The Tools Artists Use

Ying-Chieh Liu

Posted on April 16, 2009 | Comments

Ying-Chieh Liu is an artist living in Taipei, Taiwan.


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

I like to use pens, I enjoy using traditional tools. I use a drawing tablet everyday, but I seldom use it to do drawings.

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

I use pens in black (for comics and travel sketches), but I also use watercolor pencils and more pens of different colors when I make my travel sketches.

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

Rotring Rapidograph -- mainly black, and sometimes I add colored ink (Winsor & Newton) to it.

Pentel hybrid gel pen -- silver and gold. And the Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment pens.

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

I like the color of oil painting, but the material is so complicated for me, and it's messy, so now I seldom use it.

Now I mainly use colored ink and watercolor pencils.

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 think my favorite are watercolor pencils, because they are convenient and simple.


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

My favorites are Il Papiro paper (made in Italy) and Moleskines. But the paper of new Moleskine Japanese Album is different, and I don't like the new paper, it's too smooth (not rough enough) for me, so now I've stopped using them.

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

I only like to draw on books.

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

Sometimes. Like recently I used Photoshop to cut a shape from my original drawing, that I'll use to make T-shirts.

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

Yes, I found the Moleskines via a Flickr group.

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

Once I tinted with a tea bag, and sometimes I'll use my fingers.

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

Photoshop, more than Illustrator.

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 prefer to do non-digital drawings. It's more comfortable and I enjoy it. And I don't want to carry a computer everywhere I go, but I am happy to carry a sketchbook. I do like to use the computer and the internet, but not for drawing.


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)?

Yes, the computers are so helpful, they are my slaves :)

I think the ruler is hard to use, but the computer is easy to use. I use the computer to make my comic books. I've made homepages for the last 10 years. And I've found that Flickr is a nice place to show my drawings.

Thanks Ying-Chieh!

Ying-Chieh Liu can be found online at her website, and posting regularly on Flickr (imagenation). Some of Ying-Chieh's comics, art prints, and decorated wallets can be found on her Etsy shop.

comments powered by Disqus