Inking a comic is really hard. Especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. I started working today but after a few hours I had to stop, because everything I touched turned to poo. I spent some of my time going through my “How to Ink Comics” books and making a list of tips, tricks, and preferred tools. My brush hand is shaky, flat and inconsistent. Using pens takes too long and doesn’t give me the look I want. (I don’t really have a “look” in the same way that I have an established “look” with my illustration – I think it’s pretty clear by my work so far that I am very much trying to find my footing, and that’s a look I don’t want.) My experiment with French curves was a waste of time and I manage to smudge the wet ink with some part of my hand a few times per page.

So I left the studio, played video games for an hour, and then went home to feed the cat. I planned on going back to the studio afterwards but couldn’t muster up the energy. I wish I had more time to practice on trivial things and work out my glaring weaknesses, but I’ve got to get four pages done before August. And tomorrow I’m in Chilliwack and you can’t ink on a Greyhound. Good thing I cancelled my gaming.

6 Replies to “Tracing”

  1. I’m betting you’re not into inking on your computer, but here’s a good description of one person’s inking work flow:

    Although the guy at the link above uses Illustrator, Inkscape will work great (and it’s completely free):

    Expression 3.3 is also an excellent vector illustration program. It’s also free, but slightly harder to get as you have to jump through more hoops (Microsoft bought the company and turned it into something horrible, but the last non-microsoft version was released as a completely free download). The hoop you have to jump through is registering with microsoft. It’s a pain, but the software is great. It’s the most comfortable software I’ve ever used with my wacom.

    Do you have a wacom tablet?

  2. You’re not inking digitally? That seems to be how everyone is doing it these days. Sketching in pencil is still fairly common though many do their initial sketches right on their Wacom tablets, but from what I’ve read most inkers are digital these days.

  3. I do have a wacom tablet. This will be something I try in the future. For right now I think the learning curve would be more time-consuming than using real ink, but I am going to look into all of those suggestions, thanks friends.

  4. Well when you do find the time to dive in, learn a bit about vector graphics in general before learning any particular application (if you don’t know it already). It’s a different mindset than pixel-based graphics.

  5. Hey, it occurred to me that Mike What-ever-his-name-is (Gabe) at Penny Arcade does his inks digitally (although he uses Photoshop). When you go to the Expo you should ask to get a live demonstration. He’s put up some videos of the process on the Penny Arcade site.

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