A first-year student in the Herron School of Art and Design, Katie Becker hopes to break through in digital animation, but a mastery of pen, pencil and paper came first. Video by Tim Brouk, Indiana University.
Drawing in a digital world is easy for Katie Becker, a first-year student in the Herron School of Art and Design.
In order to start strong in the drawing and illustration program, the Indianapolis native invested in Procreate software to go along with her Photoshop prowess. And she’s well-versed in several programs that allow drawing on-screen and 3D rendering.
Becker’s career goal is to become a storyboard digital animator for TV shows, Pixar, Disney or any other animation studio. Her Instagram portfolio portrays a strong style and execution.
But Becker wouldn’t be a digital artist without paper, pencils and pens, too. Her expressive creations wouldn’t be as fine without the foundational work, she said.
“You always need to understand the basics of traditional drawing so you can apply it to digital,” Becker explained. “I don’t think you can learn one without the other at this point in time.”
Becker shared her tools of the trade for when she works analog.
From top left:
- 18-inch ruler for preciseness
- Double-sided pencil and pen case
- Drawing pencils, which range in hardness of lead for a variety of values
- Pens — Becker explained that the inking process is essential for illustrators. The different pens create dimension with different line weights. “Lately, I’ve been using a lot of brown inks because they’re softer, and I like the effect that it gives,” she said.
- Pencil sharpener
- MacBook Air
- Mixed-media sketchbook, which allows the artist to use pencil, pen, charcoal and even watercolor pieces in the same place without paper deterioration.