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Comic Book Inking Techniques
Source: Basic Inking Techniques
OverviewThe art of making comic books involves a collaboration between several different art forms. Writing, lettering, sketching and design decisions must be made to form a cohesive work. Traditionally, comic book drawing is handled in two steps. First, an artist draws the figures, backgrounds and elements, using a pencil. Then an inker goes over the drawing, making his own enhancements and defining the final look of the panel. Knowing how to ink involves a combination of technique, instinct and proper equipment.
HardwareThe type of pen used to ink with has a major effect on the final look of the work. Felt tip pens are popular for variable lines, giving the reader an impression of painted, organic lines. Nib pens can give the inker a great deal of variability by allowing her to change the head depending on circumstance. Finally, there are technical pens, which have a set width, providing a consistent line. Technical pens are best for those who seek a little colder, more precise style.
Cross-HatchingCross-hatching is an inking technique useful in adding texture and shading to strict lines. Cross-hatching is performed by creating numerous perpendicular intersections between lines. The denser the cross-hatching, the closer to black and solid the final texture appears. A loose cross-hatch can give definition to facial features or indicate the rough outlines of a shadow.
StipplingStippling is the process of accumulating numerous dots to create a texture or effect. The density of the dots determines the solidness of the shading or object. Stippling can give a softer appearance to textures than cross-hatching. It has the additional advantage of being less likely to interfere with the viewer's sense of structure. While cross-hatching can seem like part of the shape rather than shading, stippling is unlikely to produce confusion. For this reason, stippling is often used in scientific drawings.