The Tools Artists Use

Tomislav Tomić

Posted on March 29, 2013 | Comments

Tomislav Tomić is an artist and illustrator from Zagreb, Croatia.

Tower of Babylon, by Tomislav Tomić

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

Line work that reminds me of Renaissance engravings is the base of most of my illustrations. I usually use Rotring Isographs for line work and just sometimes I use pen and ink (when I need thicker lines). I tried engraving when I was a student but no client would wait for me to finish one nowdays. That is why I had to switch to faster tools.

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

I have lot of different sizes of Isographs, but to be honest, I use only two or three sizes (usually 0.1mm, 0.2mm and 0.4mm). I got used to these sizes and I know what to expect from them. I can get better control on line weight with these sizes.

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

For line work I use Rotring Isographs and only black Rotring drawing ink. It is waterproof and allows me to apply washes of watercolour or coloured inks over the drawing.

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

When colouring the drawing I often start with coloured inks washes over the line work. Sometimes to get stronger colours or deeper tones I add watercolour to it or even acrylics. Sometimes I scan watercolour surfaces and apply it under the line drawing and adjust it digitally.

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?

For colouring I usually use Ecoline coloured inks, Winsor & Newton watercolour and Liquitex acrylics. I don't like buying full sets of colours because I use only certain colours and that is why I buy these separately.

Illustrations from Storyworld, Tales from the Haunted House, by Tomislav Tomić

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

For sketches I like to use the Moleskine sketchbook and Watercolor notebooks. I have different sizes at home and I use certain size depending on what I would like to draw. But sometimes I grab any kind of paper that I came across and make some sketches on it.

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

I don't paint very often but when I do I like to do it with acrylics on MDF boards (Mediapan), it is kind of heavy but I don't paint large formats so it doesn't matter. It allows me almost the same conditions as paper and that is why I like to use it. I don't use canvases, but sometimes I use wood If I find a good piece of it.

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

Sometimes I adjust colours in Photoshop after I made colouring by hand. Sometimes I colour the whole piece digitally, but I always try to make the drawing part by hand.

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

I had some problems finding the paper that will allow me to make a line work illustration in ink with lot of details and also allow me to apply the coloured washes over it without harming the drawing a lot. I talked with some artists, illustrators and people that make comics. They gave me some advice and helped me, but I am still in the search for the perfect paper. So far the Arches Hot Press watercolor paper (300 g/m2) is something I use. It is a great paper but it is still not perfect for what I need.

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

Not really.

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

I never create the art digitally from the beginning, but when I make some colouring or adjustments then I use only Adobe Photoshop. To be honest, I don't know how to use any other software. I don't like working on a computer a lot.

Trick of the Tale cover illustration, by Tomislav Tomić

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 always prefer working in non-digitally way. I use computers only to save me some time and to hide mistakes if there is no time in doing it by hand.

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 for making art, but I am not really good in using it. Also it can help me to find some references and inspiration in other people's work. Also it can trap you with all the shiny things you can find on the web and steal your time.

Thanks Tomislav!

You can find Tomislav Tomić online at his portfolio website

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