These are the tools and resources I use to create my work. Most of the products listed below include the Amazon Affiliate links. If you chose to click on them and make a purchase, it’s a few more coins in my tip jar. :-)
Even though I work digitally, I keep several paper sketchbooks to capture my ideas. One of my favorites is the Strathmore Toned Tan Sketchbook. A toned sketchbook cannot be used exclusively with standard pencils, (though pencils are fine for the initial sketch). A toned sketchbook provides a middle ground of value. To use one of these sketchbooks well, the artist should have a medium for highlights, such as white ink, white colored pencil, or white gel pen, and a medium for shadow, such as black ink, marker, or black colored pencils.
Toned sketchbooks are also wonderful when working with colored pencil. Any artist at the junior high level or older should switch from Crayolas to Prismacolor. You will have sticker shock if this is your first time browsing for artist grade colored-pencils, but the quality is unquestionable. These pencils last a very long time, have vibrant color, and most importantly, blend well.
I enjoy filling my sketchbook with loose watercolor washes. My favorite set has become the Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolor Kit. I’ve had this tiny palette for over three years. The pigment is vibrant, and it’s very portable.
It pairs well with the Strathmore Visual Watercolor Sketchbook. There are watercolor sketchbooks with heavier paper, but this is a nice balance of durability and ample pages. I personally like small sketchbooks because they travel well.
When working in a toned, watercolor, or traditional sketchbook, I also work with ink. I’ve been using Sakura Micron Pens for over twenty-seven years. They are similar to Sharpie Ultrafine but the tip sizes are smaller and give the artist greater control.
My finishing work is almost entirely digital. Years ago, I began my career by using a Wacom Tablet and Photoshop, now I use an Apple Pencil and iPad Pro because of the portability. For a low-Cost start to digital art, I recommend the
Wacom Intuos Tablet. An Wacom tablet replaces a mouse. It is not a stand-alone computer and has no screen. It’s a plastic pad that can be drawn on. It’s meant to be used with a home computer and paired with software such as Photoshop or Clip Studio Pro. Much of my early digital work was created on an Intuos tablet.
All of my current work is created with the Procreate App, Apple Pencil and Apple IPad Pro. I strongly suggest this device for people interested in digital painting.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
I recommend this book for graphic designers, illustrators, comic artists, and simply anyone interested in the visual arts. McCloud breaks down how the brain processes images and text in a way that’s very entertaining.
Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth by Andrew Loomis
This book was originally written in the 1960s and served as a foundation for many comic book illustrators who are popular today. The focus is on both observation and how to visualize the figure without reference. This book looks at the figure in terms of form and not anatomical memorization.
Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis
A companion guide after reading Figure Drawing for All its Worth
How to Write Sci-Fi and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
I read this book in junior high when I was trying to understand how to create a complete novel. It helped me see flaws in my writing and enabled me to create a believable world. It’s a light read and good for individuals who are new to novel writing.