The Tools Artists Use

Michael DeForge

Posted on December 07, 2012 | Comments

Michael DeForge is a comic artist based in Toronto, Ontario.

Ant Comic 22, by Michael DeForge

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

I use mechanical pencils, pens and a Cintiq tablet.

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

I use Staedtler and Microns, usually the 005 or 01 sizes.

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

All my colors are digital, although I sometimes use markers in my sketchbook. I never really learned how to paint properly.

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

I try to buy the cheapest possible sketchbooks. I usually have a 6x9 and one 9x12 one going at a time. I also draw a lot of tracing paper and keep a few pads of gridded Chinese character workbooks to rough out comic pages on.

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

For comics, all my inking and coloring is done with my tablet on Photoshop now.

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

I do some work in animation, and some friends who do similar work recommended I get a Cintiq tablet to speed up certain tasks. It's helped a lot.

18x24, by Michael DeForge

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 started inking comics digitally because I tend to make a lot of revisions on every page, both in the art and the lettering. My originals used to have panels pasted on and cut out and rearranged with globs of white out everywhere that were kind of a pain to clean up. So it's much faster and cleaner this way. When I ink by hand, I tend to use the same sterile, skinny pen line on everything, which is pretty easy to replicate on Photoshop, so it wasn't a very difficult transition to make.

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)?

All of the above. I try to limit the amount of time I spend on Tumblr or Twitter or whatever. I tell myself I use those sites to promote myself and interact with other artists, but I'm mostly just using them to post dumb jokes and procrastinate.

Thanks Michael!

You can find Michael DeForge online at his website, king trash, and on Twitter (@michael_deforge).

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