Graphic Design & Illustration


Comix Blog #3


As soon as I decided I really wanted to try to do this Vietnam War comic I bought myself a shiny new sketchbook and started filling Pinterest boards with reference material. Those who don’t use Pinterest might think that it is exclusively for Wedding ideas, "The Secret"-style aspiration boards, and recipes for artisanal food items inexplicably served in mason jars, but it’s also a valuable tool for artists. I create a private board for almost every art/design project and fill it with inspiration, reference, and anything else that might be relevant.

My sketchbooks tend to get cluttered with notes about work or scribbles made for design projects, so I started a dedicated sketchbook for my comic. I want to explore Vietnam visually before I attempt to draw the comic. My goal is to fill numerous sketchbooks with drawings of soldiers, civilians, gear, plants, animals, vehicles, and warfare in Vietnam. I’m not really worried about making “good” drawings, I’m just trying to learn and understand things visually. Although I’m not just drawing in my sketchbook, I also use my sketchbook for notes. Any idea that comes to mind while I am drawing or watching a war movie gets written down, either in my sketchbook or Evernote(more on Evernote later).

Now let's talk tools. Everybody has their own favorite sketchbooks, pens, pencils, programs, etc. It’s up to every artist to try different things and see what works for them, but I can point you towards some of the stuff that works for me. My sketchbook is a Maruman Mnemosyne N180A Imagination Notebook - A4 - 5 mm Graph. I like these because the paper is slick, thin, and doesn’t bleed very much. I don’t do much rendering in pencil so I don’t need the thick textured paper that is in most sketchbooks. I use a graph paper sketchbook simply because I like having the guides when I am writing or drawing, but Maruman makes plain paper sketchbooks as well. As far as drawing tools go, I almost always pencil in non-photo blue because it’s lighter than graphite and doesn’t make a big damn mess. For pens, I use a ton of different things, but my current favorites are the Uni Pin Pens that come in a variety of sizes and have waterproof ink