The Tools Artists Use

Marguerite Sauvage

Posted on October 03, 2012 | Comments

Marguerite Sauvage is an artist and illustrator from Paris, now living in Sydney, Australia.

An illustration for a Louis Vuitton collection, by Marguerite Sauvage

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

I have 2 favorite drawing tools. The first one is my 2B 3mm thin pencil, no matter the brand. I can't "have a line" without it. Second, my 21 UX Wacom Cintiq. I discovered the pleasure of working on a Cintiq screen tablet few months ago, so much natural and fluid, even the body posture. I can't get back to using another graphic tablet without groaning!

Like my 2B pencil, my Cintiq is just an extension of my body now!

In my dreams I wait forward for something less cumbersome: lighter and more convenient than existing tablet PCs, or some kind of super iPad dedicated to graphic artists, or a thin laptop integrating a Cintiq... don't know what exactly, but that is the idea...Hey, inventors, or marketing people, could you hear me, want to make artists happy?

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

I quite always use the same tools, moreover it's also quite rare to get the possibility to vary on tools when honouring a contract. In the past, I used to vary on medium, painting, charcoal, etc, but as a result I'm so fond of my pens and tablet I discovered through all these experimentations... I will keep on playing with them a while longer!

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

Watercolor and color crayons! Few hints of markers or Bic pens sometimes...

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?

Travel sets! A light pencil kit with color crayons and my 3mm pencils, nothing more than that most of the time. I plan to use a watercolor travel kit set in the future, with a water brush.

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

Any scrap of decent-sized paper works...You know what? I really don't take enough care of my drawings. I throw in the trash most of it and the few original pieces I sometimes keep (on sentimental reasons rather than quality ones) are too messy to be published. This is something I have to work on.

A still from a commercial using Marguerite Sauvage's character design

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

I'm too clumsy for painting, and most of the time, a lack of space... so I can't really answer this.

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

Yes, almost ever, always in Photoshop.

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

Yes, sometimes I use Col-erase on peculiar kinds of sketches, or when I have to work in a different style than the one I'm used to using as Marguerite Sauvage.

It's working in the animation field that taugh me that Col-erase is magic. My mates in animation and character design show me the great value of it. I can't stop thanking them all. So when I work on a comic-book or some character design, I use Col-erase. I also often use a simple 5 or 7mm HB or B pencil.

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

Once I used coffee and tea... you know what? It's not that original... so I stopped. Hehe.

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

Photoshop, Photoshop, and Photoshop. But my illustrations are never "purely-digital." The sketches are always on paper and the line-inking (with pencil) 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?

Hum, I sketch and ink non-digitally, by hand, with my pencils. Then I color on the computer. So the time I spend either on the first or the second task is quite relative of the nature of the drawing. More lines or more color, or on the facilities and reflection I get to obtain what I want. Great lines, easily, great colours easily... or not.

An illustration for Marie Claire France, by Marguerite Sauvage

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)?

If you want to spare yourself pain, a computer is absolutely necessary nowadays. All the constraints of the market have decided on this, and therefore all the constraints of being an illustrator! More and more tight deadlines, less and less time, for more and more modifications demanded, but also, of course, less and less money (hey, yes it's the economic crisis for everybody). Now you're also asked to deliver all your creations the digital way...so.

I think this is what gave a shape to the choice of using computer. Even on a traditional non-digital art, you 99% can't avoid it. It's not, strictly speaking, an "artistic" choice. Hopefully computers nowadays also propose a lot of fun new tools to use.

Thanks Marguerite!

You can find Marguerite online at her Facebook page, on her Tumblr blog, and on her portfolio site. Also, you can see some animated works by Marguerite at the site for the artists collective she helped co-found: Cappuccino Studio.

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