I get asked a lot what pens and pencils I use. So I thought I’d post a list of my favorites. I’m a big fan of trying new things, I’m always buying lots of different pens to try out and in my search for the best tools to use for creating comics Ive found these to work the best for my needs.

My number one question that others ask me is “What do you ink with?”

I use Kuretake brush pens. Here’s a link to a sable hair brush pen that I love, it’s the closest thing to a real brush I’ve used. It is pricey though. http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-No.-40-Fountain-Hair-Brush-Pen-Sable-Hair-Refill/pd/3958
The less expensive version is the synthetic hair, http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-No.-13-Fountain-Hair-Brush-Pen-Red-Body/pd/2661 this brush pen is similar to a Pentel brush pen. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Pocket-Brush-Pen-for-Calligraphy/pd/1793
The cool thing about these Kuretake brush pens is the refill cartridges have nice ink in them that I use, but if you find you don’t like the ink you can get a converter which allows you to put in your own ink. Now I’ve done this before and I think I used too thick of ink because it gummed up after a few days. So I’m fine to stick with the refills.

The other Kuretake brush pens I use are so great and guaranteed you’ll fall in love instantly. They have such a great line to them, and are a great price. This was recommended to me by Cory Walker. The only sizes I use are the fine and extra fine. http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-Disposable-Pocket-Brush-Pen-Extra-Fine/pd/3073

The pens I use for finer detail and with rulers are Staedtler pens. I’ve messed with Microns and every other type of pen and I think Staedtler’s are the best. Darker ink that does not fade that much when hard erasing over them. The only sizes I use are 0.05, 0.1, 0.3. http://www.jetpens.com/Staedtler-Pigment-Liners-Marker-Pen-0.1-mm-Black/pd/7937

Pencils. I use a mechanical pencil for all my pencilling. I just don’t like sharpening, I’m lazy. I do feel I should try a classic pencil and draw how the old school artists did, they’d use the side of their pencils for thicker lines and it’s obviously a LOT faster than building up a line with mechanical. Which automatically makes me less lazy since I’m doing it the hard way right now. Heh. So until then, I use a 0.5 for my finished pencils with 2b lead. Which is a softer lead. Most people go with a harder lead. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Smash-Drafting-Pencil-0.5-mm/pd/2412

I use a blue pencil lead for the layouts, I have a cheap pencil Ive had for years I put this lead in. http://www.jetpens.com/Pentel-Stein-Enhanced-Silica-Pencil-Lead-0.5-mm-Blue/pd/5938

Sometimes I use a 0.3 pencil with HB lead for shaping up some of the blue pencil before I use my 0.5 finishes.

And those are my favorites. Also this Jetpens.com site ships SO fast. Definitely my favorite online art supply store.


Really cool someone commissioned me to draw Cory Walker’s awesome character Ostrichard at the Emerald city con. I would love if Cory did a one-shot or something with this guy.
Ink and Copic markers on 11×17 cardstock.


I always love ECCC. My favorite con, so much love for Invincible there. Thanks to everyone who came out and visited me at the table.
Here’s some pics of the con that my cousin Brian took, this first one is at the Skybound panel. It’s the first panel I’ve been on. I always refuse to do this, not into public speaking at all but when I walked in and sat in the back Robert said “and here is Ryan Ottley, sitting at the back of the room as usual, come on Ryan, get up here!” I went up, didn’t say much, then doodled the rest of the time. Heh. That’s how I roll I guess.

Here’s some pics of me and my stupid face drawing a Leonardo commission.

Did a sketch in a friends Lego sketchbook, basically I could draw whatever I wanted but in Lego version.

I have pics of all the sketches I did. I’ll post those later.


Here’s a look at the process of making this cover. I do the layout on a Cintiq, just scribble around and create figures, move them around to fit a nice composition. Then I print this out on cardstock in blueline and pencil over that. Then I scanned it and printed it out AGAIN in blueline on a fresh piece of cardstock and inked over that. SO there are two originals for this. I mainly did this because I was worried I’d mess up inking over my pencils with this new sable hair brush pen I got. Luckily it worked out, the new brush pen is this> http://www.jetpens.com/Kuretake-No.-40-Fountain-Hair-Brush-Pen-Sable-Hair-Refill/pd/3958


A page from INVINCIBLE 89, this page was tough to figure out a dynamic pose and composition. I was looking at fighting magazines and drawing all these specialized moves but it just wasn’t working out. I ditched the magazines and the few drawings I did and started fresh. I just drew what I felt and had fun with it and it worked out pretty quickly. Sometimes ya gotta just go with your gut. And a lot of times referencing reality doesn’t help with dynamism, it squashes it.

Pencils to inks for my part of the cover. The bottom part, seen in the color version, is drawn by Cory Walker! This issue will be awesome! Cory will be drawing some pages as well for this, it shall be glorious! And the radical colors are by none other than John Rauch.