This is building a bit on ozoneocean's previous newspost on developing a sketch! For most comic artists, after having perfected a sketch (or at least getting it to an acceptable point) the next step is inking. I don't think I'm alone in saying this is one of my least favourite parts of the comic-making process. A well-inked image can make a sketch look professional, dynamic and ‘finished,’ while my own work often ends up sapping the life out of my initial sketch. In this newspost I'll lay out some of the techniques I've used for inking, and their pros and cons!
Keeping it precise: the pen tool
I'm being a bit of a photoshop elitist here - hopefully whatever programs you all use have a similar tool, in which you select an area and fill it in. For me, this is usually the technique that give me the best results. Lines can be made more or less thin to convey a sense of movement, and your lines are always crisp and precise. You can follow your sketch down to the pixel.
Cons: Your sketch has to be fairly complete as well as neat for this technique to work - and as you can see in the image above, mine often are not (see the hand). This also takes a heck of a lot longer than any other technique, and certain shapes (like circles) can be difficult to do nicely.
Keeping it lively: the brush tool
The ol' tried-and-true brush tool. You see a line on your sketch layer, you draw a line. Couldn't be simpler. You have all the advantages of digital media like clean lines and endless re-tries, but you're working freehand so you can keep the liveliness of traditional art.
Cons: My main problem with the brush tool arises from not having a very steady hand. It can be difficult to get everything in the right place on the first try, but move too slow and your lines gets shaky - not to mention you usually lose the difference in pressure that makes your inking look dynamic.
Keeping it traditional: a brush pen
I've seen some really amazing brush pen work…from other people. If you can master the brush pen, it produces lines that really flow in a way that I like a lot. And sometimes it's just nice to work in a traditional medium.
Cons: Once again, you need a steady hand - to an even greater extent than for the brush tool, because there's no erasing. I also tend to work very small when I do my sketches, and on weird things like graph paper, which makes using a brush pen difficult.
Keeping it sketchy: ball-point pen/pen and ink
Maybe this is cheating? The sketching and inking are integrated into one step. Add some cross-hatching, and voila! Your finished product. This is my most-used and favourite drawing technique for casual, non-comic art.
Cons: The reason I've never gone this route for a comic is that this method doesn't lend itself to being coloured. Colouring adds so much to a comic page that I haven't been able to let it go yet (although I have a vague plan for a black and white comic at some indeterminate point years in the future).
Genejoke's comic Lore recently reached 150 pages!
zenia has a couple of milestones! Their comic Pokemon Regional is just about to reach its 100th page, and Tina's Story (ADULTS ONLY) just passed 300 pages! Impressive!
Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news that you'd like to see here? Do you have original art for our newspost image database? Send it to me via PQ or at hippievannews(at)gmail.com, or leave a comment below!
HippieVan at 12:00AM, Oct. 9, 2015
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