Thursday, June 10, 2010

Inking attempts: Saiji pen nib

Tools. I like tools, especially art tools. I'm like a lot of people who is interested in what tools artists use and how they use them, trying to figure out the limits, advantages and disadvantages of each one. Only challenge is learning how to actually use the tools. Something I want to work on with a lot of materials. This time, inking.

To keep this short(er), I've been interested in inking my artwork for both illustrations and especially for my sequential work, and I've been wanting to move past using Pigma microns (including my current go to pens, Copic Multiliners) to pen and brush inking for a while for at least one reason: line variety. You can get some variety with microns, but it takes some work. Nib pens and brushes can get a lot of variety in one tool. Each varies, pros and cons and all that. And they take more practice to get really good. I don't plan to drop microns completely, but I want to build up my resources.

Here is my first attempt at inking an actual image with a Deleter brand Saji pen nib, using Deleter Black 3. You probably recognize the image as my Power Girl image from a while back, and I liked it enough I thought I'd use copies of it for practicing on. Helps to get over the whole fear of damaging a nice piece with bad inking when you're working on a copy.

I don't plan to post every attempt at inking, but the first attempt at a tool will most likely go up to act as gauge of improvement.

What I Learned From My Attempt:
It's been mentioned in a couple of books and articles about inking, but you don't realize how much it is so until you try it: nib pens are scratchy and tend to catch on the paper. That takes some getting used to after working with materials that don't catch as much. Sensitivity is a much larger issue than with microns. There are a few places where I let up the wrong way and kind of flicked the pen, ruining an otherwise smooth line. There are a few splatters and places where I didn't have enough ink for the width I attempted. Placement is a biggie too. Lastly, it's best to occasionally clean the tip because of said scratchiness or digging into paper; the thick line on PG's upper left arm was caused by some paper fiber getting caught on the tip.

I can't really say this is better than my original inked piece, but I'm glad to be attempting it because there's at least one place I'm pleased with. That's this:

Yep, that line of her upper leg, and to a degree, the bottom line for bottom of her thigh. It has the line go from narrow to thick and narrows again. I like that.

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