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View Full Version : Using Microns To Ink Professionally?


NatMatt
02-05-2015, 04:24 PM
As someone who's trying to make a living in the comic industry as an artist, I've found it difficult (and expensive) to ink with a brush or pen and ink. I've never been comfortable using a brush or a nib to ink with so instead I've recently decided to switch to Microns to ink my work. I love the conveniences that come with using Microns, such as not having to refill the inks and having control over the lines. But despite this, it kind of feels like I'm "cheating" or that it's unprofessional to use Microns instead of a brush. Do you think using Microns is unprofessional?

Alex Sollazzo
02-05-2015, 04:33 PM
Who cares what tool you use, ink by smearing paint with your fingers if the results are still good.

Morganza
02-05-2015, 04:44 PM
It's the results that matter, not the tools. Art Adams uses pens to ink and his work speaks for itself, use whatever you feel comfortable with and master it.

Bishop
02-05-2015, 04:54 PM
Ethan VanSciver uses Rapidograph's. No one cares as long as it looks good.

Emmis
02-05-2015, 05:05 PM
I love what Klaus Jansen wrote in his book on inking, where he basically says there are benefits and downsides to everything you can use to ink, but to try and compare which is better is a waste of time.

I rarely use them, just cause for whatever reason they never last very long for me. I must be too heavy handed or rough on them

Rob Norton
02-05-2015, 07:03 PM
everyone has said all that needs to be said.

ive seen art inked with sharpie markers that did what the artist wanted.

so use whatever gets you the results you want.

ultimately I think brush work with nibs give the best overall results and options..but the cant do Everything. and they are really hard to learn how to use. so I have a large selection of Pitt and microns.

don't get hung up on what "pros" use. just listen to when they talk about quality tools and how/why they work.

rob

L Jamal
02-05-2015, 08:08 PM
Find what works for you and use it.
I use Copic Multiliners and a brush pen

TeleKill
02-05-2015, 08:40 PM
Are you trying to guess what an editor or art director would have to say about your art? Because I got hell from an editor because I used sharpies to ink large areas of black. And frankly, they didn't even know I was using sharpies until I brought it up.

I think the reasoning was that sharpies weren't dark enough and would turn grayish over time or ... something like that. I dunno. All I know is that professional artist use sharpies. Every time I bring this up, someone tells me that doesn't make any sense. I agree. But it happened.

Anyway, I continue to use sharpies. as well as faber-castell markers. I suppose I may start using microns as well.

Rob Norton
02-05-2015, 08:55 PM
I PREFER to not use sharpies for finished "pro" work. meaning stuff I want to look as good as possible. when I do work like that, I have my dr phil martin matte black ink, my brushes, my hunt 102 and 105, and pitt and microns.

sharpies tend to discolor(I think) over time and not look as good. so if you want your work to look nice years from now, I think its best to not use them.

also, one time, my sink was leaking in my kitchen, and all that water went down a pipe and sprayed all over my drawing area, which happens to be right BELOW there. several pages got wet, but not one of the ones where I used high quality paper and ink bled anywhere. the paper was wrinkled, but overall, they were all salvageable. I could rescan them and they would still work. but the one page of crappy marker sketches? ink bled everywhere.

sooooo.... yeah..

rob

NatMatt
02-05-2015, 10:04 PM
I just use microns mostly due to their reliability and their cost as opposed to a brush which can easily get damaged and are very expensive. I've boughten many brushes but none work as well for me as I want. Some don't hold enough ink, some don't clean off to well and some are just hard to work with. Recently, I bought a Winsor Newton series 7 brush since I've heard many good things about them. But when I used it the ink wouldn't absorb on the brush and after a while I just gave up. I've also used nibs but none hold enough ink and I find myself having to refill the nib every minute. Ive become very fustrated with brushes but in my mind, inking with a brush is the "right" way to ink comics and using microns is the "wrong" way.

TeleKill
02-06-2015, 01:18 AM
okay, thanks Rob. So Sharpies do discolor over time. And ultimately the tools really do matter.

Scribbly
02-06-2015, 03:05 AM
I just use microns mostly due to their reliability and their cost as opposed to a brush which can easily get damaged and are very expensive. I've boughten many brushes but none work as well for me as I want. Some don't hold enough ink, some don't clean off to well and some are just hard to work with. Recently, I bought a Winsor Newton series 7 brush since I've heard many good things about them. But when I used it the ink wouldn't absorb on the brush and after a while I just gave up. I've also used nibs but none hold enough ink and I find myself having to refill the nib every minute. Ive become very fustrated with brushes but in my mind, inking with a brush is the "right" way to ink comics and using microns is the "wrong" way.

The Winsor& Newton series 7 brush are the best thing created for inking.
They last very well. The problem is to learn how to use them. It requires a lot of practice and technique (weeks to years) to get the grip and control of line.
Nobody has the patience for that right now. And nobody is there to teach the tricks and correct technique anymore.
A brush pen can do it at the first intent without instruction.

Same thing with dip pens and nibs > Hunt 102 and others, compared with microns or any similar felt pen.
About the cost, knowing how to use it and following the maintenance rules a Windsor& Newton brush can last much more and are cost effective compared with any brush pen or micron.
Rotrings and technical pens, are very efficient and do last longer than microns.
Problem with microns is, are not rechargeable, the tip get wasted and dries soon and the line is not crisp and modulated as nibs or brush could be.
Microns are very good for crosshatching and textures.
Brush pens and microns can be carried easily in a pocket to everywhere.

We can use all these combined with digital to get the best in the page.

L Jamal
02-06-2015, 10:16 AM
okay, thanks Rob. So Sharpies do discolor over time. And ultimately the tools really do matter.

Yes, they do.
Unless you're planning on selling your original art, then it doesn't matter.
Art is a by-product of making comics. Once you have a scan of the art, you're golden.

NatMatt
02-06-2015, 11:49 AM
The Winsor& Newton series 7 brush are the best thing created for inking.
They last very well. The problem is to learn how to use them. It requires a lot of practice and technique (weeks to years) to get the grip and control of line.
Nobody has the patience for that right now. And nobody is there to teach the tricks and correct technique anymore.
A brush pen can do it at the first intent without instruction.

Same thing with dip pens and nibs > Hunt 102 and others, compared with microns or any similar felt pen.
About the cost, knowing how to use it and following the maintenance rules a Windsor& Newton brush can last much more and are cost effective compared with any brush pen or micron.
Rotrings and technical pens, are very efficient and do last longer than microns.
Problem with microns is, are not rechargeable, the tip get wasted and dries soon and the line is not crisp and modulated as nibs or brush could be.
Microns are very good for crosshatching and textures.
Brush pens and microns can be carried easily in a pocket to everywhere.

We can use all these combined with digital to get the best in the page.

The problem I have with my Winsor Newton brush (which is a size 2 by the way) is that it wouldn't hold on to the ink. I dipped it in india ink and when I placed it on the paper, none of it came up. I'm not sure if it's my ink that I use (Dr. Ph Martins Bombay ink) or the paper (bristol) but it never wants to latch on to the ink.

Newt
02-06-2015, 02:59 PM
Dip-pen nibs and natural hair brushes both benefit from a gentle wash with soap (or shampoo for brushes) prior to first use to remove any oils, which may interfere with water-based media. They can also take a little while to break in. Don't give up on your tool yet.

Like Scribbly said, brushes take longer to learn, but they're not impossible by any means. Practice with your brush - just doing circles and lines and hatching, not trying to create finished work - and you'll get much better with it quickly. Arthur Guptill's classic book Rendering in Pen and Ink is full of good advice and examples.

That's if you really want to learn to ink with a brush. Like everyone else said, you can use what you want as long as it gives you the results you're after. Frank Cho does some pretty awesome drawings with disposable ballpoints.

Justice41
02-06-2015, 06:25 PM
Are you trying to guess what an editor or art director would have to say about your art? Because I got hell from an editor because I used sharpies to ink large areas of black. And frankly, they didn't even know I was using sharpies until I brought it up.

I think the reasoning was that sharpies weren't dark enough and would turn grayish over time or ... something like that. I dunno. All I know is that professional artist use sharpies. Every time I bring this up, someone tells me that doesn't make any sense. I agree. But it happened.

Anyway, I continue to use sharpies. as well as faber-castell markers. I suppose I may start using microns as well.

Sharpie black turns purple over time and fades as does any felt tip applied pigment. Ink is ink alcohol based pigment will fade. Microns suck as you have to rework the lines to get that variation in line thickness. Brush pens to me is like using a very small dried up old fashion mop. The control just is not there, and over time the nib gets all chewed up and can no longer make fine points just a jagged mess. But this all depends on what the art's for and how you like the work to look.

NatMatt
02-06-2015, 11:39 PM
Just bought some speedball ink to try out with my brush. Hope this works.

Scribbly
02-07-2015, 08:37 AM
The problem I have with my Winsor Newton brush (which is a size 2 by the way) is that it wouldn't hold on to the ink. I dipped it in india ink and when I placed it on the paper, none of it came up. I'm not sure if it's my ink that I use (Dr. Ph Martins Bombay ink) or the paper (bristol) but it never wants to latch on to the ink.

As Newt pointed, these brushes have some protecting oil in the bristles that can be eliminated by a wash and gentle shaking in warmed water. Or warmed out straight in your mouth, if in a rush. To preserve the brush life, always clean it in water , shake it a bit and dry it with a soft cloth, every time before dipping it again in ink. At the end of the day, wash all your brushes in water with a drop of babie's shampoo and dry gentle with soft cloth and leave standing up, vertical in a jar.
Think of your brush as a musical instrument. The gentle you are with it ,the gentle and ductile it will be for you.

Rob Norton
02-07-2015, 03:58 PM
and leave standing up, vertical in a jar.
.

why standing up? I seem to remember(but could be wrong) reading that isn't good for them. I lay mine down in their own select spot where they don't get mashed up.

peoples thoughts on this?

rob

Scribbly
02-07-2015, 04:19 PM
why standing up? I seem to remember(but could be wrong) reading that isn't good for them. I lay mine down in their own select spot where they don't get mashed up.

peoples thoughts on this?

rob
If the brush still humid and it dries when lying horizontal it could get stick to that surface and break the bristles when we grab it. Vertical, standing up bristles up, air dry, with nothing touching the bristles is safer. But you can do what you please with your brushes. Totally fine.

Justice41
02-07-2015, 04:47 PM
I kept the plastic tube and the tube covering the brush bristles. This way i can set my brush, brush side down so any liquid drains out into the plastic sheath. Always reshape your brush one you clean it. don't leave the bristles fanned out when drying.

Scribbly
02-07-2015, 07:58 PM
I kept the plastic tube and the tube covering the brush bristles. This way i can set my brush, brush side down so any liquid drains out into the plastic sheath. Always reshape your brush one you clean it. don't leave the bristles fanned out when drying.

Yeah, I already ruined a couple of brushes back on the day, when trying to do that operation. Trying to get them back in the tiny plastic tube.
I would never do that again, unless I'm bringing brushes in a travel. Also, to find these tubes is sometimes quite complicated, I never know where they are when I need them.
True, after cleaning, reshaping the brush is very important.

Emmis
02-10-2015, 10:31 PM
See I was informed drying a brush bristles down is best, so like those tubes are best. I wasn't going to try and fit them back into the small ones, so I set up a ring of painters tape on the wall above my desk as a drying section. But if bristles up is fine then ill just keep them in my pen caddy thing on my desk with all the other tools.

B-McKinley
02-10-2015, 10:37 PM
Sharpie black turns purple over time and fades

Give it twenty years and it's green. Or maybe the ink has changed in twenty years and they fade to purple now.

NatMatt
02-12-2015, 11:04 AM
After practicing with my Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush all week, I think it's now safe to say I've officially graduated from inking with Microns to inking with a brush. Seriously, inking with a brush (once you get the hang of it) is a lot of fun.

Justice41
02-12-2015, 01:21 PM
Give it twenty years and it's green. Or maybe the ink has changed in twenty years and they fade to purple now.

I had a few Gil Kane Flash/Micronauts pages that the inker which i believe was Kane used sharpies on and it was purple. I had a Jim Lee Punisher page that was inked By Klaus Janson. Janson had used sharpies to fill the blacks and it had turned purple in places. The Kane pages were at least 20 years old and the Janson about the same. Was from the Punisher war journal issues.

B-McKinley
02-12-2015, 02:59 PM
I bet either the acidity of the paper effects the faded color or the inking was done with a different brand of permanent marker.

http://blog.tigerpens.co.uk/sharpies-fade/

Justice41
02-12-2015, 04:41 PM
Yeah The yellow Halo I have on a book That i have artists sign on the inside. The paper must be crap. It's that Index of Comics covers they made for Marvel and DC. This book.
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_large/12/124613/3119600-the+photo+journal+guide+to+marvel+comics+v1990+003 +(1991)+pagecover.jpg