Monday, April 13, 2009

Magic Paper

It's not very often I find myself with some actual expertise to share, but I saw something this afternoon that I just had to comment on.

I was looking for a tutorial on a particular inking technique which meant I was visiting a lot of art forums. As I jumped from forum to forum I noticed the same guy asking the same question over and over. He had a link to a tutorial video and was going nuts trying to find the specific make and model clutch-pencil that the tutorial artist was using. Plenty of people told him that the tutorial artist was just using a plain old 5mm clutch-pencil…but this guy wanted the make, model and fricking serial number.


Because, like most beginners, the guy had got it into his head that having the exact same type of pencil as the guy from his tutorial video would somehow magically make him a better artist.

It would be nice if more expensive equipment would make you a better artist, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. In fact, as a beginner I'd recommend staying on the cheaper side. Speaking from experience, back when I first started I bought an expensive hard-bound sketchbook and never used it…the sketchbook looked so nice that I didn't want to 'waste' any of it with 'just a sketch'.

You know what happens to an artist who doesn't want to waste any pages of his sketchbook? He doesn't draw…and if you don't draw, you don't improve.

Basically, my advice is to only buy more equipment when you have a real need for it. I bought a clutch-pencil because I was drawing so much a pencil would only last me a couple of days… and once they're past halfway they're too small for me to control properly.

The truth is, if you're buying a new piece of equipment just because an artist you admire has one, it's going to go to waste. What it boils down to is that if you don't like the way your drawing looks when it's done with a plain old number 2 pencil on a sheet of printer paper, you won't like the way it looks in India ink on Bristol Board.

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