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View Full Version : Inking Question - what comes first - the Chicken or the egg


Henning Brazer
05-22-2006, 06:29 AM
I have been going through quite a few inking tutorials - basically covering everything - from tools to styles and so on.

But a basic question has been bothering me for quite a bit and I was hoping some of the inkers here can give me a hand.

I usually pencil my pages with an H3 which leaves little groves in the paper and it is very hard to erase - and then ink over it. Do all you inkers ink over the original artwork and erase the pencils or is there some other way?

Something I did read is that you use a lightbox and ink on a blank paper and keep the original pencils intact - but shouldn't the blank inking paper then be quite thin for better transparency? And if so, can normal copying paper be used? And again, if so, does using lighter paper detract from the inks?

Can anybody shed light on how their inking procedure works?

Thanks beforehand!!

Gonzogoose
05-22-2006, 07:05 AM
I'm no inker, but I'm almost certain that when not inking over originals and using the light box they ink onto art board. With the light box the art board is transparent enough.

Mecha
05-22-2006, 07:47 AM
I've honestly never heard of the light box thing except maybe if they're inking with vellum paper over top of either the original or a greyscale photocopy/printout. That's how I started out, actually. But there was no lightbox involved, because vellum is almost transparent. I don't know anyone that does the lightbox thing for inking.

The two main ways of inking are on originals, and on blue line printouts which are printed onto bristol paper or art boards.

And we don't use normal copying paper for inking because it can't take the ink without warping. Vellum is ok for pen and markers, and bristol is best for nibs and brushes.

T.J. May
05-22-2006, 08:41 AM
Jason can probably elaborate further, but we scan in the pencils and print them out on 11X17 blueboard.

Or, if the pencils are really tight and we are using a cartoony, cartoon network style we can often let the computer do the bulk of the inking, and using a wacom tablet fill in the rest. Not a preferred method, but cheaper and less time consuming. We've only experimented with it at this point, nothing on the market.

Mecha
05-22-2006, 08:57 AM
TJ: scan/print onto blueboard = take pencil scan and print it out in blue line on bristol :)

Henning Brazer
05-22-2006, 11:48 AM
okay, okay - let me get this straight.

If you do scan in the pencils and you print out a non-repro blue version - do you print it out on a A4 sheet? Because that is the only size my printer can print out.

Or am I missing something? Wouldn't A4 be quite small to ink over?

Thanks for all the help so far!!!

Henning Brazer
05-22-2006, 11:52 AM
Hi Mecha

Is Vellum like a thick transparency paper? (ugh! you already answered this - but I just have to re-ask :) - sorry ) Is that the normal name for it? I've never heard of it.

What grammage would you recommend?

jpruitt0692002
05-22-2006, 12:02 PM
When i started inking traditionally, I used a lightbox and still do when i ink traditionally to avoid cost on having things printed out. I generally use either the original art or a really high res printout on it. I use 70lb britsol board and if you have a decent lightbox, you should not have any problems inking.

twistercomics
05-22-2006, 12:14 PM
Ok I want to put in my 2 cents.

When I started in 94 you would ink over pencil copies using Vellum.....semi Clear or even clear....Ink layed kinda thick

With a light box you can use Bristol Board and ink over copies or originals if you wanted to keep the pencils seperate.

Now people use bluelines to ink if they don;t have originals. They make bluelines on Bristol Board also.

So if you can ink on the originals that is best but if not make bluelines .....if not that then lightbox :)

JMan
05-22-2006, 12:21 PM
I do all my inking on blueline copies, 2-ply bristol, 11x17

j giar
05-22-2006, 12:33 PM
I do all my inking on blueline copies, 2-ply bristol, 11x17
Ditto.

Mecha
05-22-2006, 10:53 PM
Vellum is drafting and architectural paper. It's transluscent enough to see details of paper below which makes it good for layering measurements and tracing in drafting. It makes it great for inking for the same reason: you can see the pencils below the vellum as you ink on it. It's just harder to use nibs on it or lots of ink like with a brush because the nibs tear at it and heavy wet ink warps it.

shushubag
05-23-2006, 05:18 AM
I have been going through quite a few inking tutorials - basically covering everything - from tools to styles and so on.

But a basic question has been bothering me for quite a bit and I was hoping some of the inkers here can give me a hand.

I usually pencil my pages with an H3 which leaves little groves in the paper and it is very hard to erase - and then ink over it. Do all you inkers ink over the original artwork and erase the pencils or is there some other way?

Something I did read is that you use a lightbox and ink on a blank paper and keep the original pencils intact - but shouldn't the blank inking paper then be quite thin for better transparency? And if so, can normal copying paper be used? And again, if so, does using lighter paper detract from the inks?

Can anybody shed light on how their inking procedure works?

Thanks beforehand!!

I did'nt read what everybody else said but here's my take if nobody already said it.

Light box- it's used so you can put a clear sheet of bristol or whatever paper you use over the pencilled work and trace without going directly over the original pencils. I can't afford a light box but I did manage to make a make shift light table, basically a glass surfaced table with a light to shine from the opposite way so I can see through the paper. Same concept it works.

Dave Reynolds
05-23-2006, 08:03 AM
Bit of warning about vellum... If you're left handed or if you're like me and you tend to run your fingers along the paper, you do run ink smudge risks more than a normal sheet of cardstock.

Mecha
05-23-2006, 08:38 AM
Dave: Doesn't always happen. I'm hugely heavy handed and usually rested my left hand and the side of my inking hand on the page when I used to use vellum, and smoothing out the page. Never got a smudge.

Dave Reynolds
05-23-2006, 10:00 AM
Well, I know a few other people had it happen to them too, but if it never happened to you, then you're probably more comfortable wth vellum than I ever was. (Like I said, there's a reason I stopped using it.)

mongoose
05-23-2006, 10:29 AM
I asked a similar question a few months ago. It seems you can also pencil then ink your artwork. Erase. Scan to photoshop. Cleanup art. Maybe darken ink. I was instructed of a method to get rid of pencil lines that have not been erased (I don't have it readily available).

Does the above sound right?

imajica studio
05-23-2006, 10:34 AM
I have tried to use a light box with Blue Line Pro or Eon Board and a copied pencilled page underneath. I have a decent light box but it's really hard to see the details. My question to everyone is if I use a nice acid free heavier sheet of nice paper and not board will that detract from anything? Or is the main point just to get it done and have it look good for the printer or colorist???

shushubag
05-23-2006, 02:48 PM
I have tried to use a light box with Blue Line Pro or Eon Board and a copied pencilled page underneath. I have a decent light box but it's really hard to see the details. My question to everyone is if I use a nice acid free heavier sheet of nice paper and not board will that detract from anything? Or is the main point just to get it done and have it look good for the printer or colorist???

I think just having it look good for the printer is good enough, but I could be wrong.

If you can't see through the light box is it possible that the pencils may be not dark enough? Or is it dark and you still can't see through the light box. My light box isn't that great but it does the job and I can see throug it good enough. But I do pencils as well, so maybe it's ok for me.

imajica studio
05-23-2006, 03:04 PM
I think just having it look good for the printer is good enough, but I could be wrong.

If you can't see through the light box is it possible that the pencils may be not dark enough? Or is it dark and you still can't see through the light box. My light box isn't that great but it does the job and I can see throug it good enough. But I do pencils as well, so maybe it's ok for me.
Actually I have an eye disease and have had a cornea transplant in my right eye three years ago. I refuse to let it stop me. Go figure an artist who can't see well....... That is why I really can't see the pencilled pages through the board that well. I have tried everything. I might end up just using a thinner ply board or paper. I have tried blue line but to me it isn't clean enough.... just personal preference...

M@u::
05-23-2006, 03:34 PM
hennig, here my "how i do inks"...please notice that i'm not (maybe yet) a pro inker and so only my way for ink stuff.

http://www.maurusso.com/ink/tutorial1.htm

TAP_LEGION
05-23-2006, 09:21 PM
I use to use a heavier lead (#4) but a year or so back I started doing most pencils with a #1 , which is a really soft lead and alot easier to erase while at the same time getting the fine details some inkers require.

Maybe you can try using graphite paper to transfer your original pencils onto whatever youre inking on. I prefer to pencil/ink dircetly onto the bristol....looks better.

jpruitt0692002
05-23-2006, 09:50 PM
i have also used the graphite paper method and it works really good, just somewhat time consuming.

Henning Brazer
05-24-2006, 08:29 AM
Thanks for all the info guys!

I think I should start and test the vellum - since I am in another country at the moment and I do not have access to my light box - then afterwards I'll try the blue line thing (although, they don't sell Bristol boards in South Africa :( )

PS - to get a blue line copy - do you actually have to take make a colour copy (expensive) - or are there special copy machines?

Mecha
05-24-2006, 10:56 AM
Henning: actually you CAN order them (prelined boards) online. My partner is a penciller in South Africa and he did order them in, and they did arrive to him (I know that can be a problem where you're at).

To get a blueline copy, just stick the pencil scan into photoshop and use a tutorial like this one: http://sweatshoppress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=64&sid=f319625cd1c7f2e497b5416edbdc816b

I just start from the line "SO, I scan my pencils at 300 dpi as greyscale." since I have a teensy little scanner lol. And yes essentially you take it to a copy/print shop (I don't know if you guys have Office Depot or Staples there) and they print it there for you. Here in Canada it costs about $1.39 a page.

Henning Brazer
05-25-2006, 07:01 AM
Thanks Mecha

Yeah, it is a problem to get the bristol boards form South Africa - especially if you don't believe in using credit cards (I am a cash man and will always be :) )

We do have copy shops in SA, but I don't think anything that can print out your grayscale into non-repro blue.

Is your South African friend on digitalwebbing? I would love to speak to him.

jseymour
06-12-2006, 11:47 AM
I hate to sound ignorant here but is blueboard a name brand of bristol?

VANDAL
06-12-2006, 12:33 PM
The way i do it is this. I receive a hi res pencil scan in my Email and i put it into Photoshop. Once in photoshop i convert the image to CMYK color. Once that is done i go to image/adjustments/selective color. I adjust all colors to zero except Cyan (blue). Once i have done that i usually have to lighten the image a little more so i go to image/adjustments/hue saturation and lighten it with the bottom slider. Once this is done I used to save the file and take it down to the copy shop and have it printed on bristol. I got kinda tired of doing that though so i got onto Ebay and found myself a wide format printer for about $150 and trust me, that thing has ultimately saved me quite a bit of money.

Mecha
06-12-2006, 09:24 PM
Henning: Ah okay not sure about the credit card thing though he used his Paypal as far as I know :)

You guys don't have anything like an Office Depot or Office Max?

He is a member but he doesn't do forums, if you want to drop me your email I can get him to email ya tho :)

Henning Brazer
06-13-2006, 12:07 PM
Thanks Mecha - I'll PM my e-mail to you!

Okay - I just want to get one last thing straight - and this might sound like a dumb question.

Once you have made your pencils Cyan and printed them out on Bristol - do you ink over those lines directly? Doesn't the blue lines look messy when inked?

Can the blue lines not be seen at all when the final artwork gets scanned in?
Do people still buy original artwork where little blue lines might appear in the background?

dano
06-13-2006, 12:44 PM
I usually pencil my pages with an H3 which leaves little groves in the paper and it is very hard to erase - and then ink over it. Do all you inkers ink over the original artwork and erase the pencils or is there some other way?

Stop using an H3. Stop pushing so hard. problem solved.

Regardless of what lead pencil you use it should never leave grooves or be particularly hard to erase.
Get a soft charcoal pencil and practice doing quick drawings with a light touch to break your habit of pushing too hard.

eventually, no matter what lead you use, it wont leave groves adn it wont be difficult to erase so inking on the originals and erasing after will be muuuch easier.

Henning Brazer
06-13-2006, 12:51 PM
Who would have thought it was that easy :) - thanks Dano!

Does anybody else here have a tendency to really push down hard when you do pencils? It is a tough habit to break - especially when you start doing detail.

VANDAL
06-13-2006, 08:56 PM
As to your question about the blue line copy. I ink directly over the blue lines and no, it wasnt actually a dumb question at all. It generally doesnt come out looking messy at all and i print them out very lightly so even to the naked eye there is only a hint of a blue hue left over in the final inks. Once i have inked the blue line copy, i put it on my Mustek A3 scanner, open up photoshop and scan as "lineart". Scanning as "lineart" automatically removes everything except the plain black and white so when i Email my inks to the colorist they have a pure black and white hi res scan to work with.

Henning Brazer
06-14-2006, 06:06 AM
Thanks Vandal - that really cleared it up to me.

I think I'll give this whole Blueline thing a try.

What value do you change your Pencils to - to get that blueline effect?
Do you use an A3 colour printer to print this out - or do you go to a copy shop (just asking out of interest sake as I want to buy some new equipment.)

Thanks Vandal

shushubag
06-14-2006, 06:55 AM
Hey I have a question for you inkers. What if I tried to ink something myself and didn't like the way they came out. Would it be impossible for another inker to go over it (maybe a copy, or something) and totally put their own artistic spin on it?

Has it been done before?

The reason I ask is because I've done some inking over my own stuff and well, I don't hate it but I guess people don't like it. Just incase I submit it somewhere and they tell me to get another inker or fix it up.

Mecha
06-14-2006, 07:29 AM
Yes but that's also why I always make copies of my own pencils ;)

shushubag
06-15-2006, 06:34 AM
Yes but that's also why I always make copies of my own pencils ;)

Well the thing is I have an unusual way of doing things. What I do is I draw everything on regular typing paper. Then take that and trace it with my light table onto the artboard. For instance, if I'm doing a scene I'll take the dialogue and action and draw, using pencils, whatever comes to mind, but not on the artboard, instead on the 8 x 11 typing paper, then I'll do the panel breakdowns on the art board and decide what goes where, after that I take those pictures, one by one and ink them. The reason I do this is because I find when I do the pages the regular way they come out looking as if they're too cramed in and the action doesn't flow. So I do have the original pencils , but they're not on one page.

There's no wrong way to eat a reccess.

Mecha
06-15-2006, 08:11 AM
Reeses.

And you technically should scan in your pencils into the computer before you ink, so that you have a copy of the completed pencils... all on one page. ;)

joshm
06-15-2006, 09:55 AM
I've been inking for some time now. About ten years off and on. I'm currently working as a pro inker for a company and they'll be sending me copies of the pencils. I'll most likely have them printed at Kinko’s or office max or depot on 11" x 17" card stock or some non bleed boards. I ink with a number 2 brush and do the boarders on the computer. So, I don't use anything but a brush. This mean I can't exactly sell my original inks, but the colorist gets the work finished, which is most important to me. Take this with a grain of salt, because in the past I inked straight on the art. This is my first time inking from a copy, but I've already done a test page for the company and it worked out great. If anyone has a better way of doing it then me, please let me know as I would like my work to be as pro as possible.

In the end you just have to find a comfortable way of inking and try to stick with it.

Josh

shushubag
06-16-2006, 04:18 PM
Reeses.

And you technically should scan in your pencils into the computer before you ink, so that you have a copy of the completed pencils... all on one page. ;)

Not neccesarily! I'm the penciler and inker what's the point of doing full pencils, scanning that in, then doing full inks and scanning that in. The main thing is that I have something for the colorist and letterer to work with.

Let me rephrase the question. Can an already inked page be re-inked?

Mecha
06-16-2006, 08:23 PM
Not neccesarily! I'm the penciler and inker what's the point of doing full pencils, scanning that in, then doing full inks and scanning that in. The main thing is that I have something for the colorist and letterer to work with.

Let me rephrase the question. Can an already inked page be re-inked?

Yes... because if a page has an accident during inks you'll need to use a copy to ink it again :P

Re-inked? You'd still need a copy :)