View Full Version : Various inking methods

07-11-2005, 03:24 PM


If you want to be a comic artist that does all your own work, or just plain simply an illustrator, then you must know how to ink.

There are 4 basic inking methods, you can chose to be a specialist that only uses one variant, or you can mix methods when creating your art.


The four methods are :

"Old pen style inking"

" Ink pen inking "

" Brush inking "

And finally

" Digital Inking "


Old pen style inking :

This is one of the most used forms of inking in the world, it consist of using a pen nib, a pen holder and ink.

There are 4 types of nibs :

G pen

Spoon Pen

Round pen

and , School pen.

There are however thousands of diffrent types for each of the four types, and they change yearly in apparance and shape, never get attached to one form of a nib, as production of it will end at one point, instead change at a regular basis, not getting attached.

Again here you can specialise in wich of the four types to be good in, or you can go for a good in all, its up to you, do note each of the nib types have diffrent abilities.

The spoon nib make smooth and soft lines, they are also quite fluent.

The G pen makes soft, flexible lines, and good thick lines aswell.

The shcool pen have VERY hard lines, perfect for fine detail maniacs.

The round pen, thou they can be hard to master give out a very nice thick line and thin line.

Pressure will ofcourse make any nib make thin or thick lines, but each of the four create diffrent forms of it.

The pen holder is also importent, there are thousands to choose from here too, you can either custimize and make your own , or buy them, again up tou you and you alone.

Not all nibs fit all holders, their sizes vary.

One thing you will not be doing with this inking form , is making round shapes, that is the hardest of all things to master when your using pen nibs, but there are people that master it.

On the negative side, you can destroy the paper if your not careful, some of the nibs are quite sharp, stabbing yourself accidently, and ripping the paper if your not careful is bound to happen.

ALso using templates with this type of inking does not give good results at all, you can use a straigth ruler but only if youve raies the level of the ruler with coins taped/ glued to it so the ink doesnt just attaches itself and uses the ruler to mess up your work.


Ink pens :

Ink pens are something everyone knows about, they come in all shapes and sizes, and their big advantage is that they make perfectly thin and thick lines, they are perfect for making shapes, but they have a negative side.

You cannot put pressure on ink pens to make a thicker line, while you can weaken your pressure to make a very thin line, pressing wil break it easily.
This is specially true for the thinnest pens.
Also the ink used in ink pens do not attach well to all kinds of paper, in most cases using an eraser will weaken the line and in worst cases make holes in the lines.

They are however perfect for round shapes, and specially for use with a ruler and templates.


Brush inking : This inking form is well respected by those that master it, its perfect to make bending lines and shapes, it also gives you te option of drybrushing, wich you can use to tone your work.

When it comes to brushes available, there are millions upon millions of types....... If you wish to ink using brushes, its recomended you chose brushes that are cheap, and most importently , brushes that can stand use with inks.

In the long run brushes are the most expensive of the inking methods, they will often be destroyed by the ink if your not very good at taking care of them, but you dont need to throw away a broken brush, it in itself becomes a new type of inking tool that you can use for brush inking.

Brush inking is proboly the most used nking method in the world, its used by almost all inkers , its perfect to add life to your drawings, perfect for filling in spaces, and perfect for tone work. Alone , brush inking is capable of creating some extremely excelent illustrations, but it isnt easy to master, be clear that you will need to practice daily to be very good at brush inking.

Negative sides of the brush inking is easy to see and understand, while you can make great art with it, you cant make very fine lines with it, straight lines are not something you will be able to do with it, rulers are useless to use, but templates work well with it, if you are using them to make shapes that are to be filled in.

Digital inking:

The youngest of the bunch, digital inking takes just as mutch time to master as the others, on the plus side with digital inking, you can always erase a line you dont like, this is an option thats not available in any of the other forms, Its also the cheapest in the long run, all you need is the programs, while they migth look very expensive, think about it, you will only buy them once. Uppgrading programs with a newer version isnt needed either, some of the top comic book artist and illustrators in the world, use the one they got first still , even if there are new versions of the program they got.

In digital inking the lines can be anything you wish, you can make perfect shapes aswell.

There is a downside thou, when your doing digital inking, mistakes do not happen in the lines you put down, there is no varation in the line, even if you can thicken the line here and there, the reason for this, is the erasing buttons this method offers. You can keep chaning things until you have them like you wish. In hand made inking a mistake sometimes creates major life to the drawing in question, mistakes themselfs can give great power to the drawing. It is however a very respected form of inking, and the option to do what you wish that you cant do with real life inking, is priceless. You can experiment to your hearts desire, without destruction.


Oh and to finish off, its importent to know that, even if you make major mistakes on a drawing that isnt digitally made, you can still correct it, a few tricks with a scissor, knife, and the love of all inkers, the white out, dont be afraid to try things.

And most importently, try all forms of inking, specialise if you wish too, but know what you can do with that and this, and your on your way to become a great inker.

10-23-2005, 07:06 AM
Thanks this is a great tutorial!

03-31-2006, 08:39 PM
True!!! Now I finally the four inking ways.

04-01-2006, 06:29 PM
nice post very informative

10-06-2006, 11:54 AM
Thanks I have been trying to learn alot of this stuff alone and this realy helps