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Hey guys. I figured I'd go ahead and do a FAQ journal entry. Just a basic list of the tools I'm currently using for my marker work. I have a new tutorial for my markers that I'll post when I'm able to share the art I used for the progress shots. Feel free to fire away with any questions and hopefully, this can be a go to guide for basic info on my tools. I'm not going to talk about oil painting materials as I'm still figuring all that out and I doubt an answer I give today will hold up in the future.

Ok Here goes...

Markers: Prismacolor Cool and French grey markers. I think "Copic" has become another word for "marker" these days, so it's assumed that I'm using Copics for all of my work, but I actually use Prismacolor for all of my figures and detail work and only use Copic markers for backgrounds. I use to use "Warm" greys but I like the sepia look of French more now. I also occasionally use Copic color markers when I'm doing a full color marker piece. Why do I like Prismacolor markers? I think I've just always useed them and now it's what I'm comfortable with. I like the flexibility of the wide tip and I like the look of their inks when they dry.

PAPER: Strathmore 300 series Vellum finish Bristol board. I buy the 19 by 24 pads and just cut them in half for my 11 by 17 work. I used "Smooth" bristol for years, but eventually decided on vellum fora  couple reasons. One, it bleeds more which I actually prefer when working with marker. It makes blending easier. Two, it's easier to paint on. The rough texture grabs the paint nicely and holds water well.

Paint: Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White. I use this because it was the first one I bought and it seemed to work ok. I haven't experimented with different paints and I probably should, but for the most part, this paint has done well for me. It's a liquid watercolor paint that comes in a little jar. Gives you a nice opaque straight out of the jar and nice washes when you dilute it.

Brushes: Windsor and Newton Series 7 #2. Classic comic inking brush. I use it because it holds a nice point and seems to be durable. I haven't experimented much with brushes either as this was one of the first I tried and was happy with it.

Pens: Sakura Pigma Microns. Again, I've used them forever, so it's what I know. They're not great at....anything TBH, but I've used them for 20 years..give or take and I'll probably use them another 20.

That's about it. I hope this helps and if not, ask your questions here and I'll try to answer.

Thanks!
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:iconartisticakuma:
ArtisticAkuma Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Hey Christopher, I wanted to hear your opinion on the coloring process I wanted to use for my comic that Im coming up with. See I would rather use prismacolor/ Letraset markers than use digital coloring but Im wondering would that be too time consuming? I willing to put in the effort if it is.
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:iconmrchavoc:
MrCHavoc Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so glad you posted this! Can't wait to see the tutorial!
I do have a question tho... What color shades of red do you use in your Deadpool and Thor pieces and so you use the Copic blending makers?
Thank you for the great work! It's always a treat when you post!
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:iconjfkart:
JFKART Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I honestly cant wait to see the tutorial, I liked the last one you did on hulk. I am not a " fan " of others artist I have my likes but I really am a fan this style its completly original and it looks amazing! keep up the great work you are truly talented.
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:iconsilvertales:
silvertales Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012
Thanks for sharing! It's always interesting (I think) to see what materials artists prefer to use for personal works, and why.

I hadn't thought of trying French grays for a warmer-than-warm-grays tone.... to be honest, I've never even picked up the French grays, just stuck to warm and cool. I'll have to give them a spin.
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:iconchialupa:
Chialupa Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thank you for sharing!!
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:iconselkirk:
Selkirk Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
cool notes here bro :horns:...and thanks for posting. just out of curiosity what do you luse to lay out the pieces? pencils(if so which kind :eager:...:D) or do you work digital and then print it on bristol?
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Thanks. Nah, just an old fashion mechanical pencil for the drawing.
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:iconzach-starker:
Zach-Starker Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
How often are you buying new markers? I found that I would just use up a prisma marker on one drawing. I do like the application of prismamarkers, and have enjoyed using them on that slick marker paper. I have recently gone to copics though as all my prismas dried up and I just don't want to keep buying new markers.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
I don't buy them often, but when I do I buy a bunch. 6 or 7 of each shade. That usually lasts me a decent amount if time. If it's a medium you want to use, you just have to spend the money. Using a combination of the two can make them last a bit longer.
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:iconfgore:
Fgore Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for sharing!
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:iconmecha-zone:
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
thanks for sharing!
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:iconfuture-parker:
future-parker Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
I Agree on the brush and paper i've found those to be the best, i've not found the perfect pen yet Staedtler pigment liners are what i'm using now, Ryan Ottley recommended them.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Yeah, Steadtlers are superior in that they're not felt. They use nylon or some such. Whatever it is, they don't bleed as bad as Microns.
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:iconvirus-ac:
Virus-AC Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing Chriss! I really appreciated it especially bout greymarker and the paper. I will consider to buy those in the future, of course when I had a lot of money to waste, you know these things aren't cheap. so I need to be wise! :D
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
No problem. Yeah, art supplies of any kind are expensive. I think that's why I get asked about mine so much. Hopefully, this will help people a little.
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:iconcarlshinyama:
CarlShinyama Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmmm.. I have Prismacolor as well. I've only used it on 500 Bristol Board (smooth) and I've found that it blends nicely. I guess I'll have to try it on 300 to see how it blends.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Whatever works for you, you know. This is just a list of stuff I use, but if you like someone else more, stick with it. With the paper, it's more about the surface that it's thickness. Rough or smooth. 300 has a smooth too that I use for different things, but i eventually decided I prefer a little more bleed.
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:iconcarlshinyama:
CarlShinyama Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you use the blender marker? I know some people go without it (usually, they'll add some watercolor over it), but to some, they find it invaluable.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Blenders are worthless IMO. I tried them years ago and couldn't get anything decent out of them. I suppose it depends on the effect your looking for though.
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:iconmiamight:
MiaMight Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the style you have created with your use of medium; something I would love to experiment with since I am a big ink fan. Very insightful.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Thanks! I hope folks find it useful.
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent! :) Thanks very much for this insight. I'm always curious of tools and materials, but I don't have much $$ to experiment; FAQs like this help me explore 'vicariously.' ;)
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
My pleasure. Yeah, these can be useful to anyone looking for help. There's so many options out there it can be overwhelming.
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Too true!
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:iconpsdguy:
psdguy Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
What do you think of PITT pens? Have you used them before?
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
I haven't done much experience with Pitt pens, but I've tried them. They seemed ok. I think all felt pens are about the same TBH. I'm just use to the Microns.
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:iconjoshhood:
joshhood Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Pitt seem to fall apart quickly, especially on vellum boards. I hate to say it, since the mood has been anti-copic, but the copic pens have really come along.
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:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm surprised you came to the conclusion that microns weren't good at anything and yet you used them for over 20 years. Why haven't you tried other pens?
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
I have used other pens. They dont "feel" right heh. Just a case of using something so long that nothing else works for you. I'll always try to steer others away from them though.
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:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
:shrug:
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:iconjonriggle:
JonRiggle Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
As they say, Chris "If it's not broken, don't fix it." And I as an artist, thank you for not only giving out the info on what you use, but why you use what you do. And a side note, I totally agree about the copic comment. Way too many just think 'copic' means any marker anymore lol. Have you tried the brush tip Prismacolor markers yet? I haven't, but I've heard that some people like 'em.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
My pleasure. I haven't tried those yet. I have used the Copic brush tips. They're nice, but I'm so accustomed to the chisel tip of the Prismas that I use them for almost everything these days. I rarely even use the pen tip of the Prismas.
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:iconjonriggle:
JonRiggle Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
That boggles my mind too. I mean, I haven't mastered how to use the chisel tips to blend even a fraction of how you can. I try with the brush tip and I can get a blend (once again, not a fraction to what you can do) but it still needs work. And as I said before If it's not broken don't fix it. I think if that white bleedproof works wonders for you (and it looks like it does just fine with your work lol) I say keep using it. Anytime you post work or one of your commissioners posts their pieces from you, it's a pleasure to look at them for long periods of time. Not only for the physical aspect but just to study each detail and section of a piece. I can't do that with many artists, as I once thought I could lol.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
Thanks alot. It's like any other medium. You work with it enough, you figure out how it really works. I've done a LOT of marker work heh.
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:iconjonriggle:
JonRiggle Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is true on all counts. I have only done marker work since I think '06 so I have A LONG way to go lol.
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:icondavidyardin:
davidyardin Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional
From what I tested Prismacolor ink seems to be better than Copic to me, but they're not as easy to find here anymore.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
I agree. The Copic ink has a bit of a mottled look to it. It's subtle enough to probably be a non-issue for most, but when I'm working and looking right at it for hours, it bugs me hehe. Maybe you can find a reliable place online for them. TBH, I haven't bought a marker in a store in years myself because of how much cheaper the internet is. I use Dick Blick.
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:icondavidyardin:
davidyardin Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional
Yeah I might... but I've gone and bought all this Copic stuff already. LOL I figured if I'm not going to be able to get refills for them easily, there's not much point in getting the prismacolors, even though they're better. I know Blick doesn't export Copic outside North America, but maybe they may other brands.
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:iconchristopherstevens:
ChristopherStevens Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Yeah, that's the real draw for Copics. Hard to beat refillable. Saves a bunch of money over time if you use markers alot.
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