Basic Equipment, Continued
PENS: For hand lettering, round-nibbed pens create letters for cartoons.
BRUSHES: Watercolor brushes, particularly large and small red sables,
allow versatility in inking and wash techniques.
BRISTOL BOARD: Two- or three-ply bristol boards work well for
cartooning. Use plate finishes for pen and ink illustrations and kid finishes
for brush and ink illustrations.
COQUILLE BOARD: Coquille board produces a rough or stipple pattern for
graded and halftone effects.
In addition to tools and equipment listed above, cartoonists routinely use
other media. Experiment with pastels, colored pencils, crayons, and
watercolor. When working in color, use acrylic spray fixatives to keep
colors from smudging, fading, or running.
Two other items cartoonists keep close at hand are water and towels.
WATER: Cartoonists may keep up to four jars of clean water nearby. One
jar of water is used to wash out ink-filled pens and brushes. One jar of water
washes out brushes used with opaque white and thins the consistency of
opaque white. The third jar of water flushes colored ink from brushes. And
the fourth jar of water acts as a vehicle and reducing agent in watercolor.
TOWELS: Keep lint-free cloths nearby to wipe dry pen points, brushes, and
tools when they become soiled or require washing.
No special tool substitutes for practice. Fancy pens will not disguise poor
No amount of color or wash will improve bad composition. You
must practice. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!