Watercolour, especially designers gouache is a good general purpose medium for most work. It has a strong pigment, and can be applied by brush, airbrush, pen or ruling pen, and reproduces very well. Inks and dyes, such as Luma colours, are also used as are water soluble pencils.
The grounds I work on, need to be flexible or strip-able for laser scanning, and my preference is for Schoelleshammer paper and CS2 board, both of which have ideal characteristics and consistent quality. Whatever media may be required for a particular illustration, it's important to use only the best available, it always makes a difference and the extra cost per artwork is insignificant. Airbrushing is a technique I often use, but I prefer not to be known as an "airbrush artist". Much of the time spent on this type of illustration is in fact taken up by detailed hand work, and the airbrushing is really just part of the process. Nowadays, I'm as likely to use the computer as brushes and pens. This has largely been made possible by the use of a graphics tablet, an electronic drawing board with pressure sensitive pen, which provides the vital link between artist and computer.
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