Archive for the 'Drawing tool' Category

Drawing tool: Col-erase pencils

I realised that I sometimes talk about differents drawing tools that I’m using. As someone who’s been drawing for a long time, I tend to take for granted that theses tools and ways of working are known by everyone.
Which couldn’t be less true.

Each of us have our own experience with drawing and art. We live in different countries, therefore, not all materials are known or available in different places. We’ve been to different schools and developped different ways of thinking depending of the program we went to study to. We have a  lot to share so I decided to do even more with the new “Drawing tool” blog category.


When I studied film animation, years ago, I learned that animators were drawings mostly with Prismacolors col-erase pencils. It is also used by architechs for blueprints.

Why is this tool so loved by animators & architechs ?

  • It doesn’t “stain” as much as a regular HB pencil, so you can work more on your drawing’s structure before it starts smudging.
  • Of course, easier to erase than HB pencil.
  • The lighter colors doesn’t shows on scanners/copy machines.
    Which can sometimes be useful when you’re cleaning a drawing. (Inking, re-drawing, etc.)

To this day, I still use col-erase pencils for most of my sketches.

Remember that illustration I posted? Here’s the final draft I did with a col-erase pencil.
I like to use a lighter color at first and enhance the details with a darker one. In this case, a light and dark blue.
But what’s even  nicer is that you can get the pencils in pretty much any color, depending of your mood and fancy. 😉

Blue is the color’s that is the most used. I am guessing that it is because it is a softer color, which is better for the eyes after you’ve spent hours in front of a drawing. And also because most people can see blue and it’s different shades. Gotta love blue!

So, if you’ve been drawing for awhile and haven’t tried this tool yet, head over to your local art shop supplies and try them. They cost around 1$ and are worth the try.  🙂

Open source image editing softwares: Gimp & Picnik

Most illustrators & designers gets the whole Adobe suite for their work. But what if you currently don’t have the money for thoses expensives programs?
Open-sources softares comes to the rescue!

First off, they’re free! You have nothing to loose.

They are usually very effective for fast touch-ups of your images like cropping, resizing & simple lightning changes.

As with most open-source programs, there is usually a helpful online community around it. So if you have some problems with the softare, no worries, there will be nice people to help you.


I’ve recently used Picnik a lot for simple image lighting and resizing for this blog.
It’s fast, easy and the results are quite surprising!
See for yourself with that image change I did for my Matha Stewart Halloween 2009 review:

Original scan on the left & image changed with Picnik on the right.
Quite a difference, eh? (I’m Canadian. :-p)


Then you have Gimp which I know is used by many bloggers and artists out there.
I personnally haven’t tried it, yet. But I’ve heard many praises for it. 

And if you’re from the Montreal area,Studio XX offers a 12-hour Gimp class to get started with.


Do you know of more open-sources image retouching software? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Review: The Pentel brush

Ever heard of the Pentel brush?

Some illustrators loves it, some hates it. It is exactly just like a regular inking brush, with the exception that you don’t need to refill it a thousand times. You can concentrate on your inking more easily.

And concentration, you’ll need it because it is not that easy to control. 😉 It takes a little time to adjust to it’s very flexible brush.
It is this exact particularity of the brush that also makes it adored… or hated.
You can go from a extremely tiny line to a very thick and bold one. It’s very useful for the comic makers out there.

Here’s a few tips on using the Pentel brush:

  • Start practicing on a blank sheet before inking your final drawing.
  • Take a breath and expire when you do your line.
  • Be calm, don’t stress and don’t drink coffee right before inking! 😉
  • If you make a mistake, don’t panic! You can always use some white china ink /Gesso to cover your spot or edit it in photoshop.
  • Play with it, have fun! The more you practice with your Pentel brush, the better you’ll get with it.

And for the crafters out there, did you know that some uses it for calligraphy, as well?


Ever used this brush? Love it? Hate it? Thinking about trying it? Tell me what you think. 🙂


Art vs is the blog where arts & crafts are no longer fighting!
It's about illustration, crafts & related events.

My name is Fanie and I’m a Montreal based illustrator & graphic designer. You may know me from drawing The Crafty Life comic in CLM. I ♥ comics, vegan food & ghost stories.

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