Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist

Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist
This is him, at a recent Comic Con (Photo (C) Alan A Andrew)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tools of the Trade

In response to a record number of requests (4) I am prompted to reveal the equipment I use daily. 
As far as pencils go, I don't use them much. A pack of 12 HB from Tesco has served me well for about 2 years.

Top: Staedtler pigment liner (black). .02 and .03 usually, sometimes a .05 and a .08 for lettering. I'd like a .1 but they only seem to sell it overseas.

Middle: Pentel Sign Pen A lot of the drawing I do with this, nice thick ink, variable line and a sturdy nib -usually! For some reason, the Pentel sign pen comes in either 'firm' or 'squishy' types but there's no indication which is which on the barrel or the box. (Never leave the cap off like this, though, unless you want to kill it).

Lower: Pilot 'V' Sign Pen Lovely thick black ink and a great line - almost like using a brush.The flexiblity of this one is excellent, just making it the favourite.

So these are the main three pens I use- mainly for speed and efficiency - you don't get a beautiful-looking piece of artwork  to hang on the wall like you do with dip-pen and ink and brush, but for turning out the work as fast as possible, avoiding issues like smudging, drying time, bleed time etc, they can't be beat.

Of course the right pens need the right paper and I use bleedproof Layout paper for preference, generally 45 gsm. Nice and thin and smooth and flat. It takes pencil well and these pens are excellent on it. Marker paper is OK too.

These items are available online but if possible I buy from The London Graphic Centre, Covent Garden or Cowling & Wilcox in nearby Broadwick Street, which has the advantage of being the location where in 1966 Peter Cook and John Lennon filmed this swingin' satire!


Peter Gray said...

Do you draw one line of panels on a A4...or two row of panels?

What do you to colour these got some nice effects with pens..what type are they?

Lew Stringer said...

Very interesting Nigel. I tend to avoid drawing on paper that thin for fear of tearing it. I use 220gsm Bristol Board.

Thanks for the heads up on the art shop. I've used LGC many a time but I wasn't aware of the other place.

NP said...

I draw on A3. (see photo). generally turned on it's side like this, it's half a page. But turned 'portrait' I can do a whole page if needs be.

I found Bristol Board too unforgiving for my half-hearted pencil style. But Marker paper at 70 gsm is slighlty heavier. I have hardly ever had an accident tearing Layout paper, I guess I'm just used to it.

Lew Stringer said...

I tend to pencil quite heavily. Practically everything is in there before I ink it, so thicker paper is ideal for me.

It's whatever suits each person of course. It's always interesting to hear of the methods/tools that other cartoonists use though.

Don't you find that the marker pens smudge when you erase your pencils? Or do you ink on a lightbox?

I use blue non-repro pencils now so I can ink with markers instead of dip nibs or Rotrings.

NP said...

No, never had a smudge, nor do I use a lightbox. I reckon because my pencils are generally rather light and indistinct they don't take much erasing. I did try using blue pencil years ago but I was transfixed by the colour and couldn't concentrate!

Anonymous said...

..."Hardly ever"?

Do tell. :-)