The Tools Artists Use

Ana Galvañ

Posted on September 08, 2009 | Comments

Ana Galvañ is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Murcia, Spain.


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

My favorite drawing tools are basically digitals: drawing tablet, digital brushes... I only use graphite pencils (Staedler 2HB, Faber-Castell 5HB) to plan a comic, doodle some ideas and concepts.

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

For a comic story, I usually start drawing with graphite pencils, however, I use a vectorial brush for lineal drawings, or working directly with Photoshop if the textures predominate over the outline.

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

I occasionally do the color with watercolor pencils and gouache, using brushes and a sponge, looking for finishes like I get in digital form.

I also use markers, specifically Touch markers with two points. I use them over pencil, but only in small areas and no more than two tones mixed in the same drawing.

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?

My favorites are the Photoshop dry brushes. Long live!

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 small Moleskine just for writing because I hardly draw by hand. For comic, I prefer an old notebook that constantly loses pages.

But my favorite is one with horizontal guides, decorated by Adrian Tomine, I only get to do some drawings on this one, perhaps because I don't have to face the full white.


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

I normally start drawing with the vectorial brush of Flash, then I model forms vividly, I love the flexibility of this program. The result is exported to Photoshop to reduce coldness and finally I use Photoshop brushes, mostly the application defaults, dry and wet.

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

I usually work with Flash, Freehand, Illustrator, Painter and finally Photoshop, my star program, with which I get (almost) everything I want.

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?

Before I start drawing I was an art director for an ad agency, but my designs derived increasingly toward illustration, so I ended up doing drawings. I started drawing in a very unorthodox way, with the computer mouse and later, at last, with the drawing tablet. So I find digital work so convenient, a way wich I'm very accustomed to and which I feel more comfortable when I have to face certain projects.


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)?

In my particular case, the computer has been a key factor in many ways to use certain resources such as textures, patterns, fonts..., I don't have my own bank but I used to look for resources on the network every time I need them. I think the internet is really useful with the promotion of your work and let more people know it. You can get notoriety, of course, despite all the time that this entails.

Thanks Ana!

You can find Ana Galvañ online at her portfolio website, her weblog, and on Flickr (elmyraduff).

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