R. Crumb has just explained that he uses crow-quill pens for drawing: “An old steel-point nib, that’s what I use to draw with — for my artwork, I have to use antique, archaic tools.”
What kind of paper do you use, what kind of pen and ink?On notebooks and sketchbooks:
Well, I use the old Strathmore vellum surface paper, which is the best paper you can get in the Western world for ink line drawing. It has a good, hard surface. I have it mailed from the New York Central Art Supply in New York. For a while I was using this old Strathmore paper from fifty years ago that some guy sent me, it had bad comic art on one side, hacked-out comic work from 1959, 1960, but the paper is superior to anything you can get now. It just holds the ink better. I ran out of that and now I use this new stuff that’s not quite as good.
And how about the ink?
I use Pelikan black drawing ink, and the crow-quill pen nibs. And you stick them in a handle. They’re all getting harder to find, all these antique art instruments. The companies that have made them are dying off one by one. But I got lucky. One day about six or seven years ago, my daughter, Sophie, bought a box of old pen points at a flea market in France. She found a box of about a hundred drawing pen points, and they’re the best ones I’ve ever used. They last and last, everything about them is fine, the point, the tensile quality, even the metal, the glass. The metal was just better, back then. I’ve still got maybe fifty of those. I think they’ll probably last me the rest of my life.
I lived out my youth on paper, basically. I am a bookmaker. I see blank books, I want to fill them — notebooks, sketchbooks, blank pages.Related posts
From “The Art of Comics,” an interview with Ted Widmer, in the Summer 2010 Paris Review.
Stephen Sondheim on pencils, paper