The Tools Artists Use

Amanda Grazini

Posted on May 18, 2009 | Comments

Amanda Grazini is a freelance illustrator from São Paulo, Brazil.

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

I like to start sketching with a simple 6B pencil or a blue pencil, sometimes I use markers, sometimes I sketch directly on Photoshop with a tablet (I have one of those Wacom Bamboo).

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

It depends on the project and on my mood! But I like to try different tools a lot.

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

I use those Sakura Micron pens a lot, and sometimes I use Tombow's brush pens, they have a lot of colors. Sometimes I use white ink Uni-ball Signo Gel Pens to do some details as well.

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

It depends! I've been trying acrylics diluted on water on canvas lately... it looks like watercolors. Talens gouaches are fun to use too!

On my sketchbook I use a lot of markers and sometimes colored pencils too.

But mostly I color with Photoshop.

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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 have a Winsor & Newton travel set for watercolors that I almost haven't used yet! I need to practice some watercolors! As for inks, simple India ink and a nice Rembrandt number 2 brush.

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 have a lot of sketchbooks, with lots of types of paper! For a simple experimental sketch, anything works. For watercolors or any watery paint its better to use Fabriano papers.

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

Yes. I do it a lot! I mostly use Photoshop to adjust levels, colors and to put pieces together when I'm not directly drawing or coloring with it already.

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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'm always looking for tips on what kind of material it's best to use! And I love to try new materials or medias.

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

Hmmm, lately I've been sewing up some details on canvas... just an experiment! :D

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

Mostly Photoshop, sometimes Painter and sometimes I like to sketch a little bit on ArtRage or Open Canvas.

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 do more digital work. Mostly because it's more practical for the kinds of jobs I do. But I like to balance it and try to do non-digital work whenever I can.

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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)?

I think nowadays it's more than helpful for me, it's a necessity! But you need to be careful not to be too distracted with that bunch of information you have in front of you.

Thanks Amanda!

You can find Amanda Grazini online at her weblog amandagrazini.blogspot.com and on Flickr (amandagrazini). Amanda also has some work available for purchase in her Etsy Shop.

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