21 November 2010

Inking techniques revealed

When creating comics, few artists stop at the pencil stage – most then pull out the inks for a more dynamic black and white look. Here artist Douglas Sirois takes you step-by-step through how to turn out a piece with a pencil-drawn look. The techniques you’ll learn will get results whether you’ve drawn the original piece in Painter or Photoshop, or scanned in a page of your own comic art, hand-drawn with a 2B pencil.

Discover how to combine different line thicknesses to suggest depth, use cross-hatching to add texture and consolidate it with fine detailing to bring some finesse.

This tutorial follows up Douglas’ guide to pencil effects in Painter -- but even if you haven’t attempted that, you can follow this new guide using the sketch found in our Download Zone.

Step 1 Start by taking the finished pencil layer (from our Autumn issue or the Download Zone) and lowering the opacity to 25%. Create a new layer just for inking. A good place to start inking is by filling in all the solid black areas of your page. To do this, choose the Reed Pen variant under the Pen and Ink category. Fill in wherever you have solid black areas in your page.

Step 2 Now choose the Scratchboard tool, which acts like a real-world inking brush and can achieve really nice thin lines and heavier lines too. When you start to ink on the layer above the finished line-work, use the pencils layer beneath as a guide. Use thin lines for face and hair and thicker lines for clothes and shadows.

Step 3 To ink all the straight lines, you can use the straight-line stroke mode (V) and the Thick n Thin brush variant. Create straight lines that are thin for forms that are in the distance and use thicker lines for forms that are closer to the viewer. The more detail you start to put into the environments at this stage, the more believable and interesting your finished page will look.

Step 4 Shading areas with cross-hatching can enhance the feel of a piece or object within it. Again, the Scratchboard tool comes in handy because of its easy, fluid ability to create thin-to-thick lines in one stroke. I wanted to embellish the horrific image of the skeleton cowboy, so applying shading in a loose, rigorous manner gave the image more energy.

Step 5 Using the Scratchboard tool, shrink the size of the brush so you can add finer details such as cracks and facial hairs. Use your references to add final details such as wood grain, folds on clothing and other details to the environments such as the suggestion of a dirt road or the wear marks one might find on an old hat.

Douglas Sirois

1 comment:

  1. most useless tutorial i have ever read, congrats on giving no real information at all and still somehow filling the page with words.


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