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Coloring Tools

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Hello all.

At a recent convention I saw artists use certain types of pens used to color for commissions and prints (although for the life of me I can't remember what they were.)

So what do you use when drawing traditional art to color your furries?
 

gorgonops

Member
I would be a smart aleck and say "Anything I'd use to color any other kind of art", buuuut when I draw furries, I tend to lean towards the outlined/inked-and-colored look, so I'm not as likely to make an oil painting of one of the buggers or anything. My acrylic paintings are kinda cartoony anyway (at least according to every painting professor I ever had), so I wouldn't be averse to trying one out with an anthro critter.

As far as traditional art goes, my favored combination is either a micron pen or india ink and a brush (or some combination of the two) with watercolor or gouache, on illustration board or heavy watercolor paper. Usually, that's enough, but sometimes going back in with thinned-out acrylics, other inks, or colored pencils is fun.

But I primarily work digitally as of late. I'm only recently getting back into colored artwork again, so it's nice to have the option to fart around with colors without ruining any materials.
 

Taralack

Hit 'em right between the eyes
Are you thinking of Copics?
copic_markers.gif

They're quite popular for convention use, I think because the anime/manga culture bleeds into the furry convention scene a little, though they are quite nice to use. Prisma markers work similarly well.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Copics are popular but I miss Letraset Trias. Guess weeaboos won out lol.

There are also colored pencil and watercolor brush or ink brush pens that work great.
The waterbrush pens fit in your pocket but because they use water you need stronger grade paper, or just do thin washes.
 

gorgonops

Member
Copics are popular but I miss Letraset Trias. Guess weeaboos won out lol.

Have they been totally discontinued? It appears they could be ordered directly from the manufacturer, though they look pricey that way. (And just because they appear on the company's e-commerce site doesn't necessarily mean they're still there, in my experience, alas.)

The thing keeping me from getting into markers is the initial investment. I like the idea of Copics being refillable, but $6-ish is a steep investment per marker just to figure out if you like something. Do they handle relatively similarly to prismacolors, just with the added advantage of being refillable?
 

Avlenna

Shadow of the Night
I usually use standard colored pencils, which I must say are not the greatest, sadly. I also use pen, marker and, on occasion, chalk pastel and charcoal. I would love to try out Copic markers, but I really don't have the money for them.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Have they been totally discontinued? It appears they could be ordered directly from the manufacturer, though they look pricey that way. (And just because they appear on the company's e-commerce site doesn't necessarily mean they're still there, in my experience, alas.)

The thing keeping me from getting into markers is the initial investment. I like the idea of Copics being refillable, but $6-ish is a steep investment per marker just to figure out if you like something. Do they handle relatively similarly to prismacolors, just with the added advantage of being refillable?


I remember them being re-branded to make them appeal to the Copics crowd, but I liked them for their tips. They had that nice ultra thin tip that was really nice to work with. Now they're just meh.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
You know Copics sound familiar. I know water colors, oil paints, and colored pencils were used also. Prisma was something that was new to me as I never heard that company making markers, only colored pencils I think.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Yeah, I noticed. :(

I mean, I'm no stranger to art supplies, but normally I used RoseArt colored pencils. However as I started to draw and then finish my sketches on GIMP I forgot about different types of art supplies artists use until recently. But yeah, $500+ for only half a set of Copic markers? Yikes!
 

gorgonops

Member
It seems like markers are one of those pricey mediums where you pretty much pay $2+ per marker, or you get crayolas. I've seen some more reasonably-priced markers that seem like they'd be mid-range quality, but I'm not inclined to buy them when half of the reviewers are mad that they've bought several sets that arrived dried-up straight out of the box.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Could be worse. Once I had the bright idea to make a poster using dry erase markers. Needless to say I had a big headache afterwards after smelling them for an hour.

As for Crayola, I know they make markers, but I wish they would be as varied as the professional ones or as their colored pencils.
 

Littlerock

numb with cold
If you're going for a huge range of colors and a low price, watercolors are the way to go, hands down. With a small set of dry-pan paints you can create nearly any color you could possibly want, neons and the like obviously excluded if you get a set lacking them. I use a roygbiv plus black and magenta and a jar of gesso, and it hasn't failed me yet.
 

Rinz

Lather, Rinz, Repeat
or just do thin washes.
You'd be better off not doing thin washes, in my experience. You want more pigment, less water to keep thinner paper from buckling.

Something to keep in mind, Copics and Prismacolors are very expensive.

Copic is more expensive than prisma because they're refillable. Just something to remember when you're looking at markers.
 
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Vaelarsa

resident spaceship
I don't do commissions, but I've never had much of a problem with using Crayolas.
Their colored pencils, or their markers. You just have to get one of those big packs with the large range of colors.
Sharpies, too, for that matter.

I have one Copic marker (for flesh tone), but I'm way too poor to start collecting the things. Gotta make due.
 

Vaelarsa

resident spaceship
I hate their markers though.
I wish they came in a wider variety of very pale / light colors.
But that's really my only gripe with them.

Then again, I don't tend to blend markers much. If I want blending, I usually go for pencils or paints.


Speaking of paint, and because we're on the subject, I really love working with acrylic paints.
They're probably my favorite trad medium.
 

gorgonops

Member
Speaking of paint, and because we're on the subject, I really love working with acrylic paints.
They're probably my favorite trad medium.

Aw yeah. All of my painter friends always griped about how quickly acrylic dries, but that's one of my favorite aspects about it. You want to blend on the canvas? Do it fast! Once you get the hang of it, you get some pretty energetic-looking strokes. (Not that you couldn't do that with oil, I suppose, but I like knowing an errant wrist or elbow isn't going to smear some carefully-painted detail I finished yesterday. And then you've still got this wet painting you have to be super careful with for weeks and weeks and weeks.)
 

Vaelarsa

resident spaceship
Aw yeah. All of my painter friends always griped about how quickly acrylic dries, but that's one of my favorite aspects about it. You want to blend on the canvas? Do it fast! Once you get the hang of it, you get some pretty energetic-looking strokes. (Not that you couldn't do that with oil, I suppose, but I like knowing an errant wrist or elbow isn't going to smear some carefully-painted detail I finished yesterday. And then you've still got this wet painting you have to be super careful with for weeks and weeks and weeks.)
I actually like blending near dry paint on dry paint. I feel like I can get a much better, more controlled shading effect that way. Kind of like using pencils.
Watery paints (watercolors, especially) just tend to smear all over the place way too much for my taste.

I love it for this. I don't have the patience to wait for it to dry.
Especially when I have to put multiple coats on a sculpture.
I just made a ton of little sculpey necklace pendants, and I can attest to this great quality.
Have to wait for one to dry? No problem. I'll just go paint this other one in the mean time, and oh! Look! It's already done! I can just keep swapping these things out and paint the parts like factory line.
 

gorgonops

Member
I actually like blending near dry paint on dry paint. I feel like I can get a much better, more controlled shading effect that way. Kind of like using pencils.
Watery paints (watercolors, especially) just tend to smear all over the place way too much for my taste.

Drybrushing does get some pretty cool effects! I just like the way my smooshy blending looks, though admittedly realism is rarely one of the goals I have when I'm painting with acrylics.

I do love me some watercolors, but they are an unforgiving medium. Water drop in the wrong place? Blotch there you can't really fix. Oh no, that one part turned out muddy? Too bad. >:I Whenever I do watercolors, I tend to either do a bunch of smaller ones (then if a few suck, I don't care as much) or go through the hassle of soaking the paper and using paper tape to secure it to a big wooden board to let it dry flat. Then if the colors suck I can just spray the paper, get most of the color off, and start again.
 

Vaelarsa

resident spaceship
Whenever I do watercolors, I just tend to make them so thick on the brush that they work kind of like markers.

If I want blending effects, I'll wet the edges between colors afterwards.

But I'm pretty precise with art as a whole. I like more control with what I do, and less crazy spontaneity.
 

NerielMi

New Member
Hmm, I think I don't use anything special when coloring furries - the same mix of art supplies I use for anything else:
watercolors (now I use Lagoda but I plan on buying master quality ones, soon)
inks! (my most favorite medium now - black chinese ink, colored ecoline inks)
sometimes I add gouaches, acrylics (I have a few so far but it's another thing I plan on buying, do you have any advices regarding the brands?), colored pencils, markers, gel pens, pastel dust... I like to use salt, alcohol and coffee for painting or special effects, too.
I very liked colored pencils and aquarelle pencils in the past but I don't like to use them much anymore. Well, maybe I'll get back to them in the future, they're still quite nice for sketching.:)

Oh and I forgot to write about ballpoint pens! I love them for refining finer details. I only wish I could find some light-resistant ones...
 

gorgonops

Member
... acrylics (I have a few so far but it's another thing I plan on buying, do you have any advices regarding the brands?)

My favorite acrylic paints are the Golden brand; I use their heavy body artist acrylics. If I'm doing a larger piece, I'll usually put the base colors down in a cheaper brand and paint on top of them, because Golden paints aren't the cheapest around. Probably any of the heavy body acrylics are going to work about the same (and I see Holbein also makes acrylics, ooh I would love to try those) but Golden is what I have personally used and can say they are pretty great.

For base colors, or if I'm just feeling broke, Grumbacher's acrylics are also pretty decent. They're much thinner, though, as would be any student-grade acrylic paint.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
You'd be better off not doing thin washes, in my experience. You want more pigment, less water to keep thinner paper from buckling.

I don't use shitty papers. Just like I don't use coarse paper for markers. I use what is appropriate for the medium. Also, I do blotches for textures.

On the other hand I hate acrylics, they're plastic. Not a viable medium which is why I like oils and watercolors. They mix like shit. They're appropriate for other things, but usually for painting like illustrations bleh.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
I've used markers before (a brand x one) and I found they bled on computer paper and even drawing paper. Also tried gel pens many years which aren't really a good idea to color with. As for acrylics, not sure if I'd use that for furry art as i see that more for fine art like portraits or landscapes.
 
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