The Tools Artists Use

Hannah Stouffer

Posted on March 23, 2009 | Comments

Hannah Stouffer is an illustrator living in Los Angeles, California.


What are some of your favorite drawing tools (pens, pencils, markers, drawing tablet, all of the above)?

Pen and ink...

If you have a wide collection, how do you decide on which to use on a particular drawing, project, or day?

It just kind of depends on the mood I'm in or how much coffee I drank... deadlines kind of determine my day-to-day also... if it was up to me I'd probably play with inks and watercolors all day, on enormous paper after enormous paper... but sometimes I actually have to finish a piece, or do some computer work... so things will get a little bit more intricate or digital.

If you prefer pens, is there any particular brand, color, or type of ink you like best?

Uni-Ball Black Vision Exact Micro pens and stupid Gelly Rollers (love)

How do you like your color? Watercolor? Acrylics? Oil? Colored pencils? Markers?

Acrylic ink for life.

If you do use paints, inks, pencils, or markers for coloring, are there any in particular that are your favorites? Do you prefer travel sets of paints to a full set?

I only buy the colors I'm attracted to... full sets tend to be a waste of color...


Is there any particular type of notebook or drawing pad you prefer? Or does any scrap of decent-sized paper work in a pinch?

God- Bristol Vellum paper to work small- usually 9 x 12" packs- and huge 140 lb. hot pressed Fabriano watercolor paper- as big as they got.

If you paint, is there any particular type of canvas you prefer? Do you like to paint on wood or any other materials?

Nah- I hate em all.

Do you ever do any kind of post-processing (like adding color in Photoshop or similar tool) to your drawings?

Only for commercial jobs. But yes, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Have you ever tried a new pen (or paper, etc) from reading about it, or seeing the results in another artist's work?

I dunno... sometimes I go off a recommendation, but I usually stick to what I know.

Do you have anything you use out of the ordinary for making your art?

Like baby blood and tears?? All the time...


If you work both digitally and non-digitally, which do you find yourself doing more? Is there a reason you would prefer one of the other? Is it because of the tools available in either space?

I'm pretty 50/50- it just depends on commercial vs. fine art projects that I'm engaged in.

I asked about post-processing on a computer, but do you think the computer is a helpful tool for making art? Whether it's looking for inspiration online, or using it to build a weblog to promote yourself and your art, do you think a computer is necessary, helpful, or a distraction (or all of the above)?

Hells yes. Necessary. Whether I like it or not I spend most of my time on the computer.

Thanks Hannah!

Hannah Stouffer's illustration website is located at, her personal art site is, and her weblog is You can also find Hannah on Flickr (grandarray) and Twitter (grandarray). Some of Hannah's work is available for purchase on her Etsy store.

comments powered by Disqus