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Inking tips by Inker-guy Inking tips by Inker-guy
:iconblackops619: asked me for some pointers in inking and I quickly knocked this together from one of his pieces. Keep in mind I am not a professional and these are steps and tools that work for me. Original pencils are here: [link]

Before I get into any details the first two things I will say in regards to becoming a better inker is this:

1)Practice, practice and even more practice

2) Buy this book by Gary Martin [link] It will change the way you look at inking.

One of the most important choices an inker can make is what type of inking utensil he or she is going to use. Try everything! Only then will you find what works the best for you. The most common inking tools are:

1) pens (Micron Pigma, Staedtler pigment, etc)
2) Quills (Hunt, Crow, etc)
3) Brushs (Windsor Newton, Style Stones, Sables)

I use Yasutomo Black Sumi Ink for its richness. Alot of other india inks are far too watery for my tastes but again try many kinds.

On this image I put the light source in the top left corner with the shaded areas coming from the bottom right corner. I indicated this with smileys and frownies on her form where I used light and heavy lines. Determining the light source is one of the most important things to do as it affects how you ink the image or panel.

I inked this piece in more of an anime style with little actual detail than I would normally give. Keep in mind the style of the art you're inking. Like a doctor we inkers are to 'do no harm' to the pencils but rather take the pencils to the next level of detail and completeness. That doesn't mean you can't change things if they are obviously incorrect (an eye or nose that's horribly out of proportion for example) but think of the pencils are the foundation and walls. Change them too much and you risk collapse.

I added on the bottom of the page the difference between a brush and a pen. I prefer the brush but from time to time I use a pen for some details. You can see how a brush can be more fluid with line weights and curving. I used a french curve on the pen side to do the hair example where I didn't use anything on the brush side.

I'm sorry that this can't be more thourough. Sometimes inking is a seat of the pants, I'm doing it out of instinct kind of thing. But trust me that once you get the hang of it your art and others you ink will only be that much better and you that much more satisfied.

Here are some pages with much more details:

[link]

This is a great video to watch: [link]


Edit: I forgot to put up links to the utensils I mentioned. D'OH!

Windsor Newton Brushes: [link]

Micron Pigma Art Pens: [link]

Yasutomo Sumi Ink: [link]
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:iconcuriouscliche:
CuriousCliche Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
Thank you, this is very simple, yet incredibly helpful. Right to the point.
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:icontoxic-zomwolf:
Toxic-ZomWolf Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Student General Artist
I am not a pro either and this makes me think you are because your inking is excellent, it was helpful because i get nervous that i am gonna fuck up my drawings when I ink. This helped thanks nwn
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:iconinker-guy:
Inker-guy Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure! Thanks for enjoying the tips piece :D
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:icontoxic-zomwolf:
Toxic-ZomWolf Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Student General Artist
np, keep on helping the young'uns, wait i am young lol
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:iconkaichi1342:
kaichi1342 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you this would help me a lot since I really struggle at inking.
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:iconinker-guy:
Inker-guy Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure :)
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:icontaintedfeather:
taintedfeather Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Super helpful! Thank you very much! :highfive:
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:iconbite-insane-iam:
bite-insane-iam Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
this is really hopefully!
thanks for it!
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:iconk-nashi:
K-Nashi Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2009
thx for sharing this,these would really be usefull for me since I myself curently starting to make a comic with just black and white tone.thx again for sharing this..:) :)
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:iconinker-guy:
Inker-guy Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My pleasure! Please look into the resources I linked to. There are others who spend much more time than I detailing inking tips and tricks. So much knowledge and wisdom is out there in this field that can teach you.
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:iconk-nashi:
K-Nashi Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009
yeah,I've checked them and it was very usefull..and I was also thinking of buying Gary Martin's book,

but I wonder if its worth it?since I was also looking how to make textures(ground,trees,buildings,irons)using ink.
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:iconinker-guy:
Inker-guy Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually Gary's books go into that. How to make textures on wood and ground, grass and water. I think of all things Gary's books are the best on how to accomplish textures with ink and brush
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:iconk-nashi:
K-Nashi Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009
hmm,ok that sounds good,I've ordered the book,I hope it will all worth it..
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:iconberrycake2909:
berrycake2909 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
Very enlightening! :heart:
This comes in handy. And it's even better because I use those exact pens too!
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:iconundivinegrace:
UndivineGrace Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
hehe i wish i would have know all this when i started drawing, wich was all onking stuff my friend drew..but my quills got lost when i moved..hmmm i will rember all this...
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:iconinker-guy:
Inker-guy Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I tell ya 2 of the best books I've ever read were "How to draw comics the Marvel way" and "The Art of Comic Book Inking vol. 1 and 2' by Gary Martin. I read the Inking guide and that immediately got me wanting to learn the brush. And to tell the truth at the start it was so frustrating! I couldn't get it to do what I wanted. I was so used to the flat line of a pen that I had to totally relearn how to ink. But all in all the frustration was worth it.

If you want more quills and you have a Micheals art store nearby they sell packs there with the holder and multiple sizes for cheap. I could get in trouble in an art store.....way too much I'd like to buy :D
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:iconundivinegrace:
UndivineGrace Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009
lol hehe the place im hoping to get a job at sells really nice sets for near nothing and huge bottles of nice ink for about $5 hehe the reason why i love pegan stores so much
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:iconb-operationz:
B-Operationz Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
Thanks heaps man.. Very much Appreciated :D
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:iconadkreations:
ADKreations Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
Good tips. Love the crazy twirling hair.
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