Regarding Ink-work

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Mr. Average
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Regarding Ink-work

Post by Mr. Average » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:50 am

Inking has always been an area in which I've never come down firmly on a single set of tools or styles I prefer to use. Right now, I'm sort of going through a "ligne-clair" phase, using steel pens and technicals almost exclusively, with very thin, fine lines and only as much variation in line weight as a #107 or a 6x0 pen will allow. I've used brushes on and off but they always strike me as heavy and clumsy for the scale and detail I tend to work with.

Anyhow, what I'm getting at is this: what tools do people prefer and why? I'm curious about process here - what led you to fall into the set of stylistic tools you use now?

--M

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goRaina
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Post by goRaina » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:35 pm

Comic Tools is a good blog to check out for the answers to just these sorts of questions:

http://comictool.blogspot.com/

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nateomedia
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Post by nateomedia » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:31 pm

I've taken to pencilling a lot with vermillion col-erase pencils. I find the orange-ish color is easier to eliminate in Photoshop than blue. When I need something more finished, I have really taken to Tombow drafting pencils. For inking, I like Prismacolor's throw away technical pens. I think they are better than Microns. I like Pilot G-2s for sketching (and, oddly enough, lettering).

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Mr. Average
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Post by Mr. Average » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:53 pm

goRaina - It wasn't a question exactly, more like "polling the electorate." I'm interested in specifically what led people to their choice of equipment. And now I realize I didn't really describe what led me to mine.

I'm actually a hand draftsman by trade, so I learned to use steel pens before anything else (except the pencil). To me, they have the most natural feel on paper and leave the most satisfying line, as well as keeping the image flat enough to be easily and quickly read - that was actually the point in architectural drawing, and remains so today, even with the advent of AutoCAD. So I still use them. I've also found they lend a very precise and mechanical look to my current project, which is in keepng with the main character being a sapient robot.

Nateo, I have also done a good deal of sketching and fromal drawing with technical pencils - Staedtler leads have a beautiful range and a slightly warm tone that is very good for rendering on warm colored papers like drafting vellum and hot press watercolor papers. Microns I dislike, and when I was teaching drafting I had to physically confiscate them from my students, who tried to use them on drafting mylar. However "fade-proof" they claim to be, I have never known a felt marker to stand up under erasure or hard light. However, I'e never tried Prismacolors on this - has your experience been a uniformly good one?

--M

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nateomedia
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Post by nateomedia » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:55 am

I don't bother with erasing, so I don't know how the Prismacolors hold up in those circumstances. When I'm inking something, I just pencil with the col-erase pencils and remove them with Photoshop (Hue/Saturation > Yellows > expand the color spectrum to include oranges > Lightness = 100). I picked the Prismacolors because the ink sits well on top of the pencil lines. It hadn't actually occurred to me to erase my pencil work before scanning. I used to do that, a long time ago. It sounds like a lot of work now though.

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Post by sharpclaw » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:17 pm

Mr. Average wrote:I'm interested in specifically what led people to their choice of equipment.
I am still picking my tools of choice.

For years, I worked with technical pens almost exclusively. I like the consistent lines and the feel of the metal on the paper. If I need line variation, then I just pick the pen that has the thin side of the line and go over the line more than once in the areas where I want to give it weight. Disposable pens fray or run out and do not let me pick my ink. Technical pens require maintenance, but are worth the effort.

However, I started using brush pens about two and a half years ago, enjoying the variation and feel of a brush without the need to dip and dip and dip. For a couple years, my work was mostly still in technical pen, but with brush pen creeping in more.

Now my work is still mostly technical pen, with brush pen, and sometimes fountain pen... and I am thinking of using dip pens a little more often, so I can emphasize brush work and dip pen work a little more. My slowly-evolving decision-making is mostly driven by what feels nice, gives me the control I need to make something look good, and my obsession to try just about every pen ever made.

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