The Tools Artists Use

Paola Guimerans

Posted on April 02, 2009 | Comments

The artist and illustrator Paola Guimerans was born in Spain and a year ago moved to New York to pursue an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons.


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

I love to work with all kind of drawing tools. I tend to work within the same color palettes. The most interesting for me is to explore all kinds of different textures and styles. I mix them all together.

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

I used to use a variety of drawing tools and paints ... but now I use almost the same colored markers and pencils. In my most recent series I use the same markers but focus on the sketches and content of the drawings. A wide variety is less important to me.

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

In pens I like bright and fluid colors to allow faster gestures. I don't prefer a specific brand, it all depends of the type of papers.

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

I used to work a lot with acrylics on canvas for painting. Currently I work in smaller paper formats. Since i work in my room and it is too small, I use pencils, markers and sometimes watercolor. The focus is more on illustration.

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?

To be honest, I use whatever is available around me, the best tools I can get my hands on were other people's pens.


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 to have a few of different sizes of drawing pad. I prefer cream and white. Mostly I like to use watercolor pads, even if I'm not using watercolor. I like the texture of the paper, and the way the ink responds to it.

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

I used to paint over all kids of materials. Now I'm more focused on paper, but, maybe tomorrow I will use wood again. I don't want rules when I want to create something I follow my ideas and let the idea dictate the materials.

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

Some of my illustrations are done just using Photoshop. I have a Wacom tablet and I like to draw with it. It depends on the drawing, some are just hand rendered, and some are a mix of both.

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

Not yet.

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

Sometimes glitter to brighten areas.

If you create purely-digital art, what are the software programs you use? Is one used more than another?

I use Photoshop of course, and I've recently been working on giving life to my characters and illustrations through animation using AfterEffects and Flash. I believe that it is really interesting to explore technology if it allows you to express ideas and emotions in a better way.


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?

These are two different sensibilities. I think my best work comes from starting non-digitally, and then making it digital. It gives me freedom. But sometimes it's the other way around. I like to work with both, it depends on the day, the project or even my mood.

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)?

The computer is another tool for expression ... for my fine art projects I prefer non-digital but then I often upload and manipulate them digitally depending on the idea. The Internet allows me to share my work through my blog. Likewise, I look at other artist's work and keep up to date with exhibitions and lectures.

Thanks Paola!

Paola Guimerans can be found online at her website, Flickr (paolaguimerans), and on her Tumblr weblog

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