Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Adventures in Inking
Luminous at 7:39PM, June 25, 2007
posts: 193
joined: 4-28-2006
I've been doing some experimenting with ink lately. I used to use a regular pen for everything, but it's almost impossible to get a good line variation from a pen (for me, anyway), and I was getting kind of sick of it.

So I got myself a crow quill nib pen to try out. It's kind of rough going so far, since not only do I have to hold it at the right angle, etc, but I have to get used to inking moving away from myself. And, of course, I've been used to moving the pen towards me for years now. Plus, I have to correct my other horrible inking flaw - using my wrist instead of my arm. I know, that's a horrible way to do it and it produces ugly results on longer lines, but honestly it never looked that bad till I got my crow quill :P Now all my flaws I've settled into really show.

But when I manage to do it right, the results I'm getting with the nib pen are pretty dang good. I just have to work on correcting the aforementioned flaws, and hopefully manage to find some more tutorials on the 'net.

So, er, I guess I should get to the point of this rambling post…

Basically, does anyone else work with nibs, brushes, etc? Anyone feel like sharing some tips, suggestions, mistakes, successes, whatever else?

See my art on… Flickr | Tumblr
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
TarRawr at 7:59PM, June 25, 2007
posts: 8
joined: 2-5-2007
Nibs are hard to get the hang of, but I like the way they look. Also, micron pens are a little expensive buuuut, they make very nice, even lines. It's worth it for nice lining.
“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Eunice P at 8:55PM, June 25, 2007
posts: 792
joined: 2-8-2006
I absolutely love nibs. I used a lot of manga nibs in one of my old comics.

One of the important factors I find that makes inking good lies in the quality of the ink and paper. The better the quality of the ink and paper, the better it looks. But the most important factor about inking is a lot of practice. Even if you have the best inking materials, you will not be able to ink well if your hands are shakey. And learning to apply the correct pressure point is also important.

Plus, I have to correct my other horrible inking flaw - using my wrist instead of my arm.

Yes, inking with your arm is useful for long lines. For short lines, it's better to ink with your wrist. For me, I sometimes combine both wrist and arm motion control to create the best result.

Another technique I learnt is resting my arm on the best comfortable position. Learn to rotate your paper when you ink. Inking on a fixed position paper is strenuous to your wrists.

But nowadays, I hardly used nibs and usually ink digitally.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
pyrofire123 at 9:16PM, June 25, 2007
posts: 34
joined: 12-29-2006
I usually use a regular pen for most of my lines…I'm the type who does quick and fast motions when drawing so I need a pen who can keep up with that and won't leave empty white spaces during a stroke (I usually use gel pens). The one I'm currently using is a uni-ball vision elite. Other than that I use fine tip pigment ink pens for smaller details (grass, faces, Tesuke's zipper). As for frames, I use thick pigment ink pens for those. Just keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it like I did (Red Moon is the first comic I actually fully inked :O).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
Darth Mongoose at 1:19AM, June 26, 2007
posts: 488
joined: 1-7-2006
Ah, I feel your pain. I've recently started using nib pens for a ‘UK Rising Stars of Manga’ entry, but I'm still using fineliners for my webcomic. It's pretty weird switching between the two on a daily basis!
It seems like with a nib, you just need to put the tiniest bit of pressure and glide across the paper, with fineliners there's more friction between pen and page so you need to be heavier handed.
In the end though, nibs give a beautiful ‘hand drawn’ quality, so I think they're worth using. I still like my technical pens though too, they're more portable and give a sort of chunky retro line quality.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Roguehill at 10:45AM, June 28, 2007
posts: 211
joined: 1-3-2007
I have a brush marker that I've been working with and know exactly what you mean. I'm used to working with pencils and pens, and the amount of control that is needed to direct a brush is staggering.
Having said that, I'm getting better with it and my satisfaction is increasing as my confidence grows. It honestly takes a a couple of weeks of practice just to get the feel of the thing. It also gives me a greater respect for those folks that use a brush beautifully (one of my favorites is Adam Hughes) and drives me to improve.

This is a good thread!

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
cs3ink at 11:02AM, June 28, 2007
posts: 282
joined: 5-11-2007
I use Deleter Neopiko pens to ink my work (.3, .5, & .8–mostly a .8 on Broken Things as I like the consistant lineweight, but on Terran Sandz I use a variety of sizes since I'm trying to mimic a brushed feel on my linwork).

They don't bleed very much & the ink is a true black.

Creator of Terran Sandz and Broken Things, and now Dead. Check 'em out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
romulux at 12:04PM, June 28, 2007
posts: 19
joined: 5-24-2007
If there's a Hobby Lobby near where you live, check out their selection of pens and markers. They're constantly having sales, so I just buy supplies as they go on clearance. You can get a set microns 005 thru 08 for like six bucks.
I own a “brush” pen, too and I have pretty mixed feelings. It worked all right at first, problem is, the felt is so soft that it gets pretty ragged pretty fast. I took a college course on cartooning taught by Eric Reeves (the guy who actually draws Garfield) and he had us using a brush and india ink, which I must say will give you a smart looking line if you learn to draw in quick, fluid strokes, but you need to have a tidy workspace because that ink is a son of a bitch.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
reboundcomic at 12:36AM, June 30, 2007
posts: 43
joined: 5-10-2006
I actually like working better with a brush and nibs, but it is far more time consuming and messy. Now that I am married and share a home, my work space has really shrunk. I did my first few Rebound strips with brush and nibs, and although the actually art looks really good on the board, I did not like how it looked scanned in and colored. I felt that with the computer coloring I needed a more consistent, thicker line. I moved over to microns, Staedtler pigment liners and a faber-Castel brush pen and have found them faster, but slightly better when scanned and colored. I still try to vary the line by going back over the original inks and by altering how much of the tip I have on the art board.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
patrickdevine at 9:56PM, July 2, 2007
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
My comic mostly uses fineliners and brushpens. Nothing spectacular, really. My favorite inking tool's a Sharpie though, I just like the thick, heavy black lines you can get with them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Blackmoon at 8:36AM, July 3, 2007
posts: 60
joined: 2-24-2006
I tend to shy away from ink… mostly because I SUCK at inking my work on a bad day, and on a good day, it tends to take me twice as long to finish a page.
I also use a lot of little tiny lines and enjoy my ability to erase, so what I usually end up doing is penciling in all my work, then going into Photoshop and altering the contrast so that it LOOKS like it was sort of inked… a little.

Granted, it's kind of a cheap way out of the problem, but I'm not alone- Hiroaki Samura, the totally awesome artist behind Blade of the Immortal, apparently does a lot of his best work in pencil…

…I'm rambling again, aren't I?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM

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