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#597318 - 05/06/12 03:03 PM The tools to create comics
Howard Simpson Offline
Junior member

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
Pencils

Traditional Tools

PENCILS - A non-repro blue pencil is great to use because you don't have to erase it. Anything that saves you time is an asset. Saving time becomes very important when you need every second to meet a deadline.

Now if for some reason you do not want to use a non-repro blue pencil, then you can use a regular gray pencil. Even though pencils are referred to as having lead, it is really mostly graphite. We call it graphite because the man who discovered graphite thought he had found lead. Today, graphite and clay are mixed with water and pressed very tightly together with high temperatures into thin rods. Graphite gets it name from the Greek word meaning "to write".

You really can use any type of pencil to draw. Be aware that soft graphite smears and makes a mess and hard graphite can dig into the paper if you're not careful.

Art pencils use the English scale to grade graphite which is a combination of numbers and letters with "B" standing for soft graphite that gets blacker the softer it is and much messier. The higher the number the softer the graphite and the more it smears.

"H" stand for hardness of the graphite. The higher the number, the harder the graphite and the lighter the pencil mark made.

"F" stands for fine point. As you start from F to 9H the pencil is able to hold a fine point longer.
The American grading system uses numbers. You may have used a number 2 in elementary school as a kid and HB is equivalent to that pencil. So you can keep using it to draw if you wish. But you may want to put your big boy pants on (or big girl panties) and do something bold; EXPERIMENT.

The fun of art is exploring and playing with the tools to see what they can do. Run away from anyone that tells you you should use an HB or 2B pencil. Buy every pencil grade and draw with them all and see what works for you.

When I don't use non-repro blue, I have personally settled on a 2 pencil combination. I use the 4H to do rough drawing, then use a 2B to tighten it up darker. Why? Because the 4H pencil lines I don't have to erase. Once I lay down a darker graphite the 4H lines are barely noticeable.

So what are you waiting for? Go play with pencils!
_________________________
Howard
http://www.abbadabba.com/ My Website
http://abbastudios.blogspot.com/ My Blog

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#597321 - 05/06/12 03:36 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Howard Simpson]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: Howard Simpson
You may have used a number 2 in elementary school as a kid and HB is equivalent to that pencil. So you can keep using it to draw if you wish. But you may want to put your big boy pants on and do something bold; EXPERIMENT.

Ironically, after considerable experimentation, I have discovered that the oversized Ticonderoga "My First Ticonderoga" ...



...is perhaps my favorite drawing pencil. It's 2B, but the larger diameter lead makes it seem softer than what one would expect. Far more expressive than a standard skinny pencil, easier to grip and less stressful on the wrist. Very inexpensive and available almost everywhere.


To get around erasing (and thus damaging inks), I draw on cheap paper, scan it into Photoshop, lighten it down to around 15% and then print on the good Bristol.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#597325 - 05/06/12 04:34 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Real Hunter, Alll the time. Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Howard Simpson
You may have used a number 2 in elementary school as a kid and HB is equivalent to that pencil. So you can keep using it to draw if you wish. But you may want to put your big boy pants on and do something bold; EXPERIMENT.

Ironically, after considerable experimentation, I have discovered that the oversized Ticonderoga "My First Ticonderoga" ...



...is perhaps my favorite drawing pencil. It's 2B, but the larger diameter lead makes it seem softer than what one would expect. Far more expressive than a standard skinny pencil, easier to grip and less stressful on the wrist. Very inexpensive and available almost everywhere.


To get around erasing (and thus damaging inks), I draw on cheap paper, scan it into Photoshop, lighten it down to around 15% and then print on the good Bristol.


I've been thinking of this method as well.. What size bristol are you printing it out on?
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#597326 - 05/06/12 05:31 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Real Hunter, Alll the time.]
Real Hunter, Alll the time. Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 104
I like using mechanical pencils or comic sequentials. I draw uber-detailed busy pages so it works for me, (I think).

For other things like drawing on my canvas, the hb, no.2 pencil works really well. The problem is I have to sharpen like six or seven cause I burn through them so quick.

I've found a handful of non-photo blue mechanical pencils I'm trying to use now, but find them hard to deal with, digging into the paper or too waxy. I am seriously considering Allen's approach.

I've tried the 4-H lead before but being heavy handed, I find I dig into the paper too much. It maybe easier to erase or draw over with it being a lighter lead visually but not if I carved into the damn thing. Then those lines are stuck like chuck.

I need to be able to glide and go fast as I'm an aggressive artist.

Allen's work seems to have an aggressive or heavy line quality as well. It'd be interesting to see what his stuff would look like if he did use a mechanical pencil?
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#597328 - 05/06/12 07:11 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Real Hunter, Alll the time.]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
I've traditionally been opposed to drawing with a mechanical, because it gives such an inexpressive line. I bought a Pentel brush pen (*) last year and it came with a mechanical pencil that is 0.7mm rather than the typical 0.5mm. It gave a decent variance of line, so I picked up a couple of 0.9mm pencils (the largest mechanicals that I know of) and they're even better.


Printing on 11"x17" Strathmore 500 series, which is expensive to use for layouts.




(*) it has individual hair-like fibers in it rather than the oversized flexible Sharpie tip that frays after three uses. It's pretty good, but obviously not Winsor&Newton Series 7 good. Excellent if you want to brush ink when you're somewhere that having an open bottle of ink might be a problem.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#597344 - 05/07/12 02:40 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Howard Simpson Offline
Junior member

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13
Loc: USA
PENCIL SHARPENERS

You can use a wooden pencil, clutch pencil or a mechanical pencil.

Clutch pencils use 2mm graphite refills which are the same size as the wood cased pencils.
Mechanical pencils have graphite refill sizes such as .3mm, .5mm and .7mm

Let's look at how you sharpen all.

A wooden pencil can be sharpened with a manual, mechanical (hand powered) or electric sharpener. The blades inside the sharpener shaves the wood away and also grinds away your precious graphite.

To keep the most graphite available to you it's best to use a razor blade or Exacto knife to carve only the wood away.

Mechanical pencils and clutch pencils save you from constant sharpening and in the long term are more effective and cheaper to use than a wooden pencil. You don't really have to sharpen the thinner graphite widths at all. The thicker graphite does require sharpening to get a fine point.

You may have noticed I didn't mentioned how to get the point back on the wooden pencils after you've carved away the wood with a blade. The answer is the same for getting the point back on a thick mechanical pencil; use sandpaper.

While you can purchase a sandpaper block/pad (sandpaper attached to wood), you should know by now I'm all for the most cost effective alternative. In this case it's best to buy sheets from the hardware store. Choose Sandpaper with a fine grit (grade) in the #180 to #100 range.

I used the sand paper block first and I was going through them quickly. I was in a hardware store and saw that the cost of a package of 10 (9" x 11") sheets was less than a sanding block for all the sandpaper I was getting. I bought that package and cut my own strips of 1" x 2" as I needed them and have have been using that package for years. I haven't purchased sandpaper again.

You may also want to try an emery board.
_________________________
Howard
http://www.abbadabba.com/ My Website
http://abbastudios.blogspot.com/ My Blog

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#597347 - 05/07/12 02:58 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Howard Simpson]
Real Hunter, Alll the time. Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 104
Is this a spambot?
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#597348 - 05/07/12 03:00 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Real Hunter, Alll the time.]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Starting to sound like it, eh? Cruise around to DW or Penciljack, I suspect you'll find the same posts.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#597350 - 05/07/12 03:08 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Howard Simpson]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: Howard Simpson
Clutch pencils use 2mm graphite refills

Not all of them...



... 5.5mm, man!


Originally Posted By: Howard Simpson
Mechanical pencils have graphite refill sizes such as .3mm, .5mm and .7mm

Never seen .3mm. Just looked it up, and apparently it does exist. Must be super fragile.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

Top
#597352 - 05/07/12 03:24 PM Re: The tools to create comics [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Real Hunter, Alll the time. Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Starting to sound like it, eh? Cruise around to DW or Penciljack, I suspect you'll find the same posts.


You know? I plan on doing something about that soon actually.
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