The Tools Artists Use

Mar Hernández (aka malota)

Posted on March 11, 2009 | Comments

Mar Hernández (aka malota) is an illustrator and animator from Valencia, Spain.

What are your favorite drawing tools (pens, pencils, markers, drawing tablet)?

This is such a complicated question. I love pens, pencils, markers, the computer, the drawing tablet... everything can be used for something interesting... There is a pen I absolutely love, the Pentel Brush Pen.


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

If I can choose in a personal project, some days I feel in the mood for painting and other ones I feel in the mood of drawing or making watercolors... and if there is a briefing for the project, I try to work with the technique and the tools that allow me to transmit the thing I want to say.

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

The Pentel Brush Pen. I think that it's absolutely yummy.

How do you like your color? Watercolour? Acrylics? Oil?

I love everything, but watercolors are the most difficult technique for me. I would love to paint again with oils, like at the university, but I don't have a place to do it right now because it smells a lot.

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

I like Moleskines, they are nice. The quality and the variety of the paper are great.


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

Mostly. I always make some little changes alter scan my works, maybe just to adjust brightness and contrast, and to fix some colors.

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

Yeah, I think that everyone does... no? :D

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

I like to add beer to my watercolors. Someone told me that in the university. It makes the colors look more brilliant.

When creating your digital art, what are the software programs you use? Is one used more than another?

I mainly use Freehand and Photoshop.

Do you approach making art on the computer differently than you do with pen, inks, paper, and paint?

Not too much, I think it's the same with different tools. Well, with the computer I can be more precise, but look at Charley Harper's work. He never used a computer.


Since 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 love both, so I can't decide. I love my computer, but I never stop drawing by hand.

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)?

For me it is a powerful tool. You choose how to use it, indeed.

Thanks Mar!

Mar Hernández can be found online at MalotaProjects, and her online shop, MalotaShop. She also posts regularly to her Flickr account (malota) and occasionally on LiveJournal (h2okt).

And quite recently, some of Mar's illustrations/characters were featured in a television commercial for Greek ION TV.

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