The Tools Artists Use

Natascha Rosenberg

Posted on January 20, 2010 | Comments

Natascha Rosenberg is an illustrator that splits her time between Madrid, Spain and Berlin, Germany.


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

When I began working as illustrator I always used Van Gogh watercolors, but now I prefer to use acrylics and pencils and I use a drawing tablet for the final details or to fill big surfaces.

I use 2B and HB pencils to sketch and sometimes I try to colour with watercolors or coloured pencils.

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

I don't have a very wide collection, so it's not a difficult decision. If I use a product and I like it then I don't need to look for another.

I start sketching with a graphite pencil and after that I try different tools.

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

I don't use pens very often but I like to ink using my Rotring 0.5.


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

I started using watercolors but now I use acrylics and colored pencils. It depends on the project.

Lately I love to sketch with a red Col-Erase and colour with Da Vinci gouache.

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 watercolor travel set. I use it to paint my sketches. At the moment I am really enjoying using a set of colored pencils by Lyra.

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

With the years I've become more and more neurotic about the notebooks. I need one where I write and do my sketches. I was overwhelmed having scraps of paper everywhere with notes and sketches. But I don't have a preferred brand. The most important thing for me is that the paper is smooth. I think that for writing, the best brand is Clairefontaine. I've never tried a Moleskine, maybe I should!

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

I like to paint on wood and on canvas. But I don't have any preferences. Most of my work is on paper. When I buy paper it has to be minimum 180 grs and smooth.


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

Well, I try to avoid digital post processing but sometimes I make some changes using it. It helps very much.

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 read about the Rapidograph in Danny Gregory's blog Everyday Matters. I tried it but I'm not comfortable with it. But he does wonderful drawings with it.

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

No, I don't think so. I use paper when I do collages. Toothbrushes to add color and sometimes I make my own stamp to create a pattern in an illustration. And I use fabrics, too.

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'm always doodling in my notebooks and they're sometimes a very useful resource when nothing comes to my mind. I start sketching with pencils and I try to maintain this type of line. For other work I try to use not line at all, so I work with the computer a little more. But I work mostly non-digitally. I find that it's more fun and it's very relaxing.


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)?

The computer is a great tool. It saves a lot time and effort to try colors on the computer. It's very helpful for me.

The computer and being online it's a very fast and useful way to be in contact with other artists, to get to know and to see things in places where I wouldn't be able to go.

Working alone at home it's become a very important tool to promote my work and to share ideas with other artists.

Thanks Natascha!

You can find Natascha Rosenberg online at her portfolio website and on her weblog: Natascha's Blog.

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