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Author Topic: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking  (Read 28728 times)

Saree

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[Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« on: April 04, 2010, 04:03:51 AM »

Hi there,

until now I drew my lines with normal water-resistant pens before coloring but I would really like to learn how to ink properly.
Can anyone give me advice?
What water-resistant pens do you use?
I would like to draw lines, that seem to be made with a brush.

Thanks in advance!!
:)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 09:43:45 AM by Foxeye »
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Afke

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Re: Inking
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 06:43:15 AM »

I mostly use Faber-Castell felt-tip pens, they come in various sizes and there's also a brush-tip one. But usually when I want curves in lines to be thicker than the rest, I draw an extra line next to it, and fill the room in between with the same pen. Voila, thicker line in only the places you want.

Saree

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Re: Inking
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 08:20:05 AM »

 :D Clever and cheap, that`s how I like it.
I lined 1 or 2 pictures according this method as well, but I always thought it is like "cheating".  ;)
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Foxeye

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Re: Inking
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 09:43:14 AM »

But usually when I want curves in lines to be thicker than the rest, I draw an extra line next to it, and fill the room in between with the same pen. Voila, thicker line in only the places you want.

*smack forehead* Oh duh!  Why didn't I try to do it that way before...so much less error prone than "building a line out", I bet.

Frozenleaves

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Re: Inking
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 11:49:48 PM »

I use  Faber-Castell, edding or copic multi liners but the latter are quite expensive :(

Welcome back Saree ;)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 12:41:20 AM by Silberschweif »
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Eregyrn

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Re: Inking
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 07:32:09 AM »

I use something called a Pentel Pocket-Brush Pen, which is like a cross between a fountain-pen (with replaceable ink cartridges), and a brush.  It has an actual synthetic-bristle brush on it.  When the cap is on firmly, I have never had it dry out between uses.  The ink cartridge means you don't have to keep dipping a brush in ink to load it, you just keep going until the cartridge runs out.  (I think it took my first cartridge a long time to run out, too, about 6 months, or at least 40 drawings.)

They're not hideously expensive, either -- I've seen them listed for between $12 and $20.

Prior to that, I used the flexible felt-tip Sakura Pigma Brush Pens.  I liked those okay, but I found they didn't last all that long -- not that the ink ran out, but the tip of the felt "brush" thing would fray and become not-useful for fine lines.  So I got tired of buying them so often.  The Pentel one is definitely way more cost effective.  I bought one like 2 or 3 years ago, and I still haven't run out of the packet of 4 cartridges it came with.

(I also find that the real brush on the Pentel is that much more versatile.) 

Both are so cheap that you could probably afford to get both and experiment with them.

Er... about water-resistant ink.  Um.  Well, both of those types of pens are supposed to have water-resistant ink.  But I have never really trusted that.  So I use a method in which I do all my inking, scan the linework at a high resolution, do clean-up on it in Photoshop (and I ALWAYS have to do clean-up), and then laser-print it out on the type of paper I want to color on.  Laser-printed lines are absolutely positively waterproof and a really nice solid black. 

I realize this method isn't for everyone, though.  For one thing, it resulted in my buying the cheapest, smallest laser-printer that HP makes, and that's still not an insignificant cost.  It also constrains you to printing out something to color at the size a printer can print out. (I often do my coloring in several pieces and assemble a larger piece out of the separate colored pieces in Photoshop.)  And it works great on the types of paper I have used so far (on which I use either colored pencil or Copic markers), but I have never challenged it with toothy watercolor paper or anything.
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Saree

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Re: Inking
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 09:14:03 AM »

Thanks for all the tips.

@Eregyrn: I always wondered how you inked your wonderful pictures. Unfortunately - after a quick search on the web - I do not think, any of the two pens you recommended are available in Europe. But I will do a more extensive search.
Water-resistant ink would be necessary for watercoloring, I guess. I do not think a printer can handle watercolor paper...
For pictures colored with crayons I used a copier so far... stupid me that I did not even think of simply scanning the lineout... Cleaning-up in Photoshop opens new possibilities  ;)

@Silberschweif:   ;) Thanks! (I did not believe someone would remember my pictures.)
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Afke

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 11:10:29 AM »

Just because it's easy, doesn't make it cheating. ;) It's still a lot of work. And I got the tip from someone who actually had inking as a subject in school.

I believe Faber-Castell is waterproof too. My printer isn't (though it is markerproof), but what usually works for me when I want to watercolor my inked picture is a copying machine, 'cause toner is waterproof.

Eregyrn

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Re: Inking
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 11:25:25 AM »

@Eregyrn: I always wondered how you inked your wonderful pictures. Unfortunately - after a quick search on the web - I do not think, any of the two pens you recommended are available in Europe. But I will do a more extensive search.
Water-resistant ink would be necessary for watercoloring, I guess. I do not think a printer can handle watercolor paper...
For pictures colored with crayons I used a copier so far... stupid me that I did not even think of simply scanning the lineout... Cleaning-up in Photoshop opens new possibilities  ;)

Oh man, I always do a TON of clean-up in PS.  I couldn't live without it.  (But I also do a lot of processing sometimes -- making figures smaller or bigger in relation to each other, re-sizing heads, adjusting the size and position of eyes and mouths, etc.  Which takes some of the pressure off of inking, since it doesn't have to be "perfect".)

Whether or not watercolor paper would go through a printer might depend in part on the weight of the paper, and on the printer. But as I say, I really haven't tried to do it, so I can't speak from experience about how it would come out.  Even back in the days when I used liquid inks for color, I was always using something like bristol board.  (But, since I am not coloring that way nowadays -- and the process I describe above only dates back to the last 3 years -- I don't know if there's a weight of bristol that I *could* send through a printer or not.  I haven't had to tackle the challenge of preparing a picture for a really wet coloring method.  The Copics are only semi-wet.)

If you can't find a European online vendor who carries either type of pen I mentioned, you might try to find a web-page that has a lot of info in the pens (maybe from the makers' websites), as well as a good pic of the pens, and take a print-out of the page to a local art-supply shop and ask if they can order them for you?  Or you might go to the makers' websites, find an email for customer service, and email to ask them if they know if any companies in Europe are carrying them?

If it helps, I did find the Pentel for sale on Amazon.co.uk, which, um, at least is closer to Europe? (On there it is just called "Pentel brush pen", but by the photo it's the same one.)
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Saree

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 12:04:11 PM »

Just because it's easy, doesn't make it cheating. ;) It's still a lot of work. And I got the tip from someone who actually had inking as a subject in school.

I believe Faber-Castell is waterproof too. My printer isn't (though it is markerproof), but what usually works for me when I want to watercolor my inked picture is a copying machine, 'cause toner is waterproof.

I guess, it must be even more work than lining everything with a brush pen. Having a look at your pictures I can not see any differences between your method and others using brush pens or the like. Also good to know that even teachers at school recommend this technique.  ;D I`ll keep that in mind.

If it helps, I did find the Pentel for sale on Amazon.co.uk, which, um, at least is closer to Europe? (On there it is just called "Pentel brush pen", but by the photo it's the same one.)

 ::) Wow, thanks for your efforts. Actually I WAS a bit confused about the different names of the pens. ;)
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Windrider

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 03:09:19 PM »

until now I drew my lines with normal water-resistant pens before coloring but I would really like to learn how to ink properly.

I would like to draw lines, that seem to be made with a brush.

It all depends on what you mean by "inking properly."   ;)

Traditionally, comics artists have inked in India Ink with a sable brush on some hard surface, usually hot-press bristol.  That is why such art "seems to be made with a brush" - it is!  Watching over her shoulder as Wendy inks with a brush... well, it is a thing of beauty.  It is why I am not a huge fan of her "inking" in CG now.  A great deal of her line character is still retained, but those lines that were pure poetry in their flow have been sacrificed for ease of manipulation.  She creates thick and thin lines in CG much the way Afke says, but I can tell.

That is not to say that Wendy ONLY inked with a brush, even in the earliest EQ.  There were places she used felt tips, rapidographs, etc., as the need arose.  This is generally how I ink as well.  Use the brush where beauty of line is needed and feel free to experiment elsewhere.  This is very much apparent in "Wolfrider!" by the way.  Here is something Wendy drew for me in about 30 seconds using a Sharpie:



You can see that it retains some of her line character, but not that trademark thick and thin.  Is it "proper" inking?  Of course!  Just a different line quality.

In addition to using well-pointed sable brushes, I use crow-quills, rapidographs (a hold over from my science-illo days), brush pens, and even markers with various points.  That is not to say inking is my forte.  I am a tonal artist and it stresses me out to ink.  That is why I often resort to "inking" in pencil (must be clean) and darkening to look like ink in PhotoShop.  But I do consider that almost "cheating" as well, since it still doesn't have that beautiful line that comes only with true brush inking.
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Afke

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 01:15:06 AM »

I like that picture, it really shows her "handwriting". :)

I also have various pens, markers and brushes to draw with, and all have a different effect. So I also use them all differently. I hardly use PS when it comes to cleaning up linework though.
The Faber-Castells have been the most consistent. I've used the brush version of those pens too, but they're a lot like Eregyrn describes those Sakura pens - their tips are a mess quite soon.

I haven't inked in a while though, I've been doing a lot of pencil work lately.

Eregyrn

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2010, 07:12:45 AM »

Oh yeah, I should totally admit that my other inking tool is usually a Pilot Razor-Point pen.  That is, a basic fine-line porous-tip marker.  When I'm inking a figure, I almost always start on the eyes, nose, and mouth with the Pilot, not a brush, because I want the control.  And like Afke said upthread, I will build out the line a bit to make it thicker and more like a brush line.  (Or sometimes I'll go back over the lines with brush.  It depends.  I still feel tentative with the brush on fine details, like I'm a twitch away from messing up.)  The only time I use the brush on facial details is when I'm doing a big head-shot type of piece.

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Afke

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2010, 01:30:20 PM »

I still feel tentative with the brush on fine details, like I'm a twitch away from messing up.
Exactly!! :D That's how I often feel too. "I've come this far, why ruin it now??" Big material works on bigger pictures (like pastels!). Not when I ink small A5 sized pictures.

Startear

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2011, 04:11:06 PM »

When I ink my pictures I use either Stabilo fine 0,4 mm pens or pilot pure liquid ink. I've had most success with the stabilo ones. A benefit of those were that they aren't horridly expensive (paid 5 euro for my set, which has red, orange, light green dark green, brown, black, yellow, blue, pink and purple.) They're also available in Europe obviously. Not here however, got them in Belgium. My friend has the same set, which she got in Germany. The pilot one is available in my country however, I think I got it for 12 kr (about two euros, give or take.)

 I used to hate inking  with passion when presented to me. Not because working with a pen is troublesome. Working with pen exclusively is very fun. Just thought that it was unnatural and meddlesome to draw something with pencil and then put pen over it. Even in the successful attempts it sort of feels sterile after I've inked my lines and take away the pencil ones.
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Miss Gillespie

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 05:32:27 AM »

I'm using Open Canvas (the most recent one), which can work with photoshop-files (.psd), so I guess it could open data saved with inkling, too. There's no need to buy (or crack) the expensive Photoshop.

Paint Tool Sai can open, use and save .psd-files as well.
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Tevokkia

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2011, 08:16:15 AM »

I use Sakura Micro Pigma pens for my inking- they come in six sizes, plus a brush, and 8 or so colors (although I usually just use black and do any color changes to the lines in Photosop). They run about $4 per pen, but you can get them in sets, and since both Micheals and Jo-Anns carry them (in the scrapbooking sections), you can use the 40% coupons they're always sending in the mail.

I tried inking with the brush pen, but I'm just not used to using pressure that much and have yet to get a nice line- I usually end up building my lines for thickness, or using different sized pens for different parts (i.e. a 01 sized pen for the general lines, the 005 for delicate work like jewelry details or stray strands of hair, 03 for building line weight, and o5 or 08 for filling in blacks ... or the brush, which is also good for filling).

Prismacolor has just come out with some art pens, though, so I really want to try them when the Sakuras I just bought run out. I tried the Lowe Cornell ones recently, but the ink doesn't run very well unless you're inking at a 90 degree angle.  >:(
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Startear

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 12:22:50 PM »

Does anyone know any good pens that are marker proof? I have tried the ones from letraset, because that is where my markers come from, and they were pretty cheap. However, I have found that those are not that good. The line they make for one, and if you make said lines thick (a wakness of mine) then it will smear, even if you wait for about 30 minutes or more.

I do realize that I could scan them in, and then print them out, but I have already spent a lot on printing things out. XD
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Afke

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2013, 07:27:36 AM »

I mainly use Faber-Castell felt-tip pens for inking. But I have to add I usually work on ordinairy print paper, and on the that the pens are markerproof (copics that is).

Evafortuna

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 11:00:50 AM »

I use a variety of mechanical pens right now, a combination of Sakura microns and Pilot Precise pens. I have a wide range of sizes but I'm not very good at brush-like variation of widths. It's something I definitely need to try more. I've tried using pen-nibs and india ink but being left handed I tend to smear it which doesn't look so good.
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Multimedea

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2013, 04:19:00 AM »

I'm not certain why 'handed-ness' should make a difference in smearing a work (or not). A right-handed person would typically start inking at the left upper or lower corner of their paper and work across. A left-handed person should probably work from the right upper or lower. And one can always cover their work with an elevated sheet or cardboard, as well.
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Evafortuna

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »

I'm not certain why 'handed-ness' should make a difference in smearing a work (or not). A right-handed person would typically start inking at the left upper or lower corner of their paper and work across. A left-handed person should probably work from the right upper or lower. And one can always cover their work with an elevated sheet or cardboard, as well.

Well, it's quite possible I do it wrong. :P I do use a blank sheet to elevate my hand but with liquid ink like india ink it doesn't make a difference, the page smears the ink quite as well as my hand does. Mechanical inks don't smear as easily so that's why I use them. I don't start at one side and ink to the other, though. I prefer to make strokes as long as I can for smoothness.
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docmagnus

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2013, 03:55:03 PM »

I use a variety of mechanical pens right now, a combination of Sakura microns and Pilot Precise pens. I have a wide range of sizes but I'm not very good at brush-like variation of widths. It's something I definitely need to try more. I've tried using pen-nibs and india ink but being left handed I tend to smear it which doesn't look so good.
I've a similar problem. I tend to work from left-to-right (which makes sense if you're pencilling a comic, but much less if you're left-handed and doing anything else; I blame the Latin alphabet and its conventions of top-to-bottom, left-to-right) but that's not my problem. It's the erasing that's the true hell of it. If I'm not careful, I will smudge the damned ink lines, no question about it. Sharpies, microns, dip-pens, brushes--They'll smudge if I'm uncautious. Since I'm very OCD about my artwork (which is behind my love-hate relationship with the brush; it gives very nice lines that dry in seconds, but comes out grey at times, which I can't stand despite the fact that the scanner will render everything a nice, even black) this is annoying. Maybe I'm just weird.
To get to the actual topic of the thread: I'll use anything to ink so long as it gives a decent black line. I'm not snobbish. Again, maybe I'm just weird.
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Afke

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2013, 01:13:55 AM »

A lightbox may be something for you. Don't ink your original sketches, but trace them onto a new piece of paper when inking. No erasing required. :)

docmagnus

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Re: [Tools of the Trade] - Inking
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2013, 03:42:49 PM »

Hmm, I'll try that. The other major problem I have is that my pencil sketches are...scribbly. There's a lot of left-over crap from the way my hand moves when building volume,so the facial features can be hard to make out. Thus, I have to be picky when erasing the construction lines. Not fun, not in the slightest! >:(
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