The Tools Artists Use

Laura Wood

Posted on November 13, 2013 | Comments

Laura Wood is a freelance illustrator currently living in Melbourne, Australia. She likes to create funny and colourful pictures for both big and small people.

Art from an upcoming iPhone/iPad app by Laura Wood

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

I like to create my illustrations with a combination of graphite tools and the digital drawing tablet.

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

I have a wide collections of graphite pencils and I usually decide which one to use depending on how thick and bold I want my lines to be. That's because for me lines and textures are a crucial part in the look of my drawings.

In particular, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B pencils are my absolute favourites.

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

I do all the colour part digitally in the computer. However, I like to use also coloured textures made with watercolour or acrylic.

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?

I particularly love Mars Lumograph Staedtler pencils because they tend to be thicker than other brands. I like thick lines a lot!

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

No particular brand of paper… however, all my finals are drawn either on watercolour paper, which adds a bit of texture, or smooth white paper, which works better for drawing with a lot of details.

The A-mazing Life of a Rabbit, by Laura Wood

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

I often post process my work. For example sometimes I draw little pieces of a bigger drawing and then I assemble them together in Photoshop. That makes my life so much easier and gives me the freedom to manipulate shapes and objects.

Also I do all my colours in Photoshop. I do so since it's very practical, especially when clients ask me for changes. In order to give a less flat and digital look to my work, I like to use organic textures and paint with textured digital brushes.

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

After seeing it in action, I've bought a Spyder monitor calibrator. It's great for adjusting colours on my computer, getting their calibration right and have less surprise later in print.

Another thing I've bought after seeing it, it's my monitor. It's a Dell UltraSharp 24", and the great thing about is that it has a antiglare flat screen, which is great if you spent endless hours in front of it like me!

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

Well, not really. But my textures are made of the weirdest things, from cement and brick walls to tree bark and jute fabric. Sometimes these elements end up in my finals, so I guess that counts, right? :)

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

The only software I use is Photoshop… it is everything I need and even more!

The Monsters in my Head, by Laura Wood

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 like to draw everything by hand. This is because I really like the organic look hand drawn illustrations have. However my colours are all made digitally. This is because I must to admit I don't consider myself a painter and I feel like I have more control doing this digitally.

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)?

Since a big part of my process happens on the computer, yes I truly believe the computer can be an extremely helpful tool.

And not just in making pictures, but also for promoting the work, looking for new clients, sharing your work.

I reckon computers make our possibilities endless.

Thanks Laura!

You can find Laura Wood online at her portfolio website, her weblog, on Twitter (@i_am_laura_wood), on Behance, and some prints of her work can be found on her Etsy shop. Laura also has been working on an app that is coming soon for iPhone & iPad.

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