Work in progress.

Why the switch from digital to traditional art?

I’ve had a few people ask me why I don’t draw digital art as much when I used to be such an advocate for it. There are a few reasons. First being that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which they later said isn’t fibromyalgia at all; I have scoliosis in my upper spine brought on by a childhood fracture to my vertebrae (they are still looking into the rest of my pain). Okay so I have pain. Why not just move my PC or get a new computer chair? Well, I’ve found that in forcing myself to return to traditional drawing I’ve improved on a lot of my lazy habits. When I draw digitally I can warp of liquify my mistakes instead of forcing myself to correct them properly. This isn’t to say all digital artists are lazy; just that I was. Another gratifying step I discovered after making the switch is that I really enjoy engineering new ways to use my mediums. From painting with rubbing alcohol to shaving conte sticks and applying them with make up tools. Its an adventure I never would have taken before.

I plan to return to digital painting in the future; but I feel like I’ve developed a healthy respect for both. Its like doing long division. Sure I can use a calculator but sometimes is still nice to see I can do it by hand.

"Because as it turns out, you have to start somewhere"- mike birbiglia

Work in progress

"Because as it turns out, you have to start somewhere"- mike birbiglia

Work in progress

Items I recommend for an artist just starting out.

A white sketchbook.
A Toned sketchbook
A mechanical pencil (0.5 lead)
A charcoal white pencil
A 30% warm gray marker
A 30% cool gray marker
A flesh tone marker (light peach or copic E00 skin white)
A Colorless Blender

Not pictured but also needed:
A vinyl eraser
An Eraser Pencil

Items I recommend for an artist just starting out.

A white sketchbook.
A Toned sketchbook
A mechanical pencil (0.5 lead)
A charcoal white pencil
A 30% warm gray marker
A 30% cool gray marker
A flesh tone marker (light peach or copic E00 skin white)
A Colorless Blender

Not pictured but also needed:
A vinyl eraser
An Eraser Pencil

What paper should I use?

Before I set up a drawing I try and decide what sort of paper I should use. These are opinions based on my own experience. 

Marker portraits:

image

When using markers I find they look best on white paper. The color comes out vibrant and clear. I prefer to use a heavy mixed media paper with a rough tooth.

Classic Portraits:

image

For a more classic black and white look, gray paper seems to do the trick. People who are proficient in pastels (not me) often use gray paper to make their colors look brighter. 

Flesh tone portraits:

image

For a colorful portrait done in conte or colored pencils, Toned Tan paper has always felt right to me. The tan tone creates a medium shade for me to work against. Markers can be tricky against toned tan because their shades change against the paper.

High Contrast portraits:

image

While it can be difficult to work with, black paper looks amazing with high contrast images.

I plan to expand on all of this, I am just getting my ideas down.

Leveling up on black paper.

Materials used:

Paper: strathmore artagain 9x12 black paper.

Bohin mechanical white chalk pencil.

White conte pencil.

Leveling up on black paper.

Materials used:

Paper: strathmore artagain 9x12 black paper.

Bohin mechanical white chalk pencil.

White conte pencil.

Almost done.

Almost done.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.