Comic artist drawing material for drawing comics and manga

Cartoonist drawing material – I have been drawing comics for over 20 years and in that time I have tried a lot of drawing materials. A lot of money and time went into it, but I love trying out new pens and papers. I’ve talked to many professional comic artists, manga kas and illustrators and we’ve put together a list of the best pencils, papers and equipment.

The following list is a recommendation aimed at both beginners and professionals. Of course you can also work with other pens and papers. every cartoonist develops his own drawing style and finds his personal favorite products for drawing and painting. That means: try and test.

You should find your own tool. The same pen is ideal for draftsman X, but useless for draftsman Y. The external circumstances strongly influence the working material. The same paper can behave differently in a cold environment than in a warm environment. CONCLUSION: What is good for draughtsman X does not necessarily have to be good for draughtsman Y.

But in recent years, a number of pens, paper types, colors and devices have become the most suitable drawing material. This cartoon drawing material I want to introduce to you. First you get an overview with links to purchase options. Many of these links are Amazon links, please do not be surprised and annoyed. Amazon offers many brands and drawing materials often cheaper than artist supply stores and online stores. Since artists, especially beginners and students, are not rolling in money, we have tried to find the cheapest prices. If you need a specific pencil etc. finds a cheaper pencil, then just write a comment with a link.



Most comic artists work with mechanical pencils and pencils. Especially the Light Blue pencils are very popular with many artists. Most of the normal pencils are available in different pressure strengths. We always recommend HB and H. Most of the brands are very good. Who uses normal pencils works, should get a electric pencil sharpener buy. This pencil is a bit expensive, but it’s worth it, because you have to sharpen a normal pencil every 30 – 60 seconds to be able to work cleanly and clearly with it.

Mechanical pencils are very popular for detail work. Sharpening is not necessary. The UNI KURU TOGA ROULETTE 0.5mm is one of the most popular mechanical pencils among comic and manga artists, as the innovative and automatic rotary sharpening technology keeps the tip finely sharpened at all times. The pen normally costs between 6 and 12 Euro.

Those who want a very fine mechanical pencil in 0.If you need a 2mm pencil lead, you should go for the PENTEL ORENZ ULTRA. This mechanical pencil is very good for very fine and small detail work.

Of course, mechanical pencils from other manufacturers are also suitable for drawing comics. Here too: try it out.


Many comic artists work with blue pencil leads, because the blue line is not captured when scanning in b/w mode. This means you can make a blue sketch or drawing and draw it directly with normal pencil or fineliner pure or. ink. When buying mechanical pencil leads pay attention to the right thickness. A 0.5mm lead does not fit into a 0.3mm mechanical pencil!

Colored mechanical pencil leads are softer and more fragile than normal mechanical pencil leads, so you should work with them carefully, otherwise they will break quickly.

BLUE LEAD PEN 0,5mm UNI Color Blue – very popular with manga artists


I have been able to convince many professional comic artists of the value of the KURETAKE No.33 convince. There is no better brush pencil in my opinion. This brush pen convinces in every respect. The tip does not fray, it makes razor sharp lines, long and curved hairlines are very easy to make with it, the ink lasts very long and you can make great effects with it. Unfortunately, the ink of the KURETAKE No.33 not 100% waterproof and so you have to watch out well, or so only dry mascara. The KURETAKE No.33 brush pencil costs between 4 and 6 euros. Even the DRAGONBALL artist uses this brush pencil.

If you are looking for a good alternative Brush pen from Pentel try. The Brush pen from Faber-Castell I use for large cartoon drawings. Unfortunately, the tip frayed very quickly and so the pen is no longer usable after a short time. For this, the Faber-Castell brush pen is waterproof and lightfast*.


Not everyone can handle a drawing pen, so many resort to fineliners. Especially when inking comics and manga, these pens with black ink are indispensable. When it comes to fineliners, waterproof and lightfast pens have the edge. Most Manga-Kas from Japan work with PIGMA-MICRON or PIGMA GRAPHIC pens, because these are very black and they are available in a very fine print.

PIGMA MICRON 005 (very fine) buy online

PIGMA MICRON SET (different strengths) buy online

FABER-CASTELL is just conquering the drawing scene with the fineliner ECCO-PIGMENT. It is like a pigma pen. The 0.05 size is our favorite. With it you can make very fine dots and lines. Advantage, can also be found in local office supply stores in this country. Of course, you can also order it online:

Comic artist drawing material for drawing comics and manga

Very popular are the COPIC MULTILINER SP, because you can refill them and replace the tips. These fineliners are also available in different strengths and even in a brush pen version.

For cartoon pictures and beginners in the field of comic drawing, I recommend the fineliner FABER-CASTELL PITT artist pen in XS or the EDDING 1800. The tips of these fineliners are more stable and can withstand firm pressure well. With the other fineliners, the tips could easily be crushed if used incorrectly.

The finest and thinnest line is made by the ROTRING RAPIDOGRAPH 0,13mm. The tip is very fine and very sensitive. Only for draftsmen with a very good sensitivity and steady hand.


Drawing or inking with a drawing pen is already the master class among draftsmen. You need not only a good hand for it, but also the right nib, the right ink and the right paper. When inking with a drawing pen, there are a lot of techniques and rules to follow. It takes a long time to master these techniques and you will be left with a lot of broken nibs. For beginners I recommend the drawing pen BRAUSE 511. It is quite stable and you can make nice fine lines with it.

Manga artists swear by the feathers of ZEBRA. There is a drawing pen starter pack for manga artists. This is very good to test the different nibs. It is also quite cheap and costs less than 10 euros.

To use a nib you also need a holder. There are different models. Make sure that the nibs fit into the opening of the holder.

There is a drawing pen called SCHOOL G. This is often used for even hatching. It is a little too hard on paper for drawing.


Black ink should be waterproof and not diluted. We recommend the following ink:

You can often find very inexpensive ink, but please be careful. Many of these very inexpensive inks can be toxic. If this ink smells very strong, then you should leave the fingers of it, or work with face protection and always ventilate well.


Everyone makes mistakes. Original pages of comic artists are often full of corrections. Tipp-Ex and white ink are often used for this purpose.

Special effects, or when drawing on a black background, use white ink. The famous cartoonist and writer Frank Miller often used white ink to make his SIN CITY comics.


The felt pens of the professionals are called markers. For several years, COPIC has been the top dog in markers, but today there are affordable alternatives. Nevertheless, COPIC remains the number 1 among sketchers. Supposedly the pens are harmless and non-toxic, but many drafters report nausea and headaches from long and intensive use. In their health tests, pen manufacturers do not take into account that a draftsman often works with markers for more than 14 hours non-stop and for weeks at a time. If you are working with markers, use a mouth guard and make sure there is good ventilation.

COPIC Blender is suitable for thinning colors or painting special patterns on colored surfaces.

Markers can be bought individually or in sets. They have different tips and these can be replaced regularly.

Cheap and good COPIC ALTERNATIVES: Touchfive, Salico, XCSOURCE

Those who prefer to work with colored pencils should use the popular Polychromos from Faber Castell. These are color-intensive crayons with which you can create very smooth transitions. Ideal for illustrating children’s books.


I personally tend to use colored inks because they are waterproof and dry quickly.They are very hard to handle because they dry quickly and so you have to work fast. Once dried, you can’t do anything more.

Colored ink is very color intensive. One drop in water produces a lot of color.


Many comic artists like to color their comics with watercolors, because these colors are easy to work with and mix well with other colors. Watercolor paints from SCHMINCKE and WINSOR& are very popular NEWTON.

Besides tubes and ink pots there are watercolor pencils. With these you can draw normally. If you go on the lines with water, the color melts away. This can create very nice effects.

For some time now, watercolor markers or ink pens have been a popular choice. water-soluble markers have found a place with draftsmen. The magic formula applies here as well: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


Paper is a chapter of its own, because paper reacts strongly to external influences. The same paper behaves differently in Cologne than in New York or Tokyo. Temperatures, humidity and the influence of light play a major role. Especially humidity can be deadly for paper. Storing a lot of paper can lead to unpleasant surprises.


For sketches simple copy paper is enough. It does not have to be expensive drawing paper. If you want to ink directly onto your sketches or final artwork, you should use comic paper. Many manga artists use the manga paper from Deleter.


If you ink your comics with a pen, you should use Bristol paper. Bristol paper has a very smooth surface, which is often a bit shiny.

Some cheap paper and cardboard like z.B. The paper from Folia or Idena has proven to be very useful for some inkers.


If you want your comics to be colorful, you should use watercolor paper or mixed media paper. The mixed media paper BAMBOO is suitable for different colors (copics, watercolors, crayons etc.).) very well.

If you work with copic markers, you can use marker paper. This marker paper is often very thin. There are different brands like z.B. COPIC, WINSOR& NEWTON, MARKER etc.


The GEO triangle is probably the most popular ruler among illustrators. Likewise, the bendable ruler has proven to be very useful. Who z.B. If you want to draw curvy speedlines, a flexible ruler is highly recommended.


The MONO PLASTIC erasers are the favorite erasers of most comic artists. Until now, no one can explain how these erasers can erase so well. Even a hard crayon can be easily erased without damaging the paper. The favorable price rounds off the happy feeling of the draughtsmen.


A light table is needed to trace sketches or to make final artwork. A light table belongs in every good cartoonist’s workshop. A few years ago light tables cost a fortune. Today a light table in A4 costs approx. 50 Euro.


Today you don’t have to draw on paper. Many artists specialize in digital drawing. Like everything in life, everything has advantages and disadvantages. I think you always have to learn to draw analog (on paper) and then dare the digital step.

To be able to draw digitally smoothly and without big problems, you need a powerful computer with enough RAM (preferably more than 8GB RAM) and a good graphics card, otherwise you can forget it almost directly. Especially if you work with large print files and want to colorize images.


If you want to draw digitally, you should reach for a tablet. The market leader is the company WACOM. Graphic artists, comic artists and illustrators all over the world work with WACOM devices. We recommend to start directly on a CINTIQ device. On a CINTIQ you draw directly on the screen. The CINTIQ devices are available in different sizes and price ranges.

But it doesn’t always have to be a Cintiq. Since some Wacom patents are free, new tablet suppliers appear again and again. So far, the inexpensive BOSTO could convince us as a CINTIQ alternative. Likewise, a HUION is not a bad alternative.

Mobile digital work

If you are on the road a lot and the Wacom devices are too big, you should go for the iPad Pro. Already from 650 Euro you can get an iPad pro.

For the iPad pro there are programs like Clipstudio (unfortunately in the subscription ca. 8 Euro per month) or Procreate. We use a lot the iPad Pro, because it is like drawing on paper. If the surface is too smooth and glassy for you, you can use a matte screen protector.


For most comic artists, the graphic programs are MangaStudio (Clipstudio – is the same program. Clipstudio is the name of the download version and Mangastudio is the name of the hardware version (CD Rom)) and Photoshop. If you don’t want to or can’t spend money, you should use the free program GIMP.

For artwork and professional lettering the program InDesign is used.

That was the comic artist drawing materials list 2017 / 2018. Every year I will make an update to this list, because there are regularly new pens and discoveries that often make a place in the bestseller list. If you find a very good pen or a very good kind of paper, just write us an email or a comment. We are interested in your experiences.

Soon I will introduce you to the pens and paper types in more detail and show what you can do with them. I’ll also be making videos about this and sharing some tricks of the trade. You will find the videos here and on my YouTube channel.

If you are interested in drawing comics and manga, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter.

*Lightfast – black ink will not fade in UV light. Colors that are not lightfast "copper" easily and often fray out.

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