This may come as a surprise to those of you who've been following my Flash tutorials, but I really enjoy inking the traditional way as well—the ole dip the pen in the bottle of ink approach (maybe you've heard of it). I talked about my process in an earlier post (My Little Corner of the World) and how I use various pen nibs to ink my comics. I can get a varying-width with my nibs by applying pressure and it works perfectly for the level of detail I want in my comics, but the line width is limited to the size of the nib. This makes is harder to ink at a larger scale.
I recently purchased one of those Pentel Pocket Brush Pens (if you're interested, check out Jet Pens), which unlike felt-tip brush pens (markers, really) has actual bristles. It's known in cartooning circles as one of the best brush pens around. When you first get it the bristles are completely white until you load the cartridge and the ink flows in. As long as you keep the cap on, it never dries out.
I've been playing with it a bit, but it's a little hard to control as I'm not used to inking with a brush, period. But I'm beginning to get the hang of it, and I'm hoping that with a little more practice the transition to inking with a true brush will be easier.
I just finished a couple drawings for an art trade with my talented blog buddies Chris Houghton and David DeGrand. And I inked them with the brush pen, which I am wielding here in this photo.
My end goal is to be able to create the same cartoony line I get out Flash, but on paper with real ink. I learned digital before analog, as odd as that seems. The biggest downside to inking in Flash is that you're not using real ink (INK is so much fun to work with) and you don't have a physical piece to hold in your hand when you're done. The computer is amazing, but it sure does a good job of trapping your original artwork in binary code.
I had a blast inking these drawings. Soon, I'm going to buy some brushes and give the real deal a try. Until then, the brush pen is doing the trick.
5 days ago