Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Traditional media, inking surface recommendation
freefall_drift at 11:57AM, Nov. 30, 2011
posts: 260
joined: 6-19-2007
I was gifted a set of technical pens the other day. They are old, from the 1980s, never been used. from 0.18 to 1.20.  After 20 years of doing digital rendering, I want to try some art on paper with ink.  I don't trust myself to ink well on the first pass.  I have gotten used to the Undo button.  I'd like to draw on paper and then ink on something transparent? Translucent? What ever I do it on, then scan that in.
Anyway, when I go down to the art store, what would you recommend I ask for, to ink on, that I can see through to see my pencils below?
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
Tabasco at 9:38PM, Nov. 30, 2011
posts: 7
joined: 11-22-2011
Often you need a more heavier paper for using inks. Because lighter paper can bleed. I'm no expert but they usually have test trips for some of the paper.
And maybe instead of buying really expensive paper you can use a light table…
Air Raid Robertson at 8:18AM, Dec. 1, 2011
posts: 292
joined: 5-7-2009
I often use watercolor paper for heavier inking. Of course, I then tend to use watercolor paint on it afterwards, so that might not work for you.
Generally, it's best to lean towards heavier paper stock or even canvas. Most brands of paper at the art supplies store will indicate if its meant for pen & ink. You can always ask a member of the staff to help you out as well. 
last edited on Dec. 1, 2011 8:20AM
ozoneocean at 7:06PM, Dec. 1, 2011
posts: 24,801
joined: 1-2-2006
I'd ask the advice of the people in the art shop, unlike most other sorts of shops normally there's someone there who actually knows about what they're selling!
Also, ask for samples of different papers if you can, that way you can experiment and find out what's best for you, rather than buying a bundle of stuff that might all turn out to be wrong for what you want.
ShadowsMyst at 3:20PM, Dec. 2, 2011
posts: 218
joined: 1-9-2006
Generally a smooth pressed heavy bristol is prefered for inking, for the heavier weight of the paper (preventing bleed) and smooth surface, allowing the ink to go down nicely without soaking in too much. There is also specific papers that are usually very smooth and not to absorbant for inking use, normally these come in pads of various sizes, but Bristol board is one of the most common inking surfaces, particularly for comics. You can get bristol in pads both large and small. Its pretty readily avaliable.

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semiflex at 3:38PM, Dec. 2, 2011
posts: 18
joined: 4-5-2011
If you can find a paper thin enough that takes your ink well enough, you can always use a lightbox/table, even if the paper isn't translucent.

If you're really into using translucent paper, try looking into Onion Skin paper! They used to use it in typewriters way back when. It's really popular now in the fountain pen community because it handles dumps of ink pretty well– that's how I know about it. sells 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of it at $25 per ream, but I don't know anywhere else that sells it. You'll have to do searching around if you want it bigger. (Or you can just do your work on two separate sheets, it'd be easier for scanning and then you just have to stitch them together on the computer.)
edit: and though it takes ink pretty well, I wouldn't attempt to fill in blacks with your sketch underneath… at least not without testing for bleed-through with the ink you're using first.
last edited on Dec. 2, 2011 3:40PM

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