Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Microns vs nib pens
HybridLemonade at 6:31PM, March 3, 2008
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well,
I've been using microns for ages now, and I've just started to dabble in nib pens, and Im finding my self falling in love with them, only problem is they are very sensitive, and a bit of work.
so I ask

which do you perfer? and if neither, then what do you use to ink your babies of panels and paper?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
Skullbie at 8:18PM, March 3, 2008
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It's the opposite for me, I used nib at first-then moved onto micron. I've found micron to far superior because you have complete control-no ultra shaky lines from not cleaning your nib or otherwise. :)

But then a mix of the two looks nice as well-nibs are way better than micron for a sketchy look, or doing hair and such.

On a side note, I urge anyone using sharpie to try a higher quality pen. you'll be amazed at what a 4-5$ pen can do with your artwork.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
Frostflowers at 12:55AM, March 4, 2008
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When I do ink traditionally, I tend to use a mixture of both. I'm still practising with my nib pens, and haven't learned precisely how to use them yet, but like Skullbie says, the microns are nice because you don't get the shaky, running-out-of-ink-or-dirty-nib lines that you get with nib pens sometimes.

Of course, with nib pens, you can moderate your lineweight in a different way than with microns. I like both, really, but they're suited to different tasks.
The Continued Misadventures of Bonebird - a poor bird's quest for the ever-elusive and delicious apples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:12AM, March 4, 2008
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When I used to draw on paper I always preferred using microns…

I simply hate the scratching of a nib… it send shivers down my spine and I guess I'm lazy, I don't have the patience with cleaning, etc, either…

Of course, now I use a Cintiq so never draw on paper anymore… so…

I do prefer the look of good nib work, though… the variation in line thickness, when done right, always looks great.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
mlai at 4:56AM, March 4, 2008
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Nibs are awesome. My favorite look. Unfortunately, takes waaaay too much work. Besides, I use normal xerox paper not bristol board. So I compromise and use micron-type pens.

Even if/when I get a Cintiq, I'm thinking I'll probably still use pen/paper for the linework, and only use the Cintiq for CG. As I get more comfortable with the Cintiq I may gradually change over.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
lba at 2:24PM, March 4, 2008
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I use the nib pens for more complex representational work that I want to do a lot with the ink on. The different nibs all have such good quality and weight that they can really make some good art. But they're tough for most people to learn how to use well.

If I'm just making outlines to fill with colour I tend to use the micron pens. They're way better for long even lines but you don't get the variety of effects that you can with a nib.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Skullbie at 2:29PM, March 4, 2008
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mlai
I use normal xerox paper not bristol board.

I used to use that cheap xerox paper till I switched over to a cheap , smooth, sketchbook paper. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes with ink! If you're ever up for it, go to an art store and buy some nice quality smooth paper sketchbook. You'll love it I promise :)

I suppose you could say that the artists materials shouldn't improve their art too much, but I'd have to disagree…from personal experience I've seen that higher quality tools really do show the difference. ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
mlai at 4:15PM, March 4, 2008
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Yup I have to agree. Artist materials from the pen and paper, to the scanner and photo program, all impact greatly on the end product.

In fact, I can even say that the tools I use, dictate my art style. Back when I used nibs, I used a lot of inking techniques you find in American comics. Now that I'm using micron pens, I'm sure all those skills have deteriorated. I don't even think about them anymore.

Skull
If you're ever up for it, go to an art store and buy some nice quality smooth paper sketchbook.
Right now, I'm using a stack of double-thickness xerox paper. It's quite durable and absorbent. I'm never going back to standard xerox again. It's either more of this double-thickness paper, or the sketchbook paper you're talking about.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Ailorn at 7:53PM, March 4, 2008
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I've abdicated the whole subject… i found that inking just ruined my pencil drawings. So i got a tablet, new scanner and manga studio and ink on the computer. I've never had formal training so learning to ink seems to be more trouble than its worth… specially when i had to spend just as much time trying to clean up the drawings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:47AM
angry_black_guy at 8:23PM, March 4, 2008
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I've abdicated the whole subject… i found that inking just ruined my pencil drawings.

That's the point.

I dabbled in cartography and calligraphy in high school so I never used normal pens after that. I even keep a refillable fountain pen on me and everyone at work gets pissed off because I keep scratching their papers and the ink is heavy so it bleeds through.

I feel naked without it. Thomas Jefferson wrote that he loved the scratching sound of a feather quill pen and I love it too. I use a brush to fill in my blacks but I recently bought some brush pens so I don't have to waste money on good brushes. I also hate how microns are 3$ a piece when I can get the same line width as an entire set using a single 50 cent nib.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
HybridLemonade at 1:52PM, March 5, 2008
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Very cool guys! like the bloodhound gang, I appereciate the input.
Also, new question/added on question.

If you ink with microns, what size do you use most often?
I find my self doing the bulk of the like work with a .01 or.02 then the outlines with .05.

nibs though, I find my self falling in love with

a B-5 style nib, Ment for calligraphy, but I find I perfer the thicker lines petter, other wise I use a G or Maru.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
lba at 4:33PM, March 5, 2008
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Typically, I keep a pretty wide variety of nibs around and just switch them out when I feel I need a different effect. As for technical pens, I use the Faber Castell version because they're a bit cheaper than micron and don't really have any different quality and they don't have sizes other than superfine fine, medium and brush.

I've found that learning more techniques and tools helps produce higher quality work than simply sticking to a single tool or method because I can get more variety within the same piece.


Ailorn
I've never had formal training so learning to ink seems to be more trouble than its worth… specially when i had to spend just as much time trying to clean up the drawings.

There's no excuse not to learn how to do it properly. One thing people really must remember is that to grow as an artist you have to do a little of everything and experiment. Learning to do it the harder way produces better quality results in the end because different media forces you to expand and try different methods to get the results you want. Just by having the experience you become far better, even if you don't do it that way in the future.

If you're having trouble cleaning up your drawings, go out and buy a non-abrasive gum eraser and use it on the pager once you've inked. It'll take off the pencil but leave the ink alone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM

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