one for its price and quality, as there is 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.

5055112_orig

 

Masking Fluid
On sale here | Video Tutorial 

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.

latex

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. 

latex_bottle

MARKERS

Uni Pin Marker
On sale here

Waterproof marker. Its price is cheap for what it can offer. But it’s not COPIC proof.

UNIPIN

Drawing Pen
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.

Drawing

ZIG Mangaka Grey
On sale here

ZIG Mangaka grey series have something peculiar: I really like when using with watercolors and I do not want to use black ink but get a subtle and delicate lines instead. It is waterproof and COPIC proof as well.

ZIG

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.

blanca

 


PEN NIB HOLDER & NIBS

 

Tachikawa PRO Pen Nib Holder
On sale here | Video Tutorial

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.

ManguilloG-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.

Titanium

Saji Pen
On sale here

I use the Saji nib only when I want my lines are uniform and not with different thicknesses.

Saji

Maru Pen
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.

maru

INKS

 

Sumi Ink
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.

SUMI

Manga Ink
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!

MANGAINK

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.

TheBlackestInk

DRAWING BOARDS

 

Strathmore
On sale on Amazon

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.

STM02

Mix Media Canson
On Sale on Amazon

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.

mixmedia

Watercolor board

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.

acquarello02

ToDo’s list Notebook

This can not miss on my desk. I’m addicted to cross out tasks. Makes me feel to keep going forward wanting to finish all what I have to do. I find really satisfying to look back and see all that I have done.

tareas

 


HARDWARE

Wacom Cintiq 12 WX
On Sale on Amazon

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.

cintiq

Mac Mini

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!

mac

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 him I scanned and sent to print the covers of Tinkers of the Wasteland.

epson

LED Lightbox
On sale on Amazon

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.

lightbox

 


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.

artpose

Pomodoro | iPhone App

This app is another of the focus techniques that I use on my work. It helps me to work harder and makes me feel less tired, both physically and mentally. Sometimes we are not aware when we started to get tired or distracted. This happens when you are drawing or doing any other activity that demands our full attention and our performance starts to decline. But with this application I have noticed that I get tired less and work more. It is to be active in blocks of 30 minutes with 5 minutes break. These five minutes I use them to go away from my computer or drawing table, stretch and look out my window watching at a distance to rest my view. When the alarm sounds the other block starts, and I continue working. This will generate a more effective concentration because you know that if you want to rest, you can do it when the app beeps again. It has really worked for me, I recommend it! It is for iPhone but you can find similar if you have Android. Just look it as Pomodoro Timer or its variants. Try several and stick with the one you like. Let’s create!

pomodoro

 

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.

Clip

Adobe Photoshop | Website

Basically I use to color my drawings and design. A leader in the market.

PSH

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.

InDesign

Scrivener | Websiteb

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!

Scrivener

Ommwriter | Website

Another of my favorite softwares for writing. If you want to not worry about spelling, grammar or anything else, just open this program, put the headphones and choose its music to set the mood of your story as you type. Your imagination flies and you can deeply foucs to write. Guaranteed! The music is included as well as different keyboard sounds very subtle and delicate. It also comes with wallpapers that will void any other distractions, they might give you inspiration. It’s great to write for long hours or periods of high concentration.

omm

iMovie 10.1

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.

imovie

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 softwares are around to record the screen. And if you a better one, let me know!

ishowu

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.

block

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 affiliate system. Use the link above to buy yours. 

Hostgator

Webtoon | Website (Korea)

If you do not want to see you in trouble having your own website, because it costs money and knowledge to have one, this site is very good for publishing webcomics. The interesting thing is the format of the sequences. Also you can put background music. And over time you can become a Featured Artist. This means they can translate you the comic to other languages and give you exposure elsewhere and pay you for doing your webcomic, and salaries are around from 2,000 to $ 80,000 monthly, according to the founder of this website, (more information here). In addition, you can license products so you can make more money. Sure, as long as you publish your comic exclusively here and nowhere else. If you want to know more about it here are more details of a “Featured Artist” is. And if that were not enough, on his Facebook they have more than million and a half  ‘Likes’. By the way, here I have posted our webcomic Tomb Busters . Subscribe to not miss any updates, also comment and rate if you want, that will help a lot to our project.

webtoons

 

 

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! You do not worry, you modify 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.

dropbox

VIDEO

 

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.

iphone

Canon IXY

My first model 2010 digital camera, but now has a post-apocalyptic appearance, (has bumps and is very unpainted with lots of scratches). It’s the most I’ve used in my videos on YouTube , the screen is touch and has very good resolution. I use it with a 16GB card. It is small and easy to carry. The only disadvantage is that once the battery is finished it requires charging for hours, and I had to buy a second battery to avoid interruptions while recording for long hours. But that’s why I prefer the iPhone now, although I use this camera occasionally.

cannon

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.

velbon

Mini Tripod
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.

tripode02

 

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!
Raul