Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Put your arm into it!

Black and white art of boy with brushes and palette raining down

How to Become a Comic Strip, Comic Book and Graphic Novel Artist



Tools of the Trade

16. BRUSHES - I've avoided brand names for products as much as I can. I do have some opinions about what brands to use, but prefer you to find out what works well for your style. If you're interested in which brands I think are the best, then please leave your question in the comments box and I will answer.

So the weak of heart will have to toughen up and be prepared to spend lots of money on good brushes. Invest in a good brush! Wet the hair and make sure it will come to a point in the store. Hands down the brush to buy is Windsor·Newton Series 7. Number 2 and 3 are good sizes to own.

Now you're the proud owner of an expensive brush and worried about how often you will have to buy brushes now that you've decided to travel this path. Guess what? If you take really good care of them you may never ever have to buy another brush again or at least for a very long time.

Dip only the bottom of the brush in the ink. Never dip to the metal. Don't bend it as you ink. The brush is an arm instrument, not a wrist instrument like a pencil. Hold it practically perpendicular to the paper and use smooth motions; arm motions.

Never set your brush down to let ink dry on it for more than a few minutes. Always rinse it out in a jar of cool water. Hot water will weaken the glue that holds the brush hairs. If any ink has reached the metal base of the brush, you need to clean it immediately. DO NOT let ink dry here as it will weaken the glue or cause hairs to go in different directions, instead of coming to a point. 

After you've washed the brush, twirl the end between your fingertips, in the crease of your hands, tongue or lips to restore the point.

Old and cheap brushes are still useful for creating textures, patterns and tones.

to be continued...

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copyright 2012 H. Simpson