Inking question...

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Rocky
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Inking question...

Post by Rocky » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:34 pm

Hi!

I'm currently drawing a short story/comic for a fiction class. I've always been a good drawer, and I've attempted comics...but my problem is always the finishing stage. I want to ink the pages that I've sketched, and I've tried pen, ink, etc, but they always come out looking messy. I'm toying with the idea of using a small brush and india ink, but I don't want to ruin the pages that I've been drawing for the last 2 weeks. Do any of you guys have inking suggestions? I've used a tablet before but I've always found that trying to finish my work with the tablet makes it look flat and boring. Should I play it safe and use microns or should I combine these techniques?

Thanks!!
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Mac McCool
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Post by Mac McCool » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:03 am

To get used to working with a brush, it's nice to practice in the footsteps of the masters. When I began, I loved to print out Milton Caniff strips near their original size (where I color shifted all the blacks to a light color like blue or gold) and inked them over just to practice the gesture and to see how he inked his drawings. Will Eisner is another great fellow for that exercise too.

To preserve your penciled pages, you can buy high quality vellum (tracing paper) and ink on those as well.

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goRaina
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Post by goRaina » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:12 am

You could also ink over a lightbox on a new piece of paper, which also saves you the trouble of erasing pencil lines!

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Ainsley Fish
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Post by Ainsley Fish » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:01 am

My room mate does the light box thing. She has veeery clean lines from doing so but I'm too lazy to do it.

Greatnation
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Post by Greatnation » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:14 am

if you dont have a lightbox, making one is incredibly inexpensive. Just go to Lowes and explain to them what you are trying to do, and you can get out around 30 bucks.

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jshamblin
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Re: Inking question...

Post by jshamblin » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:43 am

Rocky wrote:I'm toying with the idea of using a small brush and india ink, but I don't want to ruin the pages that I've been drawing for the last 2 weeks.
Another solution is to scan your pencil work and save a copy to your computer. Convert your artwork to a non-photo (or non-repro) blue and then print it out. Now you can experiment all you want with new techniques and if you make a mistake, simply print out another page. Also, if anything happens to the original, you always have a backup.

If you find you like the ink work you made on the print out, scan it and remove the color blue from the document. This is also a good solution if you would rather work on bristol board instead of drafting vellum or light and translucent materials.

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angeldevil
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Post by angeldevil » Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:52 pm

When I started out (at age 16 or so, a long time ago!!) a professional cartoonist taught me to ink with a brush (Windsor-Newton size 0 and 00 with FW ink). But I found after a while that I wanted a more detailed, woodblock style to my comics, so I moved on to technical pens (rapidiographs and Microns). Now I use both with emphasis on the pens, even though I no longer cross hatch everything to death anymore. I always ink right over my rough pencils ... which leads to redrawing a page every now and again. I've resorted to having my pages Xeroxed onto Bristol, but only if I'm doing color and don't wish to screw up my originals. Ditto with the light box. I used it infrequently enough that I think my father still has it from the last time he needed one.... but it works great if you want preserve your pencils.

Best thing to do is to pencil yourself a few roughs and try inking them using a quill, a technical pen, a brush, etc. See what works best with your hand. Of course, if your pencils are really clean (as mine never are) there is that whole school of people who photocopy or scan and then darken, making the pencils ultimately into inked pages themselves, but it's a technique I've never mastered. I could be wrong, but in an older post didn't Kazu Kibuishi say he uses this method...?

Anyway, I'm hardly an authority, but I've been in your position and that's the road I took.

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nemu
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Post by nemu » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:36 pm

Hi there and welcome to the wonderful world of inking!

I've found that the paper you're working on is pretty important when doing inks. I still don't like Strathmore Bristol but it's the only thing available in Hawaii (or at least thats all i've found). I tend to use whatever works and I'm not tied down to just crow quill or brush. I've found a cool pen by Tachikawa called a school pen and have been playing with that instead of a crow quill. It uses ink cartridges but it has a fine tip like a crow quill but not a sharp.

I was using Hunt 102's for a while but the last set of nibs I was using varied so much that it was difficult to get a handle on. Instead I bought a bunch of different "maru" tips and have been in bliss ever since. They are just like the 102's but better made.

I also really like using Copic Multiliner SP pens. IMO they're a bit better than the microns and have a lot of different sizes too. They are also refillable and have a metal shell casing.

The best thing you can do is scan in your pencils and print out some blue lines of them and practice your inking. Print out on some good paper too. HP Super Bright White Inkjet paper is pretty good and holds lines very well.
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angeldevil
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Post by angeldevil » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:32 am

nemu wrote: I also really like using Copic Multiliner SP pens. IMO they're a bit better than the microns and have a lot of different sizes too. They are also refillable and have a metal shell casing.
Do the Copics work for you? I bash through them in no time... maybe it's the batch I bought, or the paper I use... but the Microns hold up better for me.

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matthewart
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Post by matthewart » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:50 am

Another solution is to scan your pencil work and save a copy to your computer. Convert your artwork to a non-photo (or non-repro) blue and then print it out.
thats the method I prefer as well

More and more these days I skip the ink and just "ink" with pencil. Draw with a pencil right over the non photo blue lines I just printed out. Then scan in. Hue Saturate... blast out the blues and cyans... and darken the lines.

I think its called the Kazu method :D
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nemu
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Post by nemu » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:06 pm

angeldevil wrote: Do the Copics work for you? I bash through them in no time... maybe it's the batch I bought, or the paper I use... but the Microns hold up better for me.
Well for the really really fine tips, they do tend to bend easily but they are replacable so it's not that big of a problem. However I did have one of them split by accident. I just use a really light touch when using the ultra fine points. The rest of them are okay though.

My biggest gripe with microns is that if you erase, the lines get erased as well. It doesn't happen as much with the Copics since it seems like the ink actually sinks into the paper. I use the Pigma micron brush to do fills though since I like that its a pretty heavy black. Just have to let it dry for a while.
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