The Tools Artists Use


Posted on October 18, 2012 | Comments

Lapin is a French illustrator, artist, and urban sketcher who lives between Barcelona and Paris.

Urban sketch in Istanbul, by Lapin

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

A black ink pen is my main tool. I always start with the line, which is the most characteristic of my illustration.

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

I tried many brands and the Uni Pin 0.1mm is my favourite one! I also use some red and blue Edding 1800 ink pens, and a grey Copic Multiliner.

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

I'm used to painting with a tiny travelbox of Daler Rowney fine watercolour (18 quarter pans).

I use some waterbrushes (Pentel or Kuretake). 2 waterbrushes give enough autonomy for an intense sketchy day!

I also carry 4 waterbrushes filled with liquid watercolours: a yellow, a blue, a magenta and an orange one. Useful for night sketches. Then I sometimes add some colour pencils or some colour wax...

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 do work on very singular sketchbooks. Some vintage accounting books from the 70s or 80s which I find in flea markets, mainly landscape format (210x150mm). I also carry a small din A6 sketchbook from the Spanish brand Miquelrius. We published together a collection of travelbooks with good paper for ink drawings or quick watercolors covers designed by me. This sketchbook fits in the pocket, and is perfect to sketch on in the subway.

A sketch of Lapin's art gear

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

No, my pages are as I sketched them in the street, no tricks!

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

Participating to some workshops here and there and meeting many other artists (especially other urban sketchers) help me to find the material that fits most to my taste.

And traveling to different countries helps also. I always stop by an art store, and look for some new stuff. Japan’s stores were crazy, I brought back many new pens from there.

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

There is this kind of “bazooka” of 8 different colours of wax, a child thing I brought back from Japan. I love it!

I also have some gold watercolour, gold and silver gel pens, and multicolour pens.

A sketched self portrait, by Lapin

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 use Photoshop to make some collage of my sketches, for some specific application as wallpapers, posters, labels... but for me, it's more a way to promote my work through my blog, my website or Flickr, and to take part of some communities like Urban Sketchers.

But I try to not spend too much time looking at the many blogs of illustrators and artists in Google Reader, and don't care about spending a week sketching around without my Mac.

Thanks Lapin!

You can find Lapin online at his weblog, on Twitter (@lapinbarcelona), and on his portfolio website.

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