Tag: art materials

Case of the Broken Copic

Copic Markers are the pinnacle of markers for serious Manga Artists and the like and for me who is an avid fan, I get my markers online from my favorite suppliers Artmedia Trading , Great Toys online and Artillery. Today’s adventure is with the great people of Artillery.

So, I preordered some copics way back Late February from their site.  I got about 6 markers, 2 refills and packs of my favorite paper and pad and was excited when they came in the mail today. They have updated me that it was shipped the night before and I was giddy when it came early morning.  I checked everything and was shocked that one of the copics had a cracked barrell and the whole thing came out when I pulled off the cover!

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I have never seen the inside of the copic before so I was shocked to see it. I was upset at first, but figured it was in the shipping, but i remembered that they had everything in neat little boxes and bubble wrap. So I contacted them and immediately, Tray of Artillery replied that this was the first time it happened to them too. They promised to replace the copic or give me an additional sketch marker as well.

WHEW! That eased my worry and Well with a little bit of electric tape, I also can work with my R59 Marker.

Thanks Artillery for the fast and great service.

If you want to order from them go to their fb page : https://www.facebook.com/artilleryphil

[Art on a Budget]Tips on Saving on Art Supplies: 002. Do Your Homework: Materials

After  Tip #1 making a list as mentioned in the previous blog, you should have narrowed down what you need and you don’t need.  Now, I know you’re excited because you know that you have the money now to get your supplies and you have a list that you are 100% sure of. But, if I were you, I wouldn’t just hop to the closest store and go on a shopping spree. If you really want to be Smart Shopper, you might as well  do my

TIP #2 DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 

Do my homework?!  Wait, Marikit… WHUT?!

I said this before in the former blog but  I mean is, do research– canvass the best prices, look at different suppliers and materials before making the grand decision. This might seem painstaking and annoying, but it will save you a lot of moolah.

Here are some of my tips on researching stuff before shopping.

ON MATERIALS

There are a lot of materials that are similar and one might work for one artist but won’t for another. So check your style’s strength to determine the type of materials that you want to get. If you are a beginner, you might want to go for schoolgrade or basic since  you’re still studying. But if you are an advanced artist with knowledge about your forte and the materials you are comfortable with, stick with those or find similar materials with better quality/good price on the net before setting out on your shopping trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Quality over Quantity. – materials with MORE in it, doesn’t necessarily mean it is better. Some of them have more in it because it easily breaks or is not to up to par with the quality you are expecting.  So you end up not using it (which means it goes to total waste) or buying another set because it breaks so fast. Some materials may be a little more expensive, but they are WAY better and you can use them for a longer time. That is good investment.
  • Invest on good basics- when I say good basics, I meant good quality for the materials you often use.  If you plan to use materials for a long time, invest on good quality materials. You may want to think about this when getting things like Graphic Markers, Colored pencils and Paint.

  • Know your materials
    – make sure you know about what you are buying before you buy it. You should know the things it is made up of, what quality, what it works against etc.  I personally have wasted a lot of money experimenting on materials such as paper, pens, inks and more.   Things went smoother in the supply front when I started researching my materials and knowing what works with what and what works for my style.Speaking of which, here are a few things that you might want to check when buying materials:IMG_77212

      • PAPER – Check the GSM.  GSM is paper density.Paper products that let little or no light pass through (e.g. poster board) are considered dense or heavy. Paper products that allow some light to pass through (e.g. tissue paper) are considered lightweight.  Vellum is about 180-220 GSM … it is heavy enough to hold ink and is sturdy enough for me to keep so I like it — plus it’s not that expensive and I get to keep my art for a longer period ( it won’t crumple easily) If you are planning to keep your art, this might be a good idea.Check the smoothness of the paper as well. The smoother papers are good for colored pencil ( if you like smooth blending like me) and markers. The textured papers are amazing for some color pencil techniques, pencil and  watercolor.  So consider that when making your purchase. Consider your style and what you are about to draw so you know what kind of paper you are getting.

        Acid free paper is also good if you plan on archiving your work. Acid free paper help the materials to not fade and lasts longer as it age. Apparently these yellow slower than your average paper.This kind of paper is known to protect artwork from harm due to the acidity that a lot of papers have. It will live longer and your art will stay forever

      • PENCILS – there are soft lead pencils and hard lead pencils. THe harder the pencil, the harder it digs into the paper making it harder to erase. Softer lead pencils are easier to erase but smudge more easily.  I prefer non photo blue pencils and softer lead pencils usually a B , HB or an F .   Mechanical pencils are great for detail work and you don’t have to sharpen them all the time.Apparently comic artists have their own pencil styles and preferences and I found it fascinating to know what kind they use for their art. For beginners, a wood pencil might work better until they get used to sketching but for advanced people,  your choice.  But just remember that if you are going to color with colored pencils or a similar material, the pencil lines WILL SHOW under the wax so it is better to use softer lead.
      • ERASER – a lot of people scrimp on erasers but I tell you. ERASERS are the artists best friend. I use it not only for erasing mistakes, but also blending and keeping my art clean. I have a collection of erasers which made people ask me why i have so many when you technically use them for one thing. I say that each eraser is for a special purpose.  I use fine point erasers ( the auto eraser with refills) for finer work, I use gum and kneaded eraser to lift fine points (when I twist it) and roll it to clean up my work after inking.  I use plastic erasers for general sketching and big erasers.For those interested,  the best erasers to purchase for a basic set is a good plastic and SOFT eraser ( so you don’t tear or crumple the paper and it doesn’t ruin the paper by being too abrasive)  and a gum eraser. Finding one with a triangle tip works too!
      • COLORING MATERIALS –  I would say a lot about this and this probably would make this blog SOOO long because of the amount of things I want to say about them. So, I’ll only give general tips and leave the finer points for later.
          • Choose your coloring materials to fit your style.  Some people think that the commercialized and the Pro- materials are the only things that make amazing art. BUT WRONG. I know people who use cheap colored pencils, wax crayons, normal mongol pencils, ballpens and even cheap paint to make masterpieces that i can’t believe. SO — it’s YOU who makes the art not your materials. Having good materials is  just the icing on the cake.  So if you have to buy coloring materials, make sure it suits your style of art and that you can make the most use out of it and not buy materials that are PRO but you cannot use them.
          • Colored Pencil buying tips – depending on your style, but check the wax content of the color pencil you are buying. Harder lead colored pencils are tougher to color with and dig into the paper. They have a lighter color laydown as well so it will be hard to get vibrant colors with it, however it might work with shoujo manga which has lighter colors.  Check also how old the pencil is . Older stocked pencils tend to harden and there will be white material build up on the lead. That makes it harder to color with until you rub it off.
          • Water Color Pencil – watercolor pencils are somewhere in between colored pencils and watercolor. These are good if you use both mediums and they blend better.
      • pin001INKS – if you use pen inks, then chances of it being copic proof are high. If you do not ever intend to color your work with watercolor and/or copics then any brand will do. But if you want to color with wet materials, look for things that are acid-free, lightfast, fadeproof,waterproof /copic proof etc.
        • Lightfastness – The lightfastness or permanence of a pigment is its resistance to change on exposure to light. Ink fades overtime when exposed to light so a lightfast ink is good to prevent it from fading and to keep your art for a long time.
        • Check what the pen is made of.  Waterbased ink is no good for copics/watercolor. Make sure you get  PIGMENT INK.

There you go! Once you have done your research and find out what you want go ahead and buy! Check places online like Artmedia Trading ! They give great prices and excellent service! ❤

Thanks for reading and I hope you learned a lot, the next part of the series is  BABY YOUR MATERIALS!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penciller

 

[Art on a Budget ] Tips on Saving on Art Supplies: 001. Make a List

materialsAs Manga Artists, new or old in the hobby, we know that a trip to the Art Store is dangerous for our wallets. Getting that one shade of graphic marker or a pencil may lead to a full basket of things that some of us may not need or cannot afford. So this series will cover  some of my tips on how to buy materials, where  to buy them and what to buy especially for those of us looking to create Art on a Budget. 

Tip # 1:  Make a List.

The worst thing we can do when manga material shopping is going to National Bookstore or any Artshop without a list in hand.  The reason is simple:  If  you don’t have a list, you obviously don’t have specifics on what you are looking for and what you need. Going without a list might also lead you to buying things that  you already have  and that is a waste of time and money. Without your list, you will go around and around in circles, not knowing what to get and really get frustrated if you either waste too much time being unsure of what to get and not getting anything at all or getting way too much.

So, Marikit, what do I put on my list?

Well… here are tips on how to make your list of things to buy before you set off shopping.

1. Evaluate what you need.   if you are a new manga artist I recommend you reading my blog The Truth about Manga Materials to show you the basic manga materials needed. You can also watch my video on Inking Materials to help you see what you need. But in a nutshell, here are things needed to create manga art:

      • Pencil – whatever you are comfortable with is fine but softer lead is better if you want to save your paper from being damaged by pencil.
      • Kneaded eraser/Gum Eraser  or a good quality soft plastic eraser. – getting the wrong eraser or a hard eraser might ruin the paper as you erase and ruin your artwork.
      • Inking Materials – most people start learning from inexpensive gel pens and then moving up to drawing pens. However if you are into drawing pens already , I suggest getting: 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 in any brand (though i love unipins) and if you can find a good permanent marker with a fine tip and a brush marker (though the brush marker is only good if you can afford it).  However here is one tip i want to share: For inking large black areas, use:  black paint or china ink and a brush. It saves you money because china ink is cheap!
      • Paper: if you intend to keep and color your art, think of smoother the better. 70 gsm paper is good for sketches but its hard to maintain especially if you are a deep penciller. Depending on your art style I recommend vellum boards ( or the ones used for calling cards ) that are inexpensive but good for art. the GSM must be at least 120 and above with smooth finish ( depending on what coloring material you are using)  Personally, I use 220 and above vellum or bristol boards A4 size ( industry standard) or 8 1/2 x 11 ” (short ) size.  They hold up well to inking with nibs and my graphic markers, colored pencil and watercolor. Plus, it is nice to keep after since it will last longer than ordinary copy paper.
      • Coloring Materials : Depending on your style, you should know what your main medium is.  If you are just starting out, I would not delve into coloring yet but will concentrate on inking. However, if you want a colored piece there are a lot of materials that you could use.( I am going to do a video on Coloring materials soon, so look forward to that for additional tips too!)

        • Get good quality material for your best medium. I am a firm believer in QUALITY over QUANTITY and so if you are confident in using a certain medium (say: colored pencils or watercolor pencils) you should splurge a little on that because you can create more work on that.
        • Get Student Grade Watercolor – and by this, i meant really cheap watercolor for your backgrounds or for coloring. Watercolor blends easily and it is a very easy medium to use for big areas without hurting your budget
    • However, if you are an artist with existing materials, check what you have first and list down things that you really need.

2. Plan out your budget. – list out things and prices so that you will not go overbudget and spend too much.

3.  Research and Canvass before you list-  before you go out and buy things, check on prices online and offline and research different places to go to get the cheapest stuff. Make sure you also factor in your time and fare to go there.  If you know the price of the thing you need, then you will not go over budget and maybe researching can lead you to places where you can get it for cheap.

4. Know the difference between the materials you want and what you need so you can plan out what to buy.- I admit that i fail when it comes to this because my wants seems to be my needs but if you are on a budget, it might be smart to list things down first on a separate piece of paper and ask “DO I REALLY NEED THIS?” or “CAN I CREATE WITHOUT THIS?” and BE HONEST with yourself when you answer that.

Once you are done, transfer the narrowed down list on another sheet and get ready to shop!

I hope these four tips help you prepare for your next shopping trip for art materials. Stay tuned for the next tip to create ART ON A BUDGET: Where to buy?

Art on a Budget

My Anime club has an activity for the in-club artists to exchange ACEOs (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and I have spoken to a few people lately and I have discovered one thing in common– they are scared to color their work. Wait… WHUT?!

A lot of people do lineart quite painstakingly and simply do not have the energy to color. I understand that completely since I do take my time to ink my work and finish the sketch completely before I do delve into color.  Some of them, say they don’t want to ruin their drawing by poor coloring.  And one of them said it’s because they simply do not know how to color or what colors to choose.

… alright, all understandable…

But there was one who said, “Because coloring materials and inking materials need to be top class to make good art.”

Excuse me, but I beg to disagree.

Sure, a good quality colored pencil may cost more, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a cheaper version to color with. It’s not the materials themselves but how you use such materials to create art.

So this gave me an idea… this month of June. My theme is “ART ON A BUDGET” — Meaning, I am going to discuss different ways to use cheap materials, DIY tips on blenders etc and smart buys and suppliers for those budding artists on a budget.  I will do it in Several parts which may include:

  • Cheap-ass Manga Material Shopping-  which will go through the materials we can find on a budget, where to find them as well as how to be smart when buying art materials.
  • Creative ways to Color – a look on how to use color/materials and some things on color theory. I may share blending techniques.
  • Cheap Supplies and Suppliers
  • How to take care of materials – because part of being thrifty is not wasting materials

I hope you follow the series which I will launch soon!