Thursday, December 30, 2010

Inking Trouble.

 Inking is more than  tracing over the drawing with a pen or a brush.  As wikipedia puts it 
[Inking] can help control a story's mood, pace, and readability. A good inker can salvage shaky pencils — while a bad one can obliterate great draftsmanship and/or muddy good storytelling
It enhances weight, depth, shadow, light, textures, and general awesomeness.
And I'm rotten at it.
Here's a recent example.
I started with a digital pencil drawing of a snake. 
Not a masterpiece, but he'll do.
Now let's add some digital ink:
Yeech.  It's all lumpy and wrong.  No professional artist inks like this.
Time to try again.

I added some dimensional details to the pencil pic.  I even added crude  ball and shadow as a reference:
Now for the ink:
It's a bit better, but something's still wrong.  He's still flat and flabby.

I tried a third time:
Grrr....  I can't pinpoint exactly what's wrong, but it's like someone put the pencil drawing in a bag and worked it with a claw hammer, pounding out all rhythm  and whimsy.

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?  This is driving me batty!


Linda said...

The digital pencil drawing is so beautiful ... must you ink over it? Why?

Pile Girl said...

What are you inking with?

I used to use a Speedball pen or a small sable brush and India ink. I switched to Pigma Brush pens. The results were usually good the first time I used the pen, and progressively worse each time after. Now I'm using a Copic brush pen, upon the recommendations of some of my Facebook cartoonist friends.

After I ink over my pencil sketches, I erase them. Sometimes I feel like I've erased my best work.

This is what my husband John does...
He does his penciling and then tapes tracing paper over the top. Then he traces his work with a very dark pencil. He doesn't use ink at all.

Uniblogger said...

I like picture number 3. The 3D aspect is enhanced by the contour lines. You could either do this by having a pattern on his skin or by using shading and shadows from the light source.