My Tools & Apps

Here you will find the tools that I often use when making comics and illustrations. Please bear in mind these are just the tools I am most confortable with and by no means I am suggesting you should buy everything listed here. At the end, even though good tools do help you be more productive, the quality of your art will not really depend on the tools but on your skills. That being said, if you ask me what tools would I recommend to anyone willing to spend time making comics and/or illustrations, the content below would be my recommendation.

 


 

Analogue Tools

 

Staedtler Mars Technico

This one has been my one and preferred lead holder used for most of my sketching and pencils drawing. I used to work with mechanical pencils ranging from 0.3mm to 0.7mm but I got tired of them for sketching and now I only use this Steadtler's lead holder. There are other brands more affordable (at least in my country) but I just don't like the feel of them in my hand. This one is always used with a 2B lead, as I think it give the right kind of "darkness" with the amount of pressure I tend to apply.

Pentel Graphgear 1000

I still use mechanical pencils for certain cases. Sometimes pencil drawings require very detailed and small pieces for which a 2mm lead may be way too big. For cases like this I have Pentel's retractile mechanical pencil, which I use with 2B leads as well. This one has the right weight for me to hold it for long periods of time without getting tired.

Nib Pens

Ok, here I will not be recommending or talkinb about brands. Just know that I use Japanese nib pens. Specifically G-Pen, Maru Pen and Saji/Kabura Pen. There are multiple brands that make these, some more expensive than others, and the only thing they vary in is the hardness of the different nibs. There are some softer that will allow you to change the width of the lines more easily, while others will be harder and thus will make it easier to keep lines' width consistent. Try them out and choose the brands that suit you better.

Brushes

I have a few brushes I use mostly to ink parts that require certain textures like hair and clothes. These of course require a lot of care and cleaning after usage. I have two brushes I use the most. The first one is Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Kolinsky Menso Brush Extra Fine which I use for all the hair details on my comic/manga pages. The other one being an old Windsor & Newton Series 7 brush which has its tip split an so I use it mostly for clothing textures.

Brush Pens/Fudepen

I use pretty much every brush pen I can get. There are some of Pentel, some of Tombow and some unbranded. All of them are useful on different scenarios. Try to get as many as you can (they wont last for too long) and with as many sizes as you can find. These are particularly useful if you are not on your own studio but still want the effect/details only brush and ink can provide.

Ink

I'm really not that picky about ink. I've used several brands as my main ink and the ones I like the most are Kuretake Zig Black Ink 60 when I plan to use alcohol based markers, and Speedball Superblack India Ink when not. Most Mangakas use Pilot's ink and while it is really good, for me it's too expensive. 

Alcohol Based Markers

I mainly use Neopiko-2 markers from Deleter, but I also have a few Copic markers as well as some from the brands Shinhan Touch and Winsor & Newton Brushmarker. All of them play along nice with each other so I don't mind mixing them. 

Color Pencils

I like color pencils a lot, they can give your illustrations a radiant vibe and if you happen to get a good brand you can blend them quite a lot. I use mostly Prismacolor Premiere, but by no means I think these are the best. In fact I quite dislike the quality of them as they tend to break quite often. Why do I use them, you ask? Well, here in Colombia other "good" brands are way to expensive and almost impossible to find. But if you happen to find a box of Faber-Castell Polychromos or Caran d'Ache at your art store, do yourself a favor and choose them over any other brand.

Paper

There are so many different brands and types of paper I use that It would require a whole post to talk about them. So let's focus on the ones that matter the most. Manga and illustrations that I plan to sell are made on either I-C Manga paper or Deleter Manga Paper. The one I prefer is I-C as nib pens tend to slide smoothly on this paper. For alcohol based markers these paper also works great as it absorbs just the right amount of ink from the markers while still letting you blend colors without issues.

 


 

Digital Tools 

 

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro

This is the only pen tablet I've ever had and the only one I use when doing digital work (which to be fair is not that much right now). I like it a lot as it works just fine for me and has all the features I want in a tablet. That being said, I can't really say if it's the best thing out there nor I can recommended over any other brand, as I've never tried out other brands. So let me just say that XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, works great for doing digital art

Clip Studio Paint

This is the only tool you will ever need if you are planning on making digital art or comics. Even though most of my comic pages are done in a traditional (analogue) way, I always end up retouching the pages with this program, adding screen tones and dialogues. I prefer this over Photoshop or any other tool mostly because it was designed from the ground to be a tool for manga artists, and contains everything you may need for this purpose. Plus it has a way more reasonable pricing model.