Monday, August 11, 2008

More Inking Practice

Well, I'll be purchasing a tablet this Friday and getting my hands on a copy of Illustrator, but for now..... courage.

This is the pen I used, and it's that most basic of office supply pens, the Paper Mate black felt tip. I know a lot of artists who use this sucker instead of the three or four dollar sable brushes and ink pens you buy at the art supply store, but I'm not really sure why.

I guess you get what you pay for.

John K. is pitching the idea of wraparounds starring the old WB characters for a new show presenting the classic 40's cartoons, and asked some of us ( not me ) to ink the drawings he'd made. I need all the inking practice I can get, so I tried the drawing I liked best.

Here it is:

The first thing you're likely to notice that's wrong is the fact that the lines on Bugs' chest and feet are not drawn. This came from me noticing as a kid that these lines were never black but grey, and the fact that it was drawn in the coloring books I had really bothered me. I WANTED TO COLOR THE LINE MYSELF!!! Bastards.

Another thing that's wrong is that I don't have a very steady hand yet. At several points the line thickness varies in unnatural ways, like on the top of Bugs' ears or the wheels on Daffy's chair for instance.

I tried to straighten the lines on the desk and monitor with a ruler, but now I think it looks TOO straight and as a result, too unnatural.

Bugs' hand holding the carrot is wrong too, because I couldn't see what John was going for and tried to fix it, but now I think it's far too evenly spaced, making it look wonky.

I'm also not happy with the way Daffy's lower beak came out, but as near as I can tell, that's what John had in mind. As near as I can tell.

Please leave comments with critiques because I see a lot wrong, and I'd like to see what you see.

Thanks, gang!

- trevor.


James said...

What kinda tablet you getting?

When I got mine I got a bamboo fun, and the thing was great for me, especially for the money I spent. It was originally a hundred bucks, but I got it on sale for only 80.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

Hi Trevor,

Glad you're giving inking a go. You'll learn quicker cleaning up work by the greats. May I suggest you trace some of the more finished artwork out there. Like John's George layouts or old layouts from the 40's. Cleaning up rough sketches is a bit tough for beginners, take it from my experience. Other than that, practice your steady hand and draw confident strokes. Go over the line again if it needs to be bolder. When you get a tablet you can just make thicker brushes for that problem.

Keep it up,
David O.

Alexander said...

I understand your frustration, I myself have the same problem. I have given brushes a try but it takes years of practice to get it the way you want to(At least for me, started using the brush two years ago and still can't get the lines the way I want them.) Instead I usually use a special fountain pen or calligraphy pen. Another thing I've come to discover that is nearly as important as the pen itself is the paper you ink on. Copy paper can make the lines look like they're "bleeding" in parts. Try asking for a bit thicker paper in art stores that absorbs the ink better.

crazyharmke said...

With a Wacom & Illustrator you can color the lines (and everything else) afterwarts bij using the Live Paint option :)

Phantom Spitter said...

How do you get those points from those lines with a felt tip pen?? I've tried and all I get is a fade at the end. It's about as easy as making a pointed line with a Rapidograph, which is REALLY FREAKIN' HARD!! If I inked John's drawing I'd probably do a crappy job with me ol' trusty Speedball Hunt-nibbed dip pen. But how did you do that?

trevor said...


I wasn't very happy with this ink job, and at the end of the session ( the computer, desk and wires ) you can tell I rushed it.

The points at the end I didn't treat like they were real points, I drew them. Plain and simple. I drew them as shapes and colored them in. An example of this going wrong is Bugs' whiskers.

To get an idea of how the pen really handles end points, look at the dialogue in the word balloon.

- trevor.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

Hey, join my cartoon animation blog. We're going to break down the preston blair book. Piece by piece. send your email to

-David O.