View Full Version : Learning Inking

02-13-2014, 03:02 PM
Here is a little something I did as a warm up for todays work, sketched them out quickly then inked over then colored one. I used different inking methods on them to see which I liked better and I'm still not certain. I have yet to finish coloring the one, I could lock the pixels and gradient transition it all and smooth it out a bit but I kind of like the rough look it has at the moment. That said if I were to take it to a further finish and shine I probably would do just that, this is basically a flats stage of color and I probably didn't even need to define the light at the moment. It was a fun exercise and I will probably be doing more like this in the future, maybe I'll just add them to this thread.


02-14-2014, 11:02 AM
They look good and it's good to do these drawing exercises. I should do that more.

02-14-2014, 02:16 PM
Interesting :)


02-15-2014, 12:10 AM
Thanks for the comments, it's a good warm up and something I am going to try to expand on doing more often.

02-21-2014, 10:57 AM
What were you inking with? I love Manga Studio for inks.

02-21-2014, 12:37 PM
I did these inks with Sketchbook Pro 6 using my custom thin to thick ink brush. Just take the Felt Pen and adjust the spacing to as low as it will go, and the minimum size to as low as it will go and max to a size you like based on the image size. This allowed me to get some really fast abrupt changes in line thickness and made it feel like a traditional inking brush to me.

I did another one yesterday but I took the coloring a bit further and in a slightly different way, it was fun. Used layers and such to provide me some really fun ways to do this type of stuff.


And here are the work in progress shots.


And that's where I stop with learning inking, I think I get how to use line weight to make certain things look more energetic and alive, and I know how to paint my lines to change the mood of pieces. I've gained so much from having done these 2 days of inking and sketching, and small amount of painting. I also learned how I would approach this traditionally now as well, so I learned a TON from both of these. Keeping the colors on separate layers is a good exercise in speed and efficiency, which when doing something for a client is more than likely what I will be doing.

When doing something for myself however I am certain I will be keeping the work as much like traditional as possible because it increases my hand eye coordination and brush control. The gains from learning to paint up to lines and through them is great. I like inking with Inkscape as well, but not using a normal method for inking there but instead a flood fill freehand pencil tool, then combining the individual vector lines into a single unit, export the image as a raster and edit it in other software for coloring. The benefit to doing it in Inkscape is the ability to scale the image to whatever size you want and not worry about degradiation of the line quality. There is a bitmap trace feature in Inkscape as well which is handy if you wanted to do the line work in a raster based software and then import it into Inkscape for conversion to vector lines for rescaling purposes. It "can" do color images as well but I don't like vector images for color, they are extremely large and unwieldy.

02-21-2014, 03:35 PM
It looks pretty nice. Have you considered throwing stuff in a vector editor like Illustrator when you get it solidly inked? I don't know if you have Illustrator CC, but supposedly the new version supports pressure sensitivity and 'live reprofiling' of lines, which could make it a much more practical tool for this kind of thing.

Edit: Dagnabit, I need to stop missing chunks of what people write - I just saw your bit about Inkscape. I spent a bit of time with Inkscape last summer, but gave up in the end; it felt enormously top-heavy, and was unwieldy even on a desktop of significant power. It also suffered a bit from the FOSS myopia syndrome, wherein ten thousand people collaborate to add features that they want while ignoring the boring ones that *everyone* wants - so you end up with elaborate scripting to handle math papers written in Sanskrit, but Undo that blows up in your face every other try. ;)

During my only real foray into the inking thing, I ended up essentially painstakingly hand-drawing every bit of each side of every line, right down to the pixel level. The results were good, but it would be... impractical... to do on a regular basis!

02-22-2014, 11:22 AM
The last line you wrote is exactly why I have strived to learn this so much. Being able to adjust lines in Inkscape like you do in Illustrator is already there, pressure sensitivity is active in the Calligraphy tool. I am strivin to keep it as close to what I can achieve with a regular brush in traditional media so when I am requested to do it traditionally I am able to do so. Nothing could be worse in my mind then trying to figure out how to thin an inked line in real life without being able to use an eraser tool or undo or selection adjustment or pulling a vector point over. Sure I could use a white gel pen over it. . . Or I could learn to not make a mistake in the first place. That is what I am working on training myself to do, not make those mistakes, have really solid dexterity, and at the same time be accepting of things that might be a mistake. There are several inked lines evident that were not how the sketch was. I cannot say at the moment which I like better, I have always been partial to the gritty lines of pencils and charcoal, but those solid black lines are so much a part of my childhood comics growing up. Maybe I can figure out a way to brush ink in traditional that carries that slightly grainy look. Maybe dry brush, if I can do it well in traditional I will do it in digital, that is for sure!

02-23-2014, 01:04 PM
Great studies and thanks for including the HOW TO. It's always great to read about someone elses process. THANKS for sharing.