General Traditional Medium Thread

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    General Traditional Medium Thread

    Good idea? Maybe.

    Just discuss traditional mediums. The thread will move with however the discussion goes.

    To start:

    General Traditional Medium Thread

    I've never had ink that smells worse than this. Seriously it smells toxic.

    Also: Is there a GOOD way to clean a chamois? And if soap and water IS the right way, what's the good way to DRY a chamois so it's back to it's old self (as much as possible)?

    Last edited by Psychotime; July 16th, 2010 at 01:43 AM.
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    Oh gods, I've used that ink...yeah it does smell pretty nasty. And mine ended up congealing after awhile...needless to say I will not be buying that kind again.

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    Well I DO have the receipt (I think).

    I'mma go back and buy something better smelling.

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    I have a tendency of gathering materials, so I've collected a few inks. I've picked up FW Acrylic Artist Ink, Winsor and Newton Ink (watercolor), and black sumi ink by Yasutomo. All have a little to slight smell, with the worst being the sumi ink, but even the worst of the three is still pretty mild. I've also tried various Deleter Black inks (best place to get is Akadot.com), where at least one does smell but should be pretty good. You might want to check out the first three, pretty easy to find in most art stores.

    Can't help with the chamois.

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    I've never had much luck with any of the Higgins inks, they're usually too watery for anything I want to do... (though their regular non-calligraphy inks don't have a significant stink, that I can notice.)

    I like the Speedball Super-Black a the moment, it handles pretty well... I guess it has some smell, but it's not overpowering (unless the ink gets old - then it starts to stink.)

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    Windsor Newton was my brand back when I was into pen & ink. Pretty serviceable stuff, stayed useful for a long time, so unless I wanted to do something really special I'd probably stick with that. There's something to be said for reliability.

    On another, related, topic, I picked up one of those Pentel brush pens with the bristles and ink cartridges, but I haven't had a chance to really go out and play with it (probably won't for another week or two). What are others' experiences with it?

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    The Winsor Newton coloured inks always looked like they'd taste really nice if I drank them. I kind of liked the smell, too. Alas, they've put the price of their gouache paint up so they've fallen from my favour.

    I've swapped to Daler Rowney for now; they flow more smoothly than W&N, but not so light fast.

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    Speedball just might become my main brand now.

    Anyone try to draw with lettering nibs?

    And how about that rolling tissue paper downward to clean up the ink without smearing trick?

    EDIT: I don't recommend it.

    Last edited by Psychotime; July 21st, 2010 at 01:28 AM.
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    I've tried inking with lettering nibs! I just handled them like I do for calligraphy. That way, they create the same type of thick-and-thin lines. Too bad I suck at inking, or the results could have been really nice.

    I hadn't heard about the rolling tissue paper trick, although I did learn how to avoid smudges while using a ruler to ink. Saved my life!

    While I'm here, I'll re-post a question from that came up in a WIP thread of mine. If paints and digital art are better than colored pencils for learning how to mix color, then what about watercolor pencils? (usagi-a's original post is here, and the post s/he was responding to is here.)

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    I read about the toilet paper trick in middle school, but it didn't work well at all when I tried it a few hours ago. It still smears a little bit and kills the ink's luster. At least my Speedball anyway.

    I don't recommend it.

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    What's a good watercolor brand?

    (And why's it so expensive?)

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    I've drawn with calligraphy nibs before, it can make for some interesting looks but it's not really my thing. I prefer my Rapidograph pens, although they are terribly fussy, they're well worth the hassle.

    I'm not sure what would be a good watercolour brand though, I haven't messed around with them much. I think van Gogh is supposed to be pretty good. Whatever you do though, don't buy the cheap kinds like Lowe-Cornell. I like their brushes, but their watercolour (and acrylic) paints have given me nothing but grief. (And what are you talking about, all quality art supplies seem to be pretty expensive...)

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    Hi guys,

    I've really been gravitating toward charcoal pencil in my life drawing sessions lately. I've been using the Faber Castell Pitt charcoal pencils for a few months and I like the feel of them just fine, so I haven't tried any other brands. But, I'm the kind of guy who is VERY particular about pencils and always tend to favor one brand over the others, so I'm curious if there's something better. Obviously it's a totally subjective preference, but anybody use these and have a recommendation?

    Of course I could just make a trip to the art store and grab a bunch to try them out, which I plan to do, but won't have time to go until this weekend. Plus, it might be the case that my local art store does not carry the holy grail of charcoal pencils... so I thought that I would go ahead and ask since this thread exists!

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    I like using vine charcoal better.

    What's the deal with Copics? I know I just hear about em from weeaboos more often than not and they're pretty pricey, but anyone know what the big deal is?

    In the case of markers all I got are a pack of cool grey Prismacolors. They were for an assignment initially, but they're ok.

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    Copics are a good quality marker brand, and are comparable to Prismacolor and Tria. I eventually got some a few years ago and have been building up my collection. Part of it is, admittedly, the name recognition. But there are a few things that have helped to make them popular.

    The feature that probably made them stand out was the brush tip. I believe that up until recently (and I'm guessing here), with the exception of Trias (interchangeable nibs), not many artist markers had that feature. I know that inexpensive Prismacolors don't. From what I've heard and from my own beginner use of them, they blend really well. It's also pretty easy to use the numbering system to get the colors that will blend well; you simply go up or down a few numbers to get the shades you want. If you want, you can use them with other markers, since they're alcohol based, to some degree. See the link below for an artist's comparison of the brands.

    What got me interested is the refill-ability of the markers, and how you can replace the tips. You have the initial cost of the Sketch marker (what most people mean when they say Copic) at about $5-6.50, but you can get a refill for about $6-7.50, and, according to the website http://copicmarker.com/products/inks/, can refill a Sketch about 12 times. You can also buy replacement nibs to replace when they get worn out. If you really get into it, you can buy empty markers, individual ink refills, and mix your own colors. So, it's a case of high initial investment costs, but if you're serious about markers, it will pay off over time.

    They also make an airbrush system that works with the markers. I don't use it, but I know that it's there and some artists do use them.

    I would say that if you're just starting out and don't plan to do more than concept sketches, go with Prismacolors or Trias to keep costs down. If you want to try out Copics, you can try the Sketch, but I'd suggest going with the smaller volume but cheaper Ciao (has the brush tip. Classic and Wide don't have the brush tip); doesn't have the same color range as Sketch, but enough to see you like it. If you get serious, then you can see about getting more Copic markers or whichever brand you like in the future. Whichever brand you get, it will cost money to build up a large color collection because markers don't mix like paints do.

    Edit: Recalled a comparison by an artist over on dA. Has comparisons of Tria, Prismacolor, Copic, and a number of other marker brands. http://fav.me/d2kvtpp It's a comparison of usage and the pros and cons he found with each. According to him, you can replace Tria ink cartridges, something to keep in mind for long term use.

    Last edited by Asatira; August 18th, 2010 at 01:08 AM. Reason: Resource link
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    What's a good watercolor brand?

    (And why's it so expensive?)
    No idea why watercolors are so expensive (although they're not as bad as oils) but the brand I heard my teacher recommend a lot was Da Vinci. They're one of the higher-quality student brands, I think, comparable to better brands but not as expensive.

    Personally, I use extremely cheap Grumbaucher (?)-- a student-grade brand made by Windsor & Newton. I know they don't have as much pigment, but honestly, I haven't had any troubles with them; they seem to work just as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridis View Post
    No idea why watercolors are so expensive (although they're not as bad as oils) but the brand I heard my teacher recommend a lot was Da Vinci. They're one of the higher-quality student brands, I think, comparable to better brands but not as expensive.

    Personally, I use extremely cheap Grumbaucher (?)-- a student-grade brand made by Windsor & Newton. I know they don't have as much pigment, but honestly, I haven't had any troubles with them; they seem to work just as well.
    Yes, watercolour is after all SUPPOSED to be a transparent medium, so I don't think cheap ones will necessarily look too bad. I also got myself one of those generic starter sets, and I have no trouble with it.

    I think something that might be an issue with cheaper or student brands is permanence, but this will of course only matter if you plan on selling the original. For reproduction, anything that looks good will do - you can work in soy sauce and ketchup on printer paper for all the difference it would make. ;-)

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    Poor quality watercolours usually have any combination of the following drawbacks:

    - poor light-fastness (although some good traditional pigments may also be less lightfast, like Indigo)
    - grainy application. Good quality watercolour should give you a smooth result.
    - Getting lumpy/blocky when moist, and unable to be made usable again when you add water.

    Transparency has to do with the pigment used. Everything with titanium dioxide (whites) or cadmium (reds, yellows and oranges) in it will be more opaque, and there are loads of earth tones that also yield pretty opaque results (due to iron oxide). For every tone, you always have transparent equivalents, but many of the traditional tones are pretty opaque.

    My watercolours of choice are Schmincke. They have info on light-fastness, transparency, and staining on the wrapping, and they're excellent quality. But I have to say that the paper is just as important. The best watercolours look crappy on the wrong paper.

    Directly behind Schmincke I would name Winsor&Newton and Lukas - I haven't worked extensively with any others.

    Last edited by GoldSeven; August 18th, 2010 at 02:57 PM.
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    If you want a seriously hardcore evaluation of different kinds of watercolor, this guy goes into ridiculous amounts of detail: http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/wpaint.html

    Personally, I have some cheap Sakura Niji watercolors I use mostly for sketches - they do the job, but they don't thrill me (the colors just don't seem very vibrant to me... then again, I'm usually using them on sketchbook paper or cheapish watercolor paper, so that might be a major factor.)

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    Wow, I need a few days off to get through even the most important ten percent of that site! Thanks for the link!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nezumi Works View Post
    On another, related, topic, I picked up one of those Pentel brush pens with the bristles and ink cartridges, but I haven't had a chance to really go out and play with it (probably won't for another week or two). What are others' experiences with it?
    They're nice to work with but if the pen didn't have enough ink, my lines would become irregular, sometimes in mid-line. I'd rather use a regular brush and a bottle of ink.

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    Either I'm doing it wrong, or watercolours just aren't for me. Picked up some Windsor & Newton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    Either I'm doing it wrong, or watercolours just aren't for me. Picked up some Windsor & Newton.
    You're probably doing it wrong. Oh sure, it *seems* easy to smear a bunch of paint and water around but it's harder than it looks.

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    Practically everything is.

    I just find it so time consuming.

    Mix colour, thin it with water, test it, mix again, add more water, first wash, let it dry, wash again, let it dry, wash again, move onto the next colour.

    Plus I'm not even sure what the hell I WANT out of it.

    I think I'll try some still lives out of it to maybe get the hang of it.

    Last edited by Psychotime; September 8th, 2010 at 12:01 PM.
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    Anyone know some good resources to learn more about charcoal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by furiana View Post
    I've tried inking with lettering nibs! I just handled them like I do for calligraphy. That way, they create the same type of thick-and-thin lines. Too bad I suck at inking, or the results could have been really nice.

    I hadn't heard about the rolling tissue paper trick, although I did learn how to avoid smudges while using a ruler to ink. Saved my life!

    While I'm here, I'll re-post a question from that came up in a WIP thread of mine. If paints and digital art are better than colored pencils for learning how to mix color, then what about watercolor pencils? (usagi-a's original post is here, and the post s/he was responding to is here.)

    I've been taping pennies to my rulers. ::smacks forehead::

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    Anyone know some good resources to learn more about charcoal?
    I did find this and thought it was pretty interesting. They go over carbon and graphite too.

    ETA: http://www.squidoo.com/TheExtraordinaryPencil

    *sorry about that XD*

    Last edited by Disciplette; October 9th, 2010 at 10:17 PM.
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  34. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disciplette View Post
    I did find this and thought it was pretty interesting. They go over carbon and graphite too.
    What? I don't see a link or anything.

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