This information is good for comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, paperbacks and editorial illustrations.
Three-ply bristol board with a kid finish is the best to use. A kid finish has enough tooth (roughness) in the paper for the pencil and is smooth enough to lay down india ink. Plate finish is too smooth for pencil work. A rough paper needs a fast, fluid ink. A smooth plate glossy paper requires a slow ink.
While three-ply is the best; for economic reasons two-ply is used by most companies. But you can still be economical and use the best paper. Bristol board is available in large sheets. Buy it this way and cut it down to size. The art store may cut the paper to size for you in the store; if you are nice and say pretty please. This is the cheapest way to buy paper and get more bang for your buck.
Comic books are usually drawn on two-ply bristol board. A rough finish may make some pen nibs catch on the tooth if you apply pressure. Ink takes longer to dry on the smooth plate finish, so be careful not to touch it.
There is a difference between different brands of paper. Cheaper brands are less reliable.
A non-repro blue pencil is great to use because you don't have to erase it. Anything that saves you time is an asset.
Now if for some reason you do not want to use a non-repro blue pencil, then you can use a regular gray pencil. Even though pencils are referred to as having lead, it is really mostly graphite.
Art pencils use the English scale to grade graphite which is a combination of numbers and letters with "B" standing for soft graphite that gets blacker the softer it is and much messier. The higher the number the softer the graphite and the more it smears.
"H" stand for hardness of the graphite. The higher the number, the harder the graphite and the lighter the pencil mark made.
"F" stands for fine point. As you start from F to 9H the pencil is able to hold a fine point longer.
The fun of art is exploring and playing with the tools to see what they can do. Run away from anyone that tells you you should use an HB or 2B pencil. Buy every pencil grade and draw with them all and see what works for you.
Pink Pearl, plastic, art gum, kneaded and erasers are the kinds most often used. You don't want to let your palm touch the paper while you're drawing. Hand oils and sweat harm the paper surface and can make it difficult to erase and to lay down ink. So you certainly don't want to buy an eraser that has oil in it.
All of the above erasers have oil in them which I stated is not good for the paper. So what is an artist to do?
The answer is simple use something that doesn't have oil, which is POSTER ADHESIVE (poster putty). This is the removable/reusable adhesive used to hang posters and papers sold in most drug and stationery stores. The actual ingredients are corporate secrets. The important thing is it contains no oil!
Three types of ink:
A) A pigment plus a binder, which is colorfast.
B) A dyestuff such as fountain pen ink.
C) A chemical precipitation such as ferrogallic or iron gall inks. Rembrandt and Van Gogh drew with iron gall inks.
Liquid India ink was made in China during the middle of the 3000 BC. It is made of fine soot (lampblack) combined with water to form a liquid. A binding agent; gelatin or shellac is also added, which dries water-resistant and gives a permanent line.
You want to use ink that is waterproof.
Be prepared to spend lots of money on good brushes. Invest in a good brush! Wet the hair and make sure it will come to a point in the store. Hands down the brush to buy is Windsor·Newton Series 7. Number 2 and 3 are good sizes to own.
Dip only the bottom of the brush in the ink. Never dip to the metal. Don't bend it as you ink. The brush is an arm instrument, not a wrist instrument like a pencil. Hold it practically perpendicular to the paper and use smooth motions arm motions.
Never set your brush down to let ink dry on it for more than a few minutes. Always rinse it out in a jar of cool water. Hot water will weaken the glue that holds the brush hairs. If any ink has reached the metal base of the brush, you need to clean it immediately. DO NOT let ink dry here as it will weaken the glue or cause hairs to go in different directions, instead of coming to a point.
This aluminum-brush-washer is a good tool to use while you work and for final drying.
When you are finished with your brush for the day wash it. After you've washed the brush, twirl the end between your fingertips, in the crease of your hands, tongue or lips to restore the point.
Old and cheap brushes are still useful for creating textures, patterns and tones.
A. straight nibs, narrow/pointed or broad - that produce thin and thick strokes
B. medium rounded nibs - not designed to produce line variation
C. oblique nibs - a nib cut with the edge at an angle, instead of straight across, which changes the orientation of thin and thick strokes
A narrow nib must use a fluid, fast ink and gives the best performance.
Broad nibs must use slow inks with higher viscosity.
Fast ink will leave the nib before or at first contact with the paper. A slow ink will stick to the nib and will not want to leave like a adult living in their parent's basement.
If your style does not rely on thin and thick strokes, then NEVER touch the nib to the paper. Let your nib hover closely above the paper and let the ink forming on the nib provide the contact.
TECHNICAL PEN - A pen with a tubular tip and an ink reservoir in a cartridge.
FOUNTAIN PEN - A pen with a nib and an ink reservoir that supplies ink to the nib as needed. The release of ink is usually controlled by capillary action and an inflow of air so that flow is continuous like that of a fountain
PEN HOLDER - The body of a dip pen, the part into which the nib is inserted. The barrel and section of a fountain pen.