Inktober started this week, so I’ve decided to write about my tools of choice for this challenge. Last year, I used only markers and pens. This year, I expanded my toolset with inks. Therefore, my tools of choice for this Inktober are Copic markers, an ArtSnacks/Denik Inktober edition sketchbook, Princeton brushes, Liquitex inks, and gel pens.
Copics are by far the best markers I ever used. I have had the 36-Piece Basic Sketch set for over 5 years, and they all still work. Granted, I didn’t use them a lot, but they didn’t dry out! I only had to refill two of them during this time. That’s the beauty of these markers, they can be refilled and used nearly forever. Nib replacement and empty markers are also available. The color range is magnificent as well. The Sketch series come in mind-blowing 358 colors, and unfortunately cost a crazy sum as well. That’s the main reason why I still have only the basic color set. In addition, I have a few liners of different colors and thickness. They are not refillable, but they don’t get smudged if one goes over them with Copic colors. If one tries to use Copics over regular liners, the lines will get smudged. Finally, I have the 0 Blender pen. It’s great for creating color transitions and shading effects.
I have heard good reviews about Artsnacks/Denik Inktober edition sketchbook, so I decided to buy it for this year. I like the cover design as it leaves space for stickers and decor, but also has the Inktober logo to spice things up. The paper is pretty thick and smooth. It allows the ink to easily glide on and not bleed through unless one just drips the ink on paper. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about Copics. While they blend perfectly on this paper, they also bleed through. Therefore, one has to use a sheet of thick paper to prevent bleeding onto the next page. Other than that, this sketchbook is great.
The best way to start a drawing is with the hardest pencil. This way, it will be easy to clean up sketches, and leave minimum pencil marks underneath the Copic and ink colors. I usually use a 4H or F graphite pencil for this purpose. Moo Professional eraser has been my favorite for the past year now. It is very soft, and takes care of the pencil very well. It has one downside though, as it creates an incredible amount of eraser shavings. The brushes of choice for me nowadays are the Princeton brushes. I really love how resilient they are. The brushes are really soft, but also tough at the same time. The ink glides on beautifully, and the brush allows to precisely control the strokes. For finer lines, I use a Robert Wade NEEF Taklon Script brush.
I haven’t used inks in years, but the time has finally come. I have got a few bottles of different ink from Artsnacks. These are by Winsor & Newton, Daler-Rowney, and Amsterdam. The colors that I got are beautiful and vibrant. The 965 Orange by Winsor & Newton is the perfect pumpkin color! The vintage bottle design also adds charm and helps the inspiration to brew. In addition to regular colors, I was looking into metallics. First, I tried Speedball metallic inks, and I must say I was greatly disappointed. It was a huge setback as I thought that all metallic colors are so dull until I heard about Liquitex inks. Its metallic color set is pure iridescent magic. Liquitex takes the top here! I fell in love after I opened the first bottle.
Finally, I use white gel pens for highlights. So far, Signo has been my favorite white gel pen as other brands have a tendency to dry into a nearly transparent milky color. The white Gelly Roll pen by Sakura has proven itself very well too.
That’s it for this year’s Inktober media of choice. I hope you found this article helpful! Feel free to reach out with comments and questions on Twitter: @truenoirart