Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sarah's Studio (...sort of)

Here's my "studio" space.  I used to have a whole room with great light... and then it turned into a nursery and I was moved into the basement and share a room with my husband's office and his gym equipment.  Here's hoping for a well lit studio in the next house!  Please excuse the mess.  It's always like this.  (Click on it for a closer view).

My working style has transitioned several times over the past few years, going from colored pencil and marker to almost entirely digital coloring.  Today I want to share with you my all time favorite illustration tools.  If you're an artist you can understand how it's possible to be in love with a tool, so much that your day is totally ruined if it's misplaced.  As you can see, it's not all that hard for me to do.

Uni TouchMatic Eraser - I bought this at least 10 years ago at Jerry's Artarama in West Hartford, CT.  I am constantly amazed how it has yet to run out.  I love this this click-style eraser because it gives me the precision I can't get with my regualar eraser.  It seems Uni has upgraded the TouchMatic to its current form, the E-Knock found at JetPens.

I fell madly in love with the Faber-Castell Dust-Free Vinyl Eraser when I picked it up this past year.  I end up having way less smudginess where there used to be a pencil line, and the line actually erases.  Imagine that!  The "dust-free" aspect of the eraser is that the eraser dandruff rolls together in a neat little nugget that you can roll off to the side instead of brushing off of your drawing.  I picked mine up at ACMoore, but you can get them here, too, at Dick Blick.

Since purchasing old school Wacom Intos tablet (circa 2000) a year ago via CraigsList, my digital painting has improved significantly.  Actually, up until that point I hadn't really colored digitally because I didn't like how little control I had with a mouse.  Now my little grey friend follows me to my in-house job and home everyday.

Then there's Photoshop.  Who doesn't love Photoshop?!  I work in it 8 hours a day while at my in-house job, designing gift bags and boxes.  You'd think I'd be sick of it the computer, but at the end of the day, when everyone else has gone to bed, I'm back at it digitally painting away at my latest illustration project.

Other notables from my studio:
    • Holly DeWolf's book Breaking Into Freelance Illustration - this inspired me to grab the bull by the horns and make this dream reality
    • Canon MX860 All-In-One - no complaints as of yet.  I picked it up for its nice scan quality and nice art paper printing
   • Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate - gives me the kick I need for these late nights

On my screen there you can see a final color illustration from my current project with author Barbara Ann Simone.  Check out my BLOG for a close up of this page and a few others!

So, what are some of your favorite tools?  Is your studio space as messy as mine?  * Here's a secret, all my art supplies are on shelving units in the other part of the basement, so what you see is only a sliver of the goodness.*


  1. It was interesting to read about the different erasers you use. I just use the old stand-by kneaded rubber, but I might try some of the others. Thanks for the info!
    Hmmm favorite tools? I have been using my light box lately--a tool that spent a lot of time in it's box until recently. I wouldn't call it a favorite tool, but it has proved helpful these days.
    Yes, my studio gets very messy! I actually cleaned it up today!
    Fun post!

  2. Great post! Good idea to share your favorite tools. I made myself a color pencil holder that comes with me every where. Color pencil has become a favorite medium since it can travel much better than acrylic.
    I have basement studio space too and it it always messy.... Even after I clean it... My twist is that I trip over toys on my studio floor and some times my supplies wonder to the playroom side.

  3. I think your space looks pretty neat and organized! I have to clean mine today because I can't see the top of the table. My favorite tool is a black prismacolor pencil because it doesn't smudge and can create line values I couldn't get when I used a micron pen.