Saturday, May 7, 2011

My thoughts on Inking.

Well, let´s put it this way, inking its a part of the comic book process as much as lettering it, there are great inkers on the business. I just don´t enjoy doing it.
That being said, once you´re in the ballroom all you can do is dance. It becomes fundamental when you are making black and White comics, but in the overall picture of the industry today it has become sort of an unnecessary trait.

It is true that back in the day it was mandatory in order to get the book to print because of the printing tecniques at the time. It wasn´t posible to reproduce pencil and make it look nice, especially when you consider that the artwork had to be reduced, hence the lines resulted thinner.

Anyway, technology overcame that problem and nowadays we can print straight from the pencils and even tweak them to give them a feel of ink. To me (personally) find inking to be a very taxing matter because it is actually drawing everything twice. It´s not only redundant but very time consuming.

On the other hand, when you face an inked page in your hands it looks just gorgeous. It adds some drama and even gravitas to the line, making it pop out of the page. If you happen to be doing comics in Black and White like I am, then you are in dire need of inking your work. Not only because it makes it look better, but because it helps you to become a more integral artist. So if you haven´t acquainted yourself with the media, you need to get at it, pronto.

Brushes become an obsession, you are constantly looking for the one that suits you better. You buy them in all sizes and shapes. Short bristles, long bristles, synthetic or real hair, flat or sable, you name it, it´s gonna end up in your bunch. When you are not familiar with the whole process it´s good for you to study a bit. Read a book or two, maybe even watch a few videos that you can find online, but above all…PRACTICE!

If you are not sure just make a search of some pencilled artwork on the net and then trace over it using india ink, a brush, a crow quill and/or some technical pens. Choose your poison and get to work.

Here you have a couple of examples I´ve made over time to get fluid when ink needs to be spilled. I chose two of my favorite artists and then traced over their sketches. Maybe if you don´t like the first time you do it you can do it again a couple more times, the thing it´s to become good when it comes to choosing the right line and line weight as it is your decision if you have more tan one posible option to go with.

Sometimes you just click and it flows, others it becomes a pain in your butt. I suggest that if you are trying to become a better inker just practice and then practice some more. You might not like it, but someone has to do it.

One thing I do to keep me interested in the process it´s keeping the page clean. By this I mean just working on a very loose layout when I´m inking my own work, that way I can finish the page on the inking stage. This allow me to keep drawing, even it is with the brush instead of the pencil. If I´m working with someone else then it´s a completelly different ball game. Then I try to keep very tight pencils, leaving room for the inker to choose the thickness of the lines and maybe dropping some shadows.

I don´t know, here I am, rambling about something no one asked me about. Well, I guess that´s the Price for having a voice and something to say. Boy, having a blog sure it´s fun [and it can be educative as well]!!!!
More to come.

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