View Full Version : Inking with a brush for a semi-beginner?

10-22-2016, 05:34 PM
Hello, I'm no stranger to inking with a Sable brush but what I am not familiar with is how to ink well with one. My inking "style" (if that's even what you could call it) generally consists of back and forth strokes similar to how how a Penciller sketches. It works well sometimes but most of the time the line comes off as looking very disjointed rather than smooth like I'd like it to be. I've seen countless of videos on how to ink yet I still can't figure out the process yet. I ink with a Raphael 8404 size 5 but I've previously inked with a Winsor & Newton Series 7 size 2 for about a year. I wasn't happy with those as if felt the quality was very poor compared to the Raphaels that feel more "fuller". My inking process consists of dipping my brush in a cup of warm water followed by cleaning off the water with a paper towel. I then dab the brush in a small amount of ink and form a tip with my fingers (since it never forms a sharp tip by itself). When I need to reink it, I repeat the entire process I described earlier. This process hasn't been successful with me so I would like to know how do professional cartoonists ink their work when using a brush? Please go into detail of this process to those who know so I could get a better idea as to how to improve my inking. Also, please tell me if I'm doing anything wrong with my process. Thanks.

Lee Nordling
10-22-2016, 11:32 PM
Inking with a brush (well) is REALLY REALLY HARD.

It's about understanding the different weights of line and letting them flow consistently from the brushes you're using.

The style you're working in is more consistent with processes that require a pen, whether it's a tech pen or dip pen.

Brush inking is about organically letting a brush do what it does, and "control" is more about putting down a single correct line (or series of lines next to each other to achieve shading and/or crosshatching effects).

You might want to consider a Wacom (or other drawing) tablet, if that's a financial option.

And if you go this way, others here can probably make some great suggestions.

This is only the beginning of a topic, and I'm sure others will offer more general and specific advice.

10-23-2016, 02:05 AM
Use regular room temperature water for cleaning the brush hair after some time using the brush.
Dip half of the brush hair on ink. Eliminate the excess of ink using the border of inkwell or ink container. Instead your fingers,use a piece of absorbent paper or a piece of Bristol on the side twisting the brush head on it for making the tip. Clean the brush with warm water only at the end of each day of work. Some soap or shampoo can help. Use a cloth instead paper towel. Keep the brushes standing vertical in a cup or jar.
Besides, practice making set of lines on Bristol paper. Any kind of lines in continuity, curves, straight, the S, horizontal vertical etc. Try doing line variations from thick to thin. Having total control start by copying great inkers strokes and finally start working something from scratch straight from somebody's pencils. Use thick brushes for big stuff and thin brush for very small stuff. Number 2 to four for regular to very thick stuff and 00 to 2 for small stuff. Use Number 5 to 6 for fills in.
Work lines first, then blacks and finally add textures. Work each foreground, middle ground and background with different thickness of brush.

10-26-2016, 09:37 AM
Youtube has a lot of videos ofprofessional Inkers inking comics artwork. Check that out to see how it's done. One person whom i thought inkd with a nib but inks with a Brush is Scott Williams. He holds his brush a bit weird but the results are undeniable. His vids are rare but a few exist out there