The Tools Artists Use

Ebenezer Archer Kling

Posted on September 22, 2009 | Comments

Ebenezer Archer Kling is an artist living in Northampton, MA.


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

My favorite drawing tools typically include ink, either with a brush or Pen. I enjoy the immediacy of ink and the way it forces you to accept and respond to the marks that you make. I've stopped blocking out my drawings with a pencil at this point and I feel that it has forced me to become more informal in the way I draw resulting in a more natural or organic way of composing images on the page.

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

I almost always work on paper with ink and watercolor. There isn't exactly a long decision making process involved the materials I use. I try to keep my tools to whatever I can fit in a bag since I am constantly working outside my studio.

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

Whatever is waterproof.

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

I prefer to use watercolor. I enjoy the way it almost sits inside the paper. I feel that I have an extremely sensitive control of the colors by building up layers of washes and glazes. The luminosity of the hue produced by this method is also very desirable.


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?

Like I said earlier, I like to be very low maintenance. Anything I can fit in a bag walking around town. That is my only concern.

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

In addition to painting I am also a printmaker. After printing large editions I am frequently left with small scraps of paper which I usually tear down and keep in a large box in the corner of my studio. I will frequently grab a small handful before walking out the door in the morning.

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

Canvas is too toothy for me.

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

Sometimes If I am commissioned to create a piece of artwork for a band or organization I will start off with traditional mediums but then revise it digitally. Working with clients can sometimes lead to many many revisions and making all of those changes traditionally would simply take too much time so I always keep certain facets of the assignment strictly digital from the beginning allowing the potential for an easy fix. However my studio work is purely traditional.

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

Not that I can recall.


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


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

While I could see some real purists harbor contempt for digital media, arguing a loss of sincerity of human resonance, I feel it is just a new avenue in which humans have began to speculate and ask questions about. Digital technology is young and a generally untapped resource. While I still work traditionally I do not feel threatened or angered by the emergence of new technology to create art. I just have'nt figured out quite what to do with it yet.

Thanks Ebenezer!

You can find Ebenezer Archer Kling online at his portfolio website and on his weblog He has also recently started working on the The Paper Girl Northampton Project.

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