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  Two Markers to Rule Them (but need T-square)Mar 20, 2012 9:28 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I did the first A* Sketch for a paying customer over the weekend! It came out surprisingly well. :o I'll post a photo once I'm sure they've received the real deal in the mail.
 
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But despite that success, and apparently because this comic's art style isn't inconsistent enough :P, I've gone and changed my art-making tools yet again--in fact I've managed to greatly simplify my marker situation, which is somewhat satisfying. Here's a very quick test sketch I did over the weekend:
 
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^ That was all done (hastily :P) with a Faber-Castell black Pitt "artist pen - big brush" marker; it's on a piece of Strathmore 300 series "smooth" Bristol (kind of old leftovers :P), about 8"x11". I am getting to like these big Pitts! I used one in today's A* page, although you can't really see much of it since it's all in the heavily shadowed side areas. The lines in the inner portion were all done with a single, new marker! Can you guess which, or what kind? (Hint: it wasn't the "big brush.") (Hint #2: I talked about it quite recently!) (Hint #3: here it is with just markers, no brush:
 
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So anyway this two-marker setup, plus brush and wash for shading and effects, is my new scheme; simpler, bolder, and more expressive, I think. Anyway I'll get better at it, probably. ;) (Today's page made me realize why I should have picked up a T-square while I was at the art supply store today, for instance :P. Oh well, I'm hitting two tomorrow. :PP) But as you may be thinking, there's every chance that something new will come along soon and make me flip flop to some new scheme yet again--in fact, this week is quite dangerous in that respect, since the fruits of last week's internet research and ransacking of online art supply stores are now starting to arrive at my door:
 
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And I still have three more packages on the way...and a new art store I spotted today to hit. Yes, I'm a little obsessive, BUT I do think progress is being made, as hopefully is already hinted at with the new marker setup of today's page. I *think* this marker arrangement may stick around for a while, as I've more or less exhausted the markers I wanted to try; I do have some "paint" markers coming, but I don't hold out much hope for them, as that Elmers "Painters" white paint marker you can see in the photo above (snapped up on one of these silly whims in the University of Washington bookstore's art supply area today) illustrated that "paint markers" are maybe not that great for what I want; this Painters thing, anyway, makes you have to press down pretty hard on the very tough, almost spiky fiber tip to get it to push back up into the pen body, which allows space for this thickish paint stuff to ooze out; it's pretty thick, and it smells nasty; one really nice thing about all these India ink markers I've been trying is that they're completely odorless (EDIT: actually that isn't quite true; Yasutomo's India ink I use for A* smells vaguely of old roots), and pretty much not toxic-*seeming* in any particular way--whereas these paint markers, which all claim non-toxicity and being acid-free...well, if they're anything like the "Painters," you would sure be pretty uncomfortable if you got them them on, in or around you in any significant way. Bluh. I belatedly looked it up, and poster paint is a "water-based" pigment solution, like India ink, only put together with a glue or gum of some kind--and that's the gross part--and I do think it makes their claims of "water-based paint" a rather large stretch. (Apparently they're sometimes also called "tempera" paint markers, but that isn't accurate, since tempera is actually egg-based (it was the main type of art paint in Europe before oil paints came along in the 1500s or something, if I'm remembering what I read off Wikipedia today correctly).)
 
Ohh well live and learn. I probably won't end up using most of these other things I'm getting in the next week or so either (that "waterbrush" was another not-too-well-thought-out impulse grab =p), but it will be good to test them myself so I'm sure of what they can do. The main thing left, I think, is going to be a big black ink battle, to see if anything can supplant the pretty decent and incredibly inexpensive Yasutomo black "sumi" waterproof India ink I've been using thus far.
 
 
 
 
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