Inking HIM

Hopefully no one noticed that this week’s page of HIM (You did go look at it, didn’t you?) was the first time I have ever tried to ink something digitally. Ok, PARTIALLY digital.

Now, I’m the first to prefer ye old paper, pencil and ink over digital drawing, but since my old paint brush needs replacing and since the quest to find a new brush that is a good one for inking isn’t the easiest task (even when I spend real money for one), and seeing as how I’m quite busy... I thought I’d try something expedient and finish the page I started inking, a while back, digitally.

Here is a breakdown of how I drew the page from start to finish.

1) I rough laid out the page with a green pencil. Many people like to rough in blue, but I like green. What can I say, I’m a natural born contrarian/non-conformist. The page was drawn on an 8.5”x11” sheet of Xerox paper, in case anyone cares to know.
2) I type up all lettering and place/draw in, using a red marker, all word balloons and captions and voila...
HIM45_pencils

3) On paper, the next step was always that I’d lay a sheet of bristol board (thin smooth stuff) overtop the penciled page and ink using a light-box. I always started/start doing the panel boarders, word balloons/captions and sound effects lettering. Then, using markers, I’d ink the small details and key facial features that I didn’t want to use a brush for, for reasons that either involved ruling lines, thin lines I wanted more control of, or very precise details I wanted to look exactly the way I wanted them to look with no surprises (faces and some hands).

I usually was left with something like this...
HIM45_ink_start

4) I’d then go in with a brush and do all the remaining line work and fill in all blacks to finish the page. In the case of THIS page, I used digital tools in place of a real brush.
HIM45_finished

Question: Does it still look like I inked it?

For me, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

Personally, I like the feel and spontaneity of real ink in brush on paper. Digital tools just can’t as yet replicate the action one gets from a real paintbrush. I inked a few more pages partly digital and a few purely digital. My conclusion is that I like having real art, but the digital tools are handy for dealing with corrections, after the fact. Whether or not I think I’ll continue to ink digitally or not will depend on how busy I am. Sometimes it’s just expedient to not remove the computer gear off my table and just get the work done.

I’m not precious about my art, so whatever it takes to get the job done and looking like it should is fair game, from my point of view. As long as I get to my destination, I don’t care much how I get there (Unless it’s painful).

My wisdom is endless.

-Steve