A couple of people have asked me to ask about my tools/process lately, so here’s my current go-everywhere kit:
That top picture is my current sketchbook. I cover them in stickers. I will put almost any sticker I encounter on my current sketchbook. They wind up looking like luggage.
These days my sketchbooks are plain Leuchtturm1917 Masters (http://www.leuchtturm1917.com/en/content/master-notebook-ae-classic). For years I drew in the similarly sized hardcover A4 Moleskeines (http://www.amazon.com/Moleskine-Folio-Professional-Notebook-Ruled/dp/8862931913/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405614883&sr=1-3&keywords=moleskine&dpPl=1), but the Leuchtturms are more solidly constructed, have more pages, and pre-numbered pages. This is my second Leuchtturm, and I don’t think I’ll be looking back, even if they are just a little more expensive. The paper even takes watercolor like a champ, even when watercoloring the same spot on both sides of a page (more on that in a second).
Leuchtturms come with a bunch of stickers for labeling your notebook, and this a heavier stock guide paper that’s lined on one side and gridded on the other. The sketchbook paper is thin enough that you can read the guide paper if it’s underneath. So I took this guide paper and folded it into eighths and ruled those out in thick marker. Instant gutter-less Frank-Santoro-style grid. Now when I can’t think of anything to draw, I rule out panels on blank pages until a notion comes over me.
That blue pencil is a pencil holder with non-photo repro blue lead. Until a couple months ago I took it as a point of pride to never pencil, but this new system has me using it again, not for “standard” penciling the way I used to, just for panel borders and the occasional coloring in a general shape before actually drawing it in pen.
My only pen for sketchbook work is a Prismacolor Chisel Tip Marker (http://www.dickblick.com/products/prismacolor-premier-illustration-markers/). I go through them fast, so I buy boxes at a time. They used to die with clockwork regularity after 8 days of use, but now that I’m drawing full comic pages each page, they only last about 5 days. When they’re fresh the lines come out too tinny, so they’re best between days 2 and 4. Few joys are as grand as laying that full chisel edge down and making a thick black line.
Then I have this portable watercolor box that I bought in college and never used until a couple years ago when I drew weird City Slickers 2/”Two Princes” mashup paintings. The brush is also a water reservoir. It’s a brilliant idea, but works best after you’ve flooded it with water then let it dry out a few minutes. Do a pass, let it dry, then do another pass on the Leuchtturm paper to get best color results.
If I’m at home, I have a pile of odd catalogs and magazines to cut things out of and collage them into panel shapes, but I’m not picky enough about scissors or glue sticks to endorse a particular brand.
The rest is just filling panels with whatever nonsense bubbles up, really.