Monday, February 22, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions- Drawing materials and tools I use



I hope you all are absolutely fine and taking a good care of yourself... 

Before I start with my personal journey as a surface pattern designer, I would like to let you know that I am a self-taught designer. I don't have any design degree from any Design Institution. I did some online classes (I will share all that in my upcoming blog posts), hunted and gathered information from GOOGLE, asked for help from my designer friends, and practiced, practiced and practiced a lot. 

Almost anything is possible if you put your heart and soul in it... I did. And I am totally loving what I am doing. 

Today I am sharing all the materials and tools that I use for drawing and designing. 

These are some of the drawing materials that I have been using since my school days. I am quite used to of them and I like them a lot. You can use whatever stationery goods you find good for your own work style and also what is easily available in your area or country. I am in India and I can get these things from my local stationery stores-

1) Pencil- I use Faber-Castell, Camlin, Apsara, Nataraj, Classmate - HB, 2B

I started with (and still use) the pencils my daughters used in their school days. The grip is good, soft and smooth lines and easily erasable. I used to draw with Nataraj, Apsara and Camlin Flora pencils (with cute tiny pink flowers) in my school days! 

2) Eraser- Choose an eraser that gives you a non-smudgy paper. I use Camlin erasers, Apsara non-dust regular erasers.

3) Sharpeners- for your pencils.

4) Ruler

5) Paper- I love to draw on Bond papers, 85gsm/100gsm, A4 size

Bond papers are good for drawing, writing, etc. The pen lines run smoothly on them. I like the clean white smooth surface that is so good when I am scanning my drawings. These Bond papers are also very good for printing. I print my patterns on it too to check the colours and scale.

There are variety of papers available in markets for drawing and sketching. Smooth, light textured, heavy textured or rough surface, canvas papers, handmade papers, etc. You must try different types of papers before choosing the one (or many) for your own drawing style. 

I mostly work on Adobe Illustrator so I need to have a paper that gives me neat, clear and crisp pen lines. If I am using Photoshop for any project then I play with a variety of papers- with or without textures.

It is absolutely not necessary to stick to one drawing style, so experimenting with different papers and art materials is always good!

6) Pen- I use Uni-ball 'Fine' for most of my drawings. I also use Uni-ball 'Micro' when I have to do some fine fillings inside my main motifs. Uni-ball 'IMPACT' is good for thicker outlines. 

Other pens that I use are Pilot V7 and V5, Baoke Gel pens, etc.

Try to test as many pencils and pens during your research time for good stationery supplies. This will help you find the one that you feel is good for your own work and drawing techniques. Other popular pens for drawing and sketching are- SAKURA, TOMBOW, ART LINE, STAEDTLER, etc. 

If you are working with mixed media then it is fun to use different pens and markers or brushes that gives the desired effects to the artwork.

7) Scanner- I use HP (A4 size, home printer + scanner) to scan, print and copy. You can also scan your artworks with a Scanner App on your mobile phone. 

8) Printer- You will need a printer if you want to see the colours and size of your artworks. Although it is not necessary, but having one at home gives you the freedom of testing your own designs and patterns without having any doubt.

9) Computer/Laptop- You will need a computer or a laptop if you work digitally

10) Designing Software- I have Adobe software- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Photoshop is best for all types of mixed media and hand-drawn-hand painted artworks. 

Some other useful things-

I also have an External Hardware to store all my files (from 2009-till now). Can't always rely on computer hardware, so some extra storage is a good choice.

Dropbox/We Transfer- to send/share your large files with other people and clients.

Other supplies that you need are the ones you like working with- Coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, crayons and oil pastel colours, watercolours/acrylics/gouache, markers and Sharpies, glitter pens/brush pens/gel pens, block print/lino print, various types of papers, canvas, fabrics, etc. The list is endless.

These are some of the materials that I use in my personal works and client works. 

Sometimes I just like to play with my daughters' art supplies- glitter pens, crayons, coloured markers, paper-cut, anything that we can engage ourselves on some fun and relaxing crafternoons. It is a good way to break monotony in your own work and daily routine and also to get rid of creative block!

Play with different mediums and give wings to your creativity!

Have a lovely week!