Art Tools of Fabio Consoli

Today we feature Fabio Consoli, a visual and music artist.

Qn: How about giving our readers an introduction? What do you actually do for a living?

Hi, when I was a child I loved playing in the streets, though I preferred plastering my neighbourhood with drawings to kicking a ball around. Later I studied at the University of the arts of London and at School of Visual Arts of Manhattan.

At twenty-five, I wanted to see the world. Not in a picture book, but with my own eyes, so I started traveling the world on my bike.

Right now I have my own graphic design studio. I do illustrations, I teach graphic design at the Abadir Academy of Arts and sometimes I write illustrated books about my travelings.

Qn: Can you give us a rundown of the pens and pencils that you use?

I like collecting old fountain pens, my favorite ones are a Pelikan that I bought in Paris (a little expensive) and a Raja I bought at the Spitfire Market in London for 5£.

Lately I prefer the Raja fountain pen, his chunky nib creates unpredictable loose lines. Also I used a lot of Sakura Micron pens for more detailed drawings as the ones a did in Madagascar.

When I travel I bring my Staedtler Mechanical pencil with 2B and 4B, but I love buying pencils on small villages, for me it is like I transfer the energy of the place on paper. For more lose lines I use the Pentel art brush, with which I can do tiny lines and heavy strokes, I think this is the "all in one tool" but in my opinion, to be able to use it very well, you need a lot of practice.

Qn: What watercolours are those? I see a watercolour box. Are the tubes also watercolours?

They are Winsor & Newton watercolors. The tubes are acrylic colours, I use them when I want some textured flat background, or when I want to cover some drawing I don't like. Sometimes I dilute acrylic with water to have a sort of more textured watercolour. I like mixing media, some times I lay a flat colour with Pantone pens, then add some coloured pencils, then wash it with very diluted acrylic colour. I Just experiment new texture.

Qn: How did you colour the blue for the drawing in the picture above? You went over some black lines. Is the black ink waterproof?

I used a blue Staedler coloured pencil, then acrylic blue colour. For the blue shirt I used cyan watercolour pencil and Pentel Manga Brush. In this way the background is satinated and the shirt is more brilliant.

For the black lines I use the Noodler's bulletproof ink both for fountain pens and brushes. It is really dark and waterproof, just wait let it dry completely before putting water on it.

Qn: What materials did you use to create the drawing above? The hatched lines for the guy, the background of buildings and the yellow taxi.

This is a digital illustration I did for an editorial project. I used the Wacom tablet and Corel Painter. Anyway I used wet acrylic colour for the background and taxi. For the man's suit I scanned a texture, the black lines are felt pens. Everything is digital. You can see more pages here

Qn: So of all the drawing tools that you use. Which are your favourites? 

I do love pencils. Give me a pencil and a guitar and you can leave me on desolated Island for the rest of my life :) Also I would bring the Pentel black brush for big black areas and a machete to open the coconuts.

Qn: Is that the new Wacom tablet? What size is that? What do you think about the tablet?

This is the 24" hd Wacom Cintiq display. This is something that changed my professional career. With this Wacom and Corel Painter I can draw and painting like I am working on paper.

When I work on commercial illustration I have to be very fast and flexible, a lot of corrections and short deadlines are very common. The digital illustration make things a little bit easier and I think that with a lot ( and when I say a lot I mean A LOT) you can get a warm feeling on your illustration.

For personal projects I still love drawing on paper, messing up with colours, having paint ink on my hands, but when I have to work on an commercial project I take my 2B digital pencil and I started sketching on Corel Painter.

Qn: Can you tell us more about the visual music journal that you just started?

Since I was a child i recorded my life, my emotions, with drawings and music at the same time, keeping them separated until today. Now I recognise that eventually they tell the same thing but in a different way.

The Visual Music Journal is the recording of my life, made of drawings and music at the same times, a sort of soundtrack for my drawing.

So every week (I hope) I will blog a drawing and I will compose a short piece of music on my guitar. Nothing too pretentious, just rough drawings and guitar music. Nothing more than feelings. I will record live with no audio retouch. In some case it is possible to hear what happens around me, as in the first track where my son plays around and sings :)

Qn: That's a lot of music instruments you have. I see two acoustic and two electric guitars. What guitars are those?

The acoustic guitars are a Washburn and an old Tamaky (the black one). I have also an Ukulele, but I have to share it with my son who is one year old :)

The black electric guitar is a Yamaha, which is one of my first guitar, it's 21 years old!

The white one is the last arrived in the family a Fender Stratocaster American Standard, which is the one I play more often.

I also use a Fender Tube Amplifier and analog Boss Overdrive and Tremolo. I try to keep the signal as much analog as I can. Other pedals are Boss RC2 Loop pedal, EHX Freeze, Line6 delay, Boss tuner.

This is my soundcloud page

Sample song

Qn: What sketchbooks and paper do you use to create the drawings on your blog? Do they work well with watercolours or markers? 

I always used Moleskine pocket sketchbooks 9x14cm, the advantage of using small sketchbook is that they are easier to carry and that they don't attract too much attention when you start drawing on public places.

Even if I use the ones with heavy paper, they doesn't works very well with watercolours and markers, they dry in a irregular way but that's what I like! Sometimes Pantone markers and watercolours are visible on the pages behind, but I like it, it gives a little bit of texture at the page so you don't have to start the new drawing on a completely white sheet, which, even if in a remote part of our brain, it could be a little bit intimidating :)

Thanks. That's all for Fabio Consoli.

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