Tools and materials
A penciller works in pencil. Beyond this basic description, however, different artists choose to use a wide variety of different tools. While many artists use traditional wood pencils, others prefer mechanical pencils or drafting leads. Pencillers may use any lead hardness they wish, although many artists use a harder lead (like a 2H) to make light lines for initial sketches, then turn to a slightly softer lead (like a HB) for finishing phases of the drawing. Still other artists do their initial layouts using a light-blue colored pencil because that color tends to disappear during photocopying.
Most US comic book pages are drawn oversized on large sheets of paper, usually Bristol board. The customary size of comic book pages in the mainstream American comics industry is 11 by 17 inches. The inker usually works directly over the penciller's pencil marks, though occasionally pages are inked on translucent paper, such as drafting vellum, preserving the original pencils. The artwork is later photographically reduced in size during the printing process. With the advent of digital illustration programs such as Photoshop, more and more artwork is produced digitally, either in part or entirely (see below).