Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some of My Favorite Supplies

I wanted to keep in sync with Deb's and Roz's posts so I decided to blog about my favorite supplies or tools to work with.

As you might know, I usually work with watercolor first and then finish my work digitally.
My favorite watercolors are Yarka St. Petesburg. They have the yummiest brightest colors I've ever seen in watercolor.

As for watercolor paper, my favorite is Arches hot press.

For cold press I like Lanaquarelle, it has a really nice texture to it. Not too rough not too smooth, just perfect. I work with blocks. I take each page out and work on it. So why do I buy blocks you might ask? Because, and this is very sad.. (I can pause if you'd like to go look for some kleenex), there is no good watercolor paper available in this country.
I told you it was sad! So, I have to buy mine when I visit the US. You can imagine the weight of my suitcases when I travel. Fun stuff. Blocks are easier for me in that way.

I transfer my drawings using a light box. I used to have this one:

but recently bought this one and love it much more:

It has a good thickness, the other was way too thick and it's uncomfortable to have it on top on your desk while tracing. This one is pretty lightweight and has a handy indentation for keeping my pencil and eraser too.

I cannot live without my lapdesk. I sketch all my books on it and always on my couch or bed. I like to be really comfortable at the thinking stage. These lapdesks have a soft beanie pillow on the other side.
They make great nap buddies too.
What? Those are good for creativity. ;o)

Of course, I can't forget my lucky cat that I got in Japan Town in San Francisco. He has been very good to me. If you don't have one, you have to got out right now and get your own lucky cat.

For working digitally I love this Apple 30 inch monitor. It's huge! Actually it belongs to my hubby, he got it as a birthday gift from all his best friends. I keep hinting my best friends I want a Cintiq, but I don't see any movement there.. ;o)

I use Photoshop. I have two favorite tools in PS too. My favorite has to be the "undo" button of course. Nothing beats that!
The other is the stamp tool. I love it because it lets me keep my real watercolor texture.

How about you? What tools or supplies do you love?


roz said...

hahaha! If I could get you a Cintiq, I would. It's definitely on my list of favorite supplies. =o)
Love your list.
I am missing a lucky cat on my desk, must add that to the list.

Nina Crittenden said...

I, too, need a lucky cat. I do have a lucky patch from when my Dad was in the Army, does that count? ;) We use the same Arches paper!!! Thanks again for introducing me to Yarkas, they are faboo! Great post! I love learning more about the talented Alicia Padrón!

Alicia Padrón said...

LOL, aww thanks Rozzita..! I know you would :o)
Oh I need to get you a Lucky Cat then! xoxo

Hey Nina! Your dad's lucky patch does count! Sounds pretty awesome. Arches is really nice. I am so used to it I think is hard to switch. So glad you liked the Yarka too. They are so bright aren't they? Hugs to you :o)

Deb said...

Great post Ali! Wow, too bad about the watercolor
paper. Maybe you should start importing and start a business :) I'll have to try out those Yarkas...I've never heard of them!

Janice M. Chau said...

I <3 my brushes, its a special set I put together throughout my watercolor years!!!!

And my kneaded eraser, when I get frustrated, its my stress reliever, and its the best eraser for watercolor paper, it really does the job!

Alicia Padrón said...

Haha, hmmm... I don't know MacDeb. Never been that good a salesperson. I prefer to paint. :o)
Yes, give them a try. They have 3 different sets. All LOVELY colors.

Sounds great Janice! I forgot to post about my brushes. I have a few that are the real thing and not mixed and they are fantastic. Really worth while to spend your money on good quality brushes with amazing points. Thanks for stopping by. :o)

Kathy Weller said...

Hey Ali, ibtoo love that Arches paper. It is my favorite!

The Yarkas sound fab. I will look for them next time I buy watercolors. I am pretty brand-loyal, but you are a very good salesperson!

Alicia Padrón said...

Haha.. I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the Yarkas Kath. ;o)

RC Reese said...

Hi there thanks for sharing!... I have a question though, I doodle and draw all the time, but have never been a professional illustrator, but have an interest. When you are using watercolors, or any media for that matter, is the grain of the paper a problem when it goes to print? Do you do all the tweaking yourself in photoshop and to what extent? And what is the final product you send to the publisher or do they do any clean up themselves? In this day and age, I guess no one sends them originals I suppose. Sorry for all the questions... you can take a gander at my work at RCREESESTUDIOS.COM. to give me your opinion. I paint and use prismacolor for my "doodles" mostly. :0D

Alicia Padrón said...

HI RC, thanks or visiting our blog. :o)

Well, I don't think artists really edit the grain of the paper. I know I don't. The grain is a good thing. We usually want it to show. Now if we feel there is a project that calls for a softer surface then you can choose hot pressed paper which is smoother and almost has no grain.

Artists send artwork to publishers both ways. Traditional artists send original work by courier. Digital artists send digital files via FTP sites etc..

There is no right or wrong here, just different ways of working and they are both valid.

The digital artists or artists that finish digitally like I do, do our own tweaking in PS or whatever program we use. If revisions are needed the Art Director usually asks us to make them. Only in rare occasions they change things on their end. It's usually left as the artists sends it.

Hope this answers you questions. :o)