There are many ways that you can draw cartoons. I have tried so many different pens, pencils and programs over the years and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
The products mentioned below are a mixture of cheap and expensive. Generally speaking, buying the most expensive things will get you the best results. BUT!… Remember that above anything else, it’s more important to practise drawing every day on an old envelope than it is to spend loads of cash on fancy products. So make sure you always practise!
Best Gear for Digital Cartooning
For digital cartooning you need three things: A computer, a tablet and software. Let’s talk about it!
The software part is easy. I recommend Adobe Photoshop. It’s easy to use, it’s stable and has fully customisable brush settings and layers.
Photoshop is part of a subscription service, but you can sign up for a free trial over at Adobe’s website.
There are plenty of free programs on the market, but Photoshop is well worth the money.
The computer I use is a 2018 Apple MacBook Pro. There’s a perception that creative types HAVE to use Apple, but to be honest, Windows is just as good. The most important thing you need is a machine with sufficient processing power and RAM.
I wrote an article about tablets which you can read here. I think an entry level Wacom tablet is good enough for most people. But if you’re happy to spend a few hundred bucks extra, the Intuos Pro Medium is my favourite!
Best Sketch books
I like to sketch on a wide variety of surfaces. These can be broken down into three groups: sketchbooks, printer paper and Post It Notes (Maaan I love Post It notes).
If you’re after a super durable and fancy sketchbook, the Moleskine sketchbooks are excellent.
If you’re feeling a bit shy and too nervous to practise in a sketchbook, then simply use everyday printer paper. In the events that you like a certain page you’ve created, file it away with your other drawings.
Pens are a very personal thing – head along to your local art store and try out some of their test pens and see what you’re comfortable with. My absolute favourite pens are Uni Pens. For drawing thick lines I love using Posca paint pens and for drawing thin lines I use Uni Pin Fine Line pens
When drawing cartoons, you can use whatever you like – watercolour, markers, pencils, pastels etc. Personally, I’m a big fan of colouring in my cartoons with colour pencils.
My absolute favourite pencils to work with are Prismacolor pencils. Their colours are highly pigmented and you can get really rich and beautifully vivid results without wrecking your paper or having your arm fall off.