What was your favorite toy you got for Christmas? I must have been good in 2014 because Santa treated me very well. I got a table saw for my work shop, a product to make bacon bowls, and a light box for my art studio.
The light box is great. It is small and thin, so it does not take up a lot of desk space. The light is LED it is bright without putting off a glare. In case you have not use a light box before, it is used for many different purposes in art. From just being able to trace onto almost any type of paper or canvas to old school animation. Before there was computers, animators would have to draw each cell by hand. It would take almost 100 drawings to have a character take one step. To achieve this, animators would use a light box to trace some parts of the body and to make sure the character looked the same in each cell.
So the light box would be my favorite Christmas gift. But, it still may not be my favorite art tool. That would be my art brush. No, this is not some sort of brush I use to paint with. A art brush is a tool that I think few people know what it is and know how important it is. A art brush is used to keep the drawing and drawing surface clean.
Most artist will get in a bad habit of after erasing to use the side of the hand to wipe off eraser dust. This does two things; one, it may cause a smear depending on what the drawing is created with, like charcoal. The other thing that happens is that the oils from your hand may be absorbed onto the paper and this may cause unwanted results. Color pencils may not blend correct or paints my not adhere well to the canvas. The art bush is used to basically sweep like a broom.
So even though I love my light box, I still like the art brush a little bit more. When I used the light box I was tracing with a freshly sharpened pencil. Sometimes what happens with pencils that are too sharp is that when pressure is applied the tip will break off. If the side of the hand is used, what will likely happen is that the broken tip will roll with the hand and leave a streak across the drawing or, worse on the new light box.
The art brush, which I have had for at least over 20 years now, is used to clean the new light box. Nothing like having a trusty friend around.
Below is a simple slide show of how I created a drawing using the light box for my finished product. First I did a rough sketch of what I wanted to draw. Then I drew out my first pencil draft of the picture. Finally using the light box I traced the pencil draft onto the final media I wanted and added some simple color. Note the paper I did the pencil draft on was 80lbs and the final media was 90lbs. Not sure what that means, go to a art store and check out the different paper they sell or check back here next month.