The Tools Artists Use

Alice Savage

Posted on March 26, 2013 | Comments

Alice Savage is an artist living in Italy under the watchful eye of her cat, Romeo.

Not a feather he fluttered, by Alice Savage

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

My favorite tool is ink, lately used with very fine dip pens, but I also like to use Rapidographs and fountain pens.

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

I like black; lately I am adventuring in colored inks, too.

About brands, it depends on the pen. With fountain pens, I like the Noodler's Black ink, because it's waterproof and a nice black. With dip pens, I have two favorites: Rohrer's Black Ink, with its more shiny finish, and FW Acrylic Artists Ink, very dark and matte.

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

Colored inks and watercolors. Sometimes I like to sketch with colored pencils.

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 have a thing for sketchbooks; it's very very important for me to draw in my sketchbooks, that usually are Moleskines or similar books. For the other drawings, I have some papers I prefer depending on the tools I use; since I like to work in extremely little details usually I need to pay attention to the paper I choose.

Gold Leaf, by Alice Savage

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

I use Instagram filters when I post daily snaps of my sketchbooks or work in progress. The final drawing is never post-processed.

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

Of course! I am curious and always eager to try new things!

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

I dont think so. The only little thing I have is to use feathers to hold the nibs (and hunting for said feathers).

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?

Lately I have not worked in digital, but it has been my only creative outlet for some years. It was a space where I felt more safe; I could make mistakes without wasting paper, and it let me paint in a way that I found comfortable. I don't like to paint with real paints, but I like to do it digitally (this does not mean a massive use of effects or layers, it's more about how the digital brush feels). Traditional media meet my needs better now; it's something that has to do with the touching, smelling, with my need of a more real contact with the world.

I come from long years of agoraphobia where the virtual was my main world, and now my breathing the outside air again is reflected in my need of "real" drawing mterials. And I so hope this makes sense.

Sonata, by Alice Savage

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!

As for everything else, it has its good and bad sides, and it can hurt you if you exceed. The internet allowed me to learn so much, to explore, discover, meet. It has been a giant part of my life in the last 8 years, and a great, great thing! It goes from discovering artists that you would never have heard of in your tiny town, to talking with people who share your passion, and let's not forget the shopping! I buy all of my tools online, god bless the internet! I would still be here cursing at a cheap dip pen (and wondering why I can't draw well with it) if it wasn't for the web!

Thanks Alice!

You can find Alice Savage online at her website, on Facebook, and prints of her work can be bought in her Etsy shop.

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