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Old 11-04-2013, 02:40 AM   #1
Co.Inkadink
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Inking VS. Embellishment

This is a continuation of a discussion in the Artist Forum, I didn't want to keep derailing the Thread so I started a discussion of my own
Response to Post #69


No doubt this guy is a fantastic artist no denying that but if you look at the history of Kirby and others like him they didn't want people redrawing their stuff and fixing it. If any artist draws full pencils he intends every line to be inked, if he did breakdowns it's more open to interpretation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I came across a blog posting, today, from a few years back, that made me think of your posting in this thread, Co. Inkadink. Here's the quote from that blog posting that caught my eye:

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Thomas also said that he didnít think Kirby was interested in teaching other artists because he didnít want to teach them to be Jack Kirby; he wanted them to find their own way.

SOURCE: http://chimeradave.blogspot.com/sear...l/Jack%20Kirby
Of course he didn't want to stifle Artists into drawing like him but we're talking about inking. When you ink an artist you remain true to the pencils you don't add your own spin on it you ink the lines that are there. If it is breakdowns you have more freedom to interpret but if it's Full Pencils you remain true to those pencils.

Another quote from the same article.
Quote:
Joe Sinnott said that at first heíd want to correct certain details in Kirbyís work like strange looking ears, or muscles that didnít exist in real life, but that he realized that if he did that it just wasnít Kirby anymore.
When Jack Kirby was working on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen in the 70s Murphy Anderson redrew all of Superman's heads in the comics because they didn't like the way he Drew Superman, and He Hated It. If they hired Kirby they should have let him do it in his style. Redrawing an artists tight finished penciled work, correcting anatomy etc is insulting to the the original Artist. It's like saying "I can do better and I will, over your Artwork".

I don't think Jimlai was doing this but I've seen lots of people change Artwork in the inking, that's not the inkers job his job is to remain faithful to the pencils. Like I said if it's breakdowns OK but not Full Pencils.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post

I never knew Jack Kirby, personally, nor did I ever meet him in person. However, I would like to add a few words on the subject of Jack Kirby.

The very thing that distinguished Jack Kirby's artwork was his interpretation of art. His art was often epic in scale, for the very simple reason that his interpretation was equally epic in scale.

The inherent nature of art is that it is subject to not just interpretation, but to countless interpretations.

Jack Kirby, God bless his soul, is dead and gone. A great body of his work endures. His legacy in comic book art terms is a thing of legend.

He no longer owns his own work. In due time, every last bit of it will fall into the public domain. Long after we are all dead and gone, people will still be studying Jack Kirby's art and style.

Jack Kirby can't draw for us, anymore. People like this Jimlai can, however. It seems to me that one of the foremost attributes of a great artist is a willingness to make a given piece of art one's own. To leave one's mark, so to speak.
If it's his own Art, if it's another Artists work he doesn't need to leave his "mark". He should respect the original artist and be faithful to that piece of Art.

What Jack Kirby liked or may have wanted is all fine and dandy, but what he liked or wanted at any given moment are likely things quite distinct from what would necessarily command his respect.

If it is true that Jack Kirby wasn't interested in teaching other artists, because he didnít want to teach them to be Jack Kirby, but rather, he wanted them to find their own way, then isn't that exactly what Jimlai did, call it whatever else you may?
No what Jimlai did was Embellish, and "Make it his own" as you said. Jimlai's original work is great but if he is going to INK another artist he needs to do just that and get out of the way, be invisible, accentuate the Original Artist and not try to Embellish it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:00 AM   #2
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Side by side comparisons.

The first Kirby's original Pencils. The second Inks by European Artist Andreas.
Look at how faithful and precise it is to the original pencils every line is there.


Here is Jimlai's 2 shots at it, the first he redrew the pinup "fixing" the muscles and details, the second he added and left out details making it "his own".


Look I'm not saying Jimlai did anything wrong here. But he was asked to INK a Kirby pin-up and he embellished, there are plenty of rough pencil drawing online to reinterpret. I don't think this generation understands what Inking is. When you go to see a concert you don't care who designed the outfits or did the lighting or SFX you came to see the Band and all those guys are there to make the band look good. When I pick up a comic drawn by Kirby or Buscema or any artist old or new I want to see THEIR work. I don't want it redrawn or colored so much it looks like a painting. Maybe I'm a dying breed but I just thought I'd offer my opinion.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
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I guess it's kind of a moot point, since probably nobody is going to give jimlai a Kirby comic to ink... :-)

You're kind of asking a lot Co., most people who like current comics don't "get" Kirby... It takes awhile, a lot of looking at art, to see what he was getting at. There is a degree of abstraction to his work, of intuitive, personal expression. And many people, comic artists especially perhaps(?), are fixated on "realism", on perfect anatomy, etc. Kirby learned all that long ago (like Picasso) and got over it... He moved on to something more interesting (although realist work can be great and wonderful too, sure.)

It's fun to see people "correcting" Kirby... but they're just missing the point... they don't appreciate where he was coming from.

I wonder, if he had been MORE abstract (like Picasso again) if they would realize, "oh, yeah, he's doing something else." But he's ALMOST doing what they're doing... he's sort of close to realism. So it's like that "uncanny valley" phenomenon (see Wikipedia I'm sure if you don't know that term.)

What we should do, is give Jimlai a VERY stylized piece, like Picasso's "Guernica" or something, and see if he'd "correct" it to have proper anatomy. LOL.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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I will begin this response by pointing out that the words of yours in red that you inserted into a quoted portion that has my name on it can prove to be a problematic way of responding. Someone coming along after the fact may make the mistake of thinking that your words in red are originating from me, when in fact they aren't.

That clarification made, I will proceed.

I understand what you are saying. However, in my considered opinion, you have made an exceptionally poor case. Wholly unpersuasive is the term that comes to mind.

I have attempted to backtrack in the thread that you dragged part of the conversation from into this newly created thread of yours. I believe that it was site user jeffo46 who initiated a challenge to site user jimlai:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffo46 View Post
I have a challenge for you. How about some of your inking over other pencillers ? I'd love to see how your inking style would mesh with say John Buscema or a Jack Kirby . You can download copies of their pencils on the internet you know !
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...9&postcount=49
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A couple of postings later, site user ponyrl attempted to facilitate that original challenge, by directly posting a specific piece of penciled artwork:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyrl View Post
You're asking incorrectly.

Hey Jim.




Could you try your hand at inking this?

(see, supply him with it instead of having him search. much quicker )
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...5&postcount=51
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A mere five postings later, site user jimlai posted the following:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlai View Post
waiting ink.........
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...4&postcount=56
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You then responded in the very next posting, and in your posting, you, yourself, stated:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
That's not Kirby's pencils.
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...5&postcount=57
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Jimlai then confirmed that it was not Jack Kirby's penciled artwork, and he elaborated by acknowledging that he drew the scene depicted in Kirby's penciled art piece in question.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlai View Post
YES,that's not Kirby's pencils
I then draw kirby's pencils , then I'll drop ink
http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...4&postcount=58
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A couple of postings later, you clarified to site user ponyrl that jimlai had, in fact, redrawn the original Kirby piece at issue:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
No I meant he redrew it. The one you originally posted was Kirby pencils. If he redraws it you can't see how his inks would look over Kirby which was what was asked. But whatever.
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...9&postcount=60
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Several postings later, jimlai then posted the inked piece that serves as the focal point of your lamentation about embellishment:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlai View Post
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...1&postcount=64
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You then responded, again, and the portion of that posting that I want to quote is this:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Jimlai,
I think you are a magnificent artist much better than me and much better than many artists I've seen here and around the internet and Pro Comics. But here's the thing you are an embellisher on other peoples artwork. Jeffo46 mentioned Rudy Nubres he and Alfredo Alcala and many other Spanish artist from the 70s were embellishers and they were fantastic at it. An embellisher can make a poor artist look great. But In My Opinion inking is almost a lost art in most modern comics, a good inker should be invisible only accentuating the lines of the penciler and adding nothing of his own style. If you are hired as an embellisher go crazy but if you are hired as an inker you should add nothing of your own style to the pencils IMO. Your second pass at the Kirby Conan inked is great! But you put lines in there that Kirby didn't draw, you "fixed" his anatomy and many people have done that with Kirby but when you do it takes away from what HE did.
I know what I'm saying will be lost on many people reading this judging by the inking I see in modern comics, some inkers bury the penciler under their own style and it's sad to see.
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...2&postcount=65
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Not long after that posting, you posted a bit more:

---------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
I do too if he can reign himself in a little more and be invisible, if not he'll be a great embellisher. No doubt this guy is a fantastic artist no denying that but if you look at the history of Kirby and others like him they didn't want people redrawing their stuff and fixing it. If any artist draws full pencils he intends every line to be inked, if he did breakdowns it's more open to interpretation.
I hope this doesn't come off like I'm putting Jimlai down here, I'm amazed at his ability here and it's awesome to behold but he changed alot in that picture. Of course you can tell it's Kirby that's not the point. The point is he softened Kirby's zip lines and added and subtracted all sorts of details in this pic, he made it his own, he embellished it. I'm not saying this is wrong I'm saying if he were hired by a company to ink this picture and handed this in it wouldn't be considered inking it would be considered embellishing.
He did a great job and it looks great but when Jack Kirby drew that picture 34 years he put those lines there for a reason. I know some people like to see different styles blended and so do I but the request was just to ink. Look at the original there are thick and thin line weights and cross hatching and all sorts of detail that Kirby put there it's not open for interpretation.

I guess we're not going to agree, I'm going to let it go I don't want to highjack Jimlai's art thread here and start trouble the work is fantastic he has great skill and he could be a Pro artist Yesterday. But this is embellishment not inking, inking is dong exactly what the artist laid down on paper if it is full pencils.

Jimlai I'm a fan of your work so I hope you don't take any of this the wrong way.
SOURCE: http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums...8&postcount=68
---------------


You then decided to create this new forum thread, to discuss what was already being discussed there, under the auspices of not derailing that thread.

And in your initial posting in this thread, to begin the dialogue on this subject here, you saw fit to quote from what I posted in the other thread in question.

As near as I can tell, though, what jimlai is "guilty" of is not inking the Kirby piece. Apparently, unless I simply misunderstand what actually happened, jimlai ended up inking his own work, not Jack Kirby's. Yet, from that you somehow drew your conclusion that he embellished Kirby's penciled art. If he didn't actually ink Kirby's piece, then how is it that he embellished what he didn't actually ink?

It is worth highlighting, less any confusion on the subject remain, that jimlai was under no obligation, of any kind whatsoever, to actually accept the challenge to ink Kirby's art piece in question.

Instead of accepting the challenges put forth to him by both jeffo46 and ponyrl, what jimlai actually did was to take their challenges one step further - He redrew the entire scene from scratch, and then on top of that substantially impressive feat, jimlai then inked his own piece that he had drawn in penciled format.

More than just making the piece his own, it was his own, since he penciled it from scratch, before he inked it.

I have to eat supper, now, and if opportunity allows, I will point out certain deficiencies in what you have posted in this new thread, a little later tonight. My son wants to use the computer a little bit, so it will probably be a little while before I can resume posting. So, if you don't mind, I will pause here, for now.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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for what its worth..in my opinion(that no one asked for)

none of the interpretations shown here (IMO) come close to being as awesome as the original kirby pencils. i understand when an inker wants to be experimental and try things. but on a professional level, i think an inker should be trying to make the image look like what the penciler was trying to do. and NEITHER of those come close.

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Old 11-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
No doubt this guy is a fantastic artist no denying that but if you look at the history of Kirby and others like him they didn't want people redrawing their stuff and fixing it. If any artist draws full pencils he intends every line to be inked, if he did breakdowns it's more open to interpretation.
OK, so let me get this right. Because Jack Kirby and others like him (And who, pray tell me, was like Jack Kirby?) didn't want people to redraw their stuff and fixing it, other artists or aspiring artists should not attempt to redraw Kirby's art? Or, it's OK to redraw it, as long as you don't attempt to "fix" it?

And that degree of deference is somehow "due" to Jack Kirby (and those others like Jack Kirby), even in a forum dedicated to art, and not just that, but even in a forum where an artist is issued a challenge?

So, is Jack Kirby's artwork somehow sacred, to the degree that no one should redraw and/or "fix" his artwork? If so, who made it sacred? Jack Kirby, himself? And how, exactly and specifically, did he manage to pull that off? By willing it to be that way? And does this sacred aspect last only until Jack Kirby's artwork eventually goes into the public domain? Or does it extend even past the point at which Jack Kirby's artwork falls into the public domain, which it eventually will?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Of course he didn't want to stifle Artists into drawing like him but we're talking about inking. When you ink an artist you remain true to the pencils you don't add your own spin on it you ink the lines that are there. If it is breakdowns you have more freedom to interpret but if it's Full Pencils you remain true to those pencils.
Oh, so it's only the inking that is at issue? It's OK to redraw or to "fix" Jack Kirby's art pieces, as long as one does it in pencils? But, inking is a whole other story?

And what cosmic law, or what governing authority of the art world, dictates this "full pencils rule" that you are referring to? From whence does it originate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
When Jack Kirby was working on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen in the 70s Murphy Anderson redrew all of Superman's heads in the comics because they didn't like the way he Drew Superman, and He Hated It. If they hired Kirby they should have let him do it in his style. Redrawing an artists tight finished penciled work, correcting anatomy etc is insulting to the the original Artist. It's like saying "I can do better and I will, over your Artwork".
Actually, while it may be your personal opinion that redrawing an artist's "tight finished penciled work" and "correcting anatomy, etc." is insulting to the original artist, no one else need feel compelled to embrace and adopt that thinking. Because you choose to think that it is insulting, that makes it insulting? Why? Personally, I think that's just so much nonsense. What about motive? My understanding is that the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. Thus, if that be the case, then it seems to me that every case turns on its own set of facts. What about artistic license? Does it simply cease to exist? And Jack Kirby's feelings on such matters must dictate that no artistic license can exist, if it is inking that is at issue? What about inking over "loose pencils?" Is this dictate limited to only "tight pencils?" If so, then who - or what standard - gets to decide what distinguishes a given piece of penciled artwork as properly qualifying as "tight pencils?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
I don't think Jimlai was doing this but I've seen lots of people change Artwork in the inking, that's not the inkers job his job is to remain faithful to the pencils. Like I said if it's breakdowns OK but not Full Pencils.
OK, so you don't think that jimlai was "doing this," but even though you think that, he's still guilty of doing it? It seems to me that you are trying to be of two minds on this matter, C. Inkadink. It is your own choice of wording that calls into question what you are saying.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
If it's his own Art, if it's another Artists work he doesn't need to leave his "mark". He should respect the original artist and be faithful to that piece of Art.
I would counter-argue that one should be faithful to God, or that to one's own self, one should remain true, and not that one should be faithful to art, whether one's own or someone else's.

If it is his own work, which was clearly the case in the present instance (Since jimlai redrew the piece from scratch), then whatever supposed "duty" that he owes to Jack Kirby or to Jack Kirby's memory is nominal, at best - and even then, jimlai utilized the art piece of Jack Kirby's in question (which Jack Kirby, being dead, has no current claim of substance to, aside from initial authorship) as inspiration. Is the inspiration of other artists to be swept away by this rigid adherence to this "respect and faithful" principle, also?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
No what Jimlai did was Embellish, and "Make it his own" as you said. Jimlai's original work is great but if he is going to INK another artist he needs to do just that and get out of the way, be invisible, accentuate the Original Artist and not try to Embellish it.
OK, so you don't think that jimlai was doing this, but even still, you think that he is guilty of embellishing that which he didn't do?

You think that jimlai should be invisible, and that he should "accentuate" the original artist, but not try to embellish the original artist's handiwork? To accentuate is to make more noticeable or prominent, to intensify. Is the desired object to accentuate, or to stick as close to the original, as possible?

And he should do this, why? Because, you think that's the way that it should be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Side by side comparisons.

The first Kirby's original Pencils. The second Inks by European Artist Andreas.
Look at how faithful and precise it is to the original pencils every line is there.
Nonsense. There are numerous instances in this supposed "faithful and precise" example that you point to that are anything but.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Here is Jimlai's 2 shots at it, the first he redrew the pinup "fixing" the muscles and details, the second he added and left out details making it "his own".
You are being selective in what you point to. I'll upload a few sections from the Kirby and Andreas pieces that you compare, and we'll see just how precise Andreas was.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Look I'm not saying Jimlai did anything wrong here. But he was asked to INK a Kirby pin-up and he embellished, there are plenty of rough pencil drawing online to reinterpret. I don't think this generation understands what Inking is. When you go to see a concert you don't care who designed the outfits or did the lighting or SFX you came to see the Band and all those guys are there to make the band look good. When I pick up a comic drawn by Kirby or Buscema or any artist old or new I want to see THEIR work. I don't want it redrawn or colored so much it looks like a painting. Maybe I'm a dying breed but I just thought I'd offer my opinion.
Yet, again, what is it that you didn't think that jimlai did? You previously said that you didn't think that jimlai "did this." He didn't ink Kirby's piece, so how did he embellish it? Jimlai inked his own piece, not Jack Kirby's. Shouldn't you at least wait to brand jimlai as guilty of what you charge him with, AFTER he actually accepts the specific challenge that was posited before him?

The fact of the matter is, jimlai did something different from what the challenge was. The specific challenge in question remains lying exactly where it was when it was first issued to jimlai in the other thread that you brought this dsicussion over from.

It strikes me as being not so much about dying breeds as it is about opinion - opinion that is binding on no one else, whatsoever. Jack Kirby, as great of an artist as he was, certainly held no dictating authority over all of artistdom.

I'll find a site to upload some image segments from, and we'll see if Andreas deviated from Kirby's pencils, at all. Faithful and precise, indeed!
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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The penciled line that Kirby placed down the middle of the sword. Where is it inked in Andreas' inked version?




In the serpent's tail, the line that runs down the thick curved portion of the tail, where is it in Andrea's inked version? Also, the short lines running across the tail, Andreas shortened more than a couple. Is that faithful and precise? Or do you allow for a certain deviation - and if so, what is the allowable deviation in order to still qualify as faithful and precise in one's inking of another's pencils?




Above Conan's sword, near the hilt, there are some motion lines, curved ones. In Andreas' inked version, these very same motion curved lines are conspicuously missing. Is this what you deem to be faithful and precise? It seems rather blatant and obvious, to me, that those lines were placed there by Jack Kirby. Yet, Andreas chose to leave them out. Why?
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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I'm not reading all of this.

Break down this "discussion" for me, so I can see if this should stay or go. Fifty words or less, thanks.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:24 AM   #9
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Steve you're back!! Long time bro.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:02 AM   #10
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Hey, Roy.

I've been here. You just haven't been lookin'!
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Norton View Post
for what its worth..in my opinion(that no one asked for)

none of the interpretations shown here (IMO) come close to being as awesome as the original kirby pencils. i understand when an inker wants to be experimental and try things. but on a professional level, i think an inker should be trying to make the image look like what the penciler was trying to do. and NEITHER of those come close.

rob
That's pretty much what I'm saying and inker shouldn't add or take away they should try to stay as faithful to full pencils as possible, If they do it's called embellishment not strictly inking.


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Originally Posted by Steven Forbes View Post
I'm not reading all of this.

Break down this "discussion" for me, so I can see if this should stay or go. Fifty words or less, thanks.
This guy in another thread was asked to INK a Kirby drawing and was provided one Full Pencils. He then redrew it and said he was going to ink it, he said I draw Kirby's pencils then Ink. I had said it wasn't Kirby's pencils. There was some back and forth about redrawing and I went on about Inking and embellishing, the second pass the guy basically redrew it again in ink and called it inking.
I posted the same Kirby drawing inked by a guy who tried to stay as true to the pencils as possible, he made some errors and it's not perfect but he INKED it he didn't redraw anything, the guy in the other thread fixed the anatomy and changed all kinds of stuff.
My point Inking is almost tracing, embellishment is adding and taking away.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Hm. Thank you.

Okay. Please continue.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:36 AM   #13
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Inking is a labor assistant of pencils.
On finished pencils like these, inking modifications have no sense.

Embellishing with ink is only necessary for rough, semi sketched pencils
as those John Buscema used to do.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Look I'm not saying Jimlai did anything wrong here. But he was asked to INK a Kirby pin-up and he embellished, there are plenty of rough pencil drawing online to reinterpret. I don't think this generation understands what Inking is. When you go to see a concert you don't care who designed the outfits or did the lighting or SFX you came to see the Band and all those guys are there to make the band look good. When I pick up a comic drawn by Kirby or Buscema or any artist old or new I want to see THEIR work. I don't want it redrawn or colored so much it looks like a painting. Maybe I'm a dying breed but I just thought I'd offer my opinion.
I'm a little late to the party here, but this seems odd to me. JimLai was asked to ink a Kirby picture. He didn't. He re-drew it in his style and inked his picture. Therefore, he didn't necessarily embellish Kirby's pencils with his inks. He embellished HIS pencils with HIS inks. It would seem that the issue would be that he did not ink the drawing he was asked to ink, not that he embellished on a drawing that he did not ink.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
Side by side comparisons.

The first Kirby's original Pencils. The second Inks by European Artist Andreas.
Look at how faithful and precise it is to the original pencils every line is there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Co.Inkadink View Post
I posted the same Kirby drawing inked by a guy who tried to stay as true to the pencils as possible, he made some errors and it's not perfect but he INKED it he didn't redraw anything, the guy in the other thread fixed the anatomy and changed all kinds of stuff.
My point Inking is almost tracing, embellishment is adding and taking away.
I understand your point. Yet, you seem to be selective in how you apply your view on inking.

It's not as though Adreas added no lines in the example that you pointed out. There are various examples of him doing so scattered throughout that example. Some of the lines in the Andreas example that he chose to not ink, but whited out (since the penciled lines are obviously there in the penciled version), are rather obvious on their face.

Inking is its own art form. It is not merely an exercise in tracing. If it were, then there would be no different styles and methods to it. Different inkers use different tools of the trade to ink. They use different sized pens, markers, and brushes.

Inking isn't about being a slave to the pencils. There's more to it than that.

You characterize inking as "almost tracing."

And who determines what almost is? The one not doing the inking? The guy who comes along years after the work is inked?

If "almost tracing" was the same thing as tracing, then there would be no need to quantify it as being "almost" in nature.
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