Exercise i1: Inking

In our past exercises, we’ve focused on the “what” you are drawing. In this lesson, we’ll focus on “how” you can do your drawings. By trying this lesson, you’ll get to practice the “inking” that goes into every manga and comic.

Manga is usually printed in black and white. As a result, the art is made by inking over pencil. The ink makes the lines really clear and easy to read!

We have three packets you can download and print out today, and three things we want you to try while inking.

Here’s the image from our 3rd packet, and how it could look after inking. Try new things and see how your version looks!

By inking from top to bottom, you will avoid smearing your ink under your hand!
By filling in some areas with black, you give the drawing good contrast and balance.
Using thick and thin lines helps guide the viewer to answer, “Where does the arm stop and start? Which lines are the edges, and which ones are shadow and detail?”

You can get thicker lines in two ways. One, by using a thicker pen. Two, you can draw over the line again until it’s the thickness you want!

Don’t forget to warm up and experiment with your pens first! Please ask questions if you have any.

Bye for now!

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2 Comments

reika says: 17 November 2009 - 10:35 pm

oh, I have some questions! (^^)/

I found out just recently that a store near where I live sells japanese-style pen nibs (G-pen, maru-pen, …) So I was wondering about the general feel of those kinds of pens, the line widths they make, and… which one should I get first?

ian says: 18 November 2009 - 8:31 am

hi reika,

pen nibs have three characteristics that you should feel when you use them:

1) the tips can be very sharp! you’ll find that it’ll be easier to “pull” them across the page then to “push”. that’s because the tip might dig into the paper and catch some fibers. more expensive bristol paper will help prevent this, but it could still happen.

2) varying line widths! the tip is designed so that when you put a bit of pressure on it, it can spread apart and widen. so, your line will have a different thickness based on how hard you are pushing. if you push light-heavy-light, your line will come out thin-thick-thin.

3) refreshing your ink! the nibs don’t have their own ink source, you’ll have to dip them in ink occasionally. when you’ve just dipped, there will be a lot of ink and it might blob up as you draw. then, after you’ve drawn for a while, your line will run out ^_^;;;

i personally do not prefer nibs because of these three issues combined. i still prefer using microns for steady line width, that i can build up if i need :) if i want to ink and get the benefit of varying line width, i actually love using the Pentel Brush Pen!!! make sure to confirm that your brush pen has *real brush bristles*, not just felt.

with a Pentel Brush Pen, you get line width variation (2), with less pushpull problems (1), and no ink blobbing/running out (3).

but i still would recommend trying out any one of the pen nibs and seeing how you experience these 3 factors — if you like it, you should stick with it!

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