The Tools Artists Use

Frank Stockton

Posted on May 29, 2009 | Comments

Frank Stockton is an illustrator living in New York City.


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

Faber-Castell HB and 2B pencils, kneaded erasers, gum erasers, Prismacolor Verithin non-photo blue pencils, Speedball india ink, Hunt 101 and 102 quill nibs, Isabey Kolinsky sable brushes (sizes 0-6), Stonehenge vellum finish drawing paper, Wacom 3 tablet and pen (9x12"), Mac 0S 10.4, Photoshop CS4.

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

I use whatever I need to get the job done; I'm not particular about any of the supplies, but what i have are my preferences.

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


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 always carry around one of several sketchbooks. One is from NY Central Art Supply, and another I like was a gift from a friend while who visited Paris.

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

I don't paint much but when I do I guess I prefer panel.


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


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

Sure, but not in a long time. Now I'll usually ask an artist what they use and I'll try it out. For example, I used to only use Hunt 101 nibs, but I was talking to American comic art legend Scott Williams "Wikipedia article about Scott Williams") about inking and he uses a 102, so I started using that to see what it was like. I still prefer the 101, but sometimes the 102 is better.

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

Sometimes I'll use construction paper or charcoal as fun textures to scan in.

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

Photoshop CS4.

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 work digitally because I like the end result and because it's very fast. Also it allows me to focus on drawing, which is my favorite thing.


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)?

Computers are as essential as a pencil or a pen for commercial artists working today. The degree to which they are used in artmaking is up to the artist, but basic knowledge is a prerequisite.

Thanks Frank!

Frank Stockton can be found online at his portfolio website Some of his original art can be purchase at his Etsy store, and some of his prints are available at Gallery Nucleus.

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